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Old 03-31-2009, 08:33 PM   #1
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WSBK Valencia *possible spoilers*

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Old 03-31-2009, 08:34 PM   #2
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SUZUKI ALSTARE BRUX BACK IN THE HUNT AT VALENCIA

Team Suzuki Press Office - March 31.

After the flyaway races in Australia and Qatar, Team Suzuki Alstare Brux are happy to be back in Europe and looking forward to round three of the World Superbike Championship at Valencia this weekend.

The team has been able to work in the familiar surroundings of their own workshops and get the GSX-R1000 race bikes ready for the demanding Ricardo Tormo Circuit.

The last round in Qatar was not one that will be viewed by either rider with affection, but both have put the two desert races at the back of their minds and are concentrating on getting back into contention this weekend.

Max Neukirchner:

"I had too many crashes in Qatar and I don't want that to happen again in Valencia. Last year in Valencia I was on the verge of taking my first ever WSBK victory until the very last corner of the very last lap. Then I was hit by Carlos Checa and crashed, breaking my collarbone in the process. As that happened in the first race, it meant that I also missed the second race, so it wasn't a good end to what had been a very good weekend up to that moment. Valencia is quite a technical circuit and one that is quite hard physically because you hardly get any chance to rest on a lap. But I like the track and my goal is to finish both races and get on the podium."

Yukio Kagayama:

"The last round in Qatar was also not so good for me and so I want to do much better in Valencia. The track is not a difficult one, but it is not an easy one either because is quite tough on the body. It is the kind of track where you must be very fit and concentrate strongly every lap. I like it though and want to get my season back on track by being able to chase the podium again. I am not so sure about the new Superpole system, but it is the same for everybody and it is up to all of us to get on with it and make the best we can. The new practice schedule, with no practice on Friday mornings, is going to give our mechanics extra work, but I have confidence in my team and I'm sure that they will work hard and do a very good job."

=====

>> Ten Kate Honda SBK aims high in Europe

Hannspree Ten Kate Honda riders, Carlos Checa and Jonathan Rea, along with Ten Kate Honda Racing’s Ryuichi Kiyonari, return to World Superbike action at Valencia in Spain this weekend (3-5 April) as the series heads back to Europe following the opening two flyaway rounds in Australia and Qatar.

Despite strong performances in practice and qualifying at the opening two rounds, the results have not been what the team would have wished for and all three riders are seeking results with their Honda CBR1000RRs that will lift them up the championship table.

For Checa, the Valencia round represents a home race and the Spaniard will be looking at least to match the podium finish he achieved in race two last season. It will be a Spanish Superbike debut for Rea, who finished sixth in Valencia’s 2008 World Supersport race, while Kiyonari will be looking to improve on the fourth place he achieved in race two at Valencia last season.

Jonathan Rea – championship position 8th

I had a good few days rest after Qatar before getting right back into my training programme. I also went to see my younger brother, Richard, in his first Irish Superbike race at Mondello Park in Dublin – I need to watch him or he’ll be after my job! I think we’ve all had a chance to gather our thoughts for Valencia though, and to concentrate on improving our results after a less than perfect start to the season. I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to rely on some better tyre consistency now we’re back in Europe, and that will suit the CBR much better. So, we’ll continue to work hard and I’ll be aiming for the podium this weekend.

Carlos Checa – championship position 14th

I’ve been working hard on my shoulder after spending a few days at my place in London. The shoulder is still not perfect but I’ve been able to do a lot of running and cycling to keep strong. I’m very optimistic for Valencia and hope that we can get a little more performance from the tyres there. I think this is what was causing the problem with the chatter during the races at Qatar, because we didn’t change anything else on the bike after practice and qualifying, when we were near the front. Anyway, we will work very closely with Pirelli to achieve a consistent performance and I will aim for strong results in front of my friends and family.

Ryuichi Kiyonari – championship position 13th

I went back to Japan after the Qatar races and found some time to relax and prepare for this next race. I like Valencia – in fact, I like all Spanish circuits – and finished fourth in race two last year. But the results this season have not been good enough, even though I was able to match the pace of the leaders in Qatar, so I will be trying hard to get on the podium this weekend. I know that if I get qualifying well and get two good starts, a good result is possible.

Ronald ten Kate – team manager

It has clearly not been a good start to our Superbike season and, although we have shown speed in all sessions, the race results have not been what we were looking for. Valencia therefore takes on more significance for us because we want to show the real potential of the CBR1000RR, so we’ll be looking for some very good results.
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:34 PM   #3
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>> New Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR heads for Spain

The last two World Supersport champions, Andrew Pitt (2008) and Kenan Sofuoglu (2007) of the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team, head to Valencia in Spain this weekend (3-5 April) for round three of the 2009 championship holding first and second places in the points table.

After winning the season opener in Australia, Turkish rider Sofuoglu finished fourth last time out in Qatar, while his Australian team-mate, Pitt, has taken second place in both encounters to hold a two-point margin at the top of the leader board.

The 4km Ricardo Tormo circuit just outside Valencia sees the first outing for the 2009 version of the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR since the 2008 model was used by the team in the two opening rounds this season. Whilst not radically different from its predecessor, the 09 model is eagerly anticipated by the entire team.

Andrew Pitt – championship position 1st

I’ve been in Italy since the last round, doing a lot of cycle training. I spent a few days with Ben Spies, who’s got a nice place up by Lake Como, and it’s been good to do some training with him. Valencia is not my favourite circuit and, although I don’t have a problem doing a good lap time, the results have been hard to come by. The track surface can change from hour to hour so it can be an interesting place. But the team and I are pretty motivated with the arrival of the new bike. The Ten Kate boys know how to get the most out of Honda’s CBR so we should hit the ground running and we’ll aim for another good result.

Kenan Sofuoglu – championship position 2nd

I was a little sore from the two crashes I had during practice in Qatar, and a little frustrated and disappointed at finishing in fourth place there. However, after seven days at home I was fully recovered, back into a full training programme and I realised that fourth gave me some valuable points. Now I am back to full strength and really hungry to be winning again. I have been so happy to back on the CBR600RR this season but, although I am very attached to the old bike, I am really looking forward to riding the new one and will be aiming to give it a win in its first race.

Ronald ten Kate – team manager

Yes, we’ve had a really good start to the season and first and second in the championship is where we want to be at the end of the season, as well as now. Valencia will mark the first outing for our 2009 CBR600RR and we’re very excited about that. The first impressions show that there has been a very positive evolution of the bike that has won the last seven world championships for us and the new version is another step forward. We’re definitely ready to rumble.

=====

30/03/09 17:58

Laverty targets podium at Valencia

PARKALGAR HONDA World Supersport star Eugene Laverty is looking to back-up his win at the last round with a strong result at Valencia in Spain this weekend and add momentum to his Championship challenge.

Portuguese Parkalgar Honda ace Miguel Praia is keen to compete for the top 10 race positions at a circuit he likes after a strong result of 12th in Qatar at the last round. The third round of the World Supersport Championship at Valencia starts at 1320 CET on Sunday, April 5th and can be watched live on www.worldsbk.com. A new single practice session takes place on Friday with two qualifying sessions on Saturday in a cost-cutting exercise by the organisers.

Eugene

“I am looking to back-up my win with a solid result at Valencia. I am aiming for the podium and a win would be a bonus. The important thing is that I am mixing it with Pitt, Sofuoglu and Crutchlow in the race so that the Championship remains on target. Before the season Valencia was not a circuit I pinpointed to win the race, although with the speed of my Parkalgar Honda that is a possibility. I have raced a lot at Valencia and there shouldn’t be any major issues. It’s been a nice couple of weeks off since the last race and I’ve covered around 500kms on my bike and kept my training up. There has been a lot of media attention since winning the last race but I must confess I believed I could win and I’ve slept well since.”

Miguel

“I am very motivated for the Valencia race and have been training hard, I now weigh just 62kgs, the lowest weight I have raced at and the lowest weight I can remember since being a teenager. I am fully prepared and I feel me, the bike and my Parkalgar Honda team deserve to be in the top 10, which is the target for me. Valencia as a circuit is very different to Qatar and Phillip Island so it will be interesting to see how the bike works there but traditionally it has been a good circuit for us. I am really looking forward to the race this weekend.”

Simon Buckmaster, Parkalgar Honda Team Manager

“Eugene showed what he and the Parkalgar Honda are capable of last time out and now he needs to keep the pressure up. The team scored a podium at Valencia last year and we have good data on the circuit so we will be giving Eugene all the support we can. We are focusing on the long haul Championship title race now and we need good results at every circuit if we want to be in the reckoning when we come to our home circuit in Portugal in October. Miguel scored a point at Valencia in 2008 and is in a much better position in 2009. The top 10 is achievable for him and this could be the weekend he cracks it.”
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:34 PM   #4
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Kawasaki Duo All Ready For Valencia Weekend

Update: March 30, 2009, 15:59 PM ET

For their own individual reasons, the Valencia weekend is a significant one for the official Kawasaki entrants in the 2009 World Superbike Championship, Broc Parkes and Makoto Tamada.

Parkes, who has already scored points in this championship campaign, wants to put the lessons learned in a two-day test at Valencia last week into action, and expects a better race-long response from his machine at Valencia than the Phillip Island and Qatar races.

Said Parkes: "It's been great to test in Valencia prior to the race next weekend. We've tried and tested so many things and had quite a few positive things to report back. The bike should be better over a race distance but we still have a lot of work to do on set-up but I'm getting more and more comfortable on the bike each time I ride it. We are all working hard, the team and myself, and we're confident that we can aim for some points in the races and being in the top ten would be a bonus."

Makoto Tamada was unlucky to suffer a high-speed get-off during the Qatar race weekend, but fortunate that his only fracture was to his left big toe, and he is fully expected to line-up ready and willing in Valencia.

Tamada said, shortly before making his final pre-race preparations, "I missed the race at Qatar and also the test this week so I can't wait to get back on the track at Valencia. My injuries were not as bad as I first suspected. I am recovering every day, and I will be ready and fit for the Valencia race. It is my intention to get points at Valencia, and get back what I missed at Qatar."
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:35 PM   #5
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Stiggy heads to Valencia with new Team setup

Tuesday 31th of March 2009

The recent signing of ex Moto-GP rider John Hopkins with the Stiggy Racing Honda squad has aroused speculations and raised the expectations of the Stiggy Racing Honda Superbike team ahead of the third round of the Championship.

Eyes will be set on the performance of the new entry to the Superbike Championship and his already strong riding team-mate Leon Haslam. The all-new Stiggy Racing Honda CBR1000RR has proven to be fuelled with potential, ready for the new Superbike team to be unleashed at the Ricardo Tormo track in Valencia this weekend.

John Hopkins (WSBK);
The long speculated appearance of John Hopkins in the World Superbike series will finally be put into action when he will make his debut on the Stiggy Racing Honda this weekend. After a track absence of nearly four months, Hopkins has stated he is eager to make up for lost time and ready to challenge at the front of the World Superbike Championship. The American and his new Stiggy Racing Honda crew took off to the track of Almeria to get the first impression on the new bike before heading to Valencia.

"I am really happy with the testing we have done in Almeria. The first impression of the bike and my new team is really good. The size of the motorcycle makes a big difference, it feels good to be able to move around on the bike again.

After my disappointing season last year, it's great to get out on track and enjoy riding a bike again. I've never been on a Superbike in my life but the size of the motorcycle makes a big difference and suits my style.

I am looking forward to racing in Valencia this weekend and feel I am coming well prepared, despite not having had a lot of time on-track yet. I know the Valencia track well and should be able to put in a good performance."
Leon Haslam (WSBK);
Leon endured a difficult race weekend in Qatar. His progress throughout the weekend was poised by technical problems and stopped him from setting competitive laps in the qualifying sessions. After a bad start in both races, an impressive salvage saw him battling through the field crossing the line in 11th twice over. Despite his disappointing time on track his race pace on his Honda CBR1000RR was outstanding and showed he could easily be running top five. With his new team-mate joining him this weekend and some more testing time under his belt, Haslam is confidently looking forward to the Valencia round;

"The last time I raced in Valencia in WSBK I qualified on the front row and was challenging for a podium. I'm looking forward to getting out there on the Honda now.

We have tested some new parts for the bike in our one-day test in Almeria and have been able to test a wet set-up for the first time this year. All in all I am really happy with the progress we made so far and feel confident for the next race. If I can have some good practice time on the track and qualify well, we can definitely set some good results in Valencia."

Anthony West (WSS);
Anthony West was far from satisfied with his performance in Qatar. Lack of speed forced him to lose the connection with the front of the field and he only managed to finish the race just within the top ten in a disappointing 9th position. Anthony has indicated he is here to win races and quickly wants to return to the podium finish and competitive form he strongly demonstrated in the opening round of the season.

"We have some new engines coming which are hopefully faster then the ones we used in Qatar. The bike setup has been really good so far, there's nothing wrong with the chassis or suspension but we just need to find that extra bit of power in the engine.

The track in Valencia is pretty tight, but it still has some parts where we will need the acceleration. We'll have to see what the new engines can do. I have to start winning races."

Gianluca Vizziello (WSS);
Gianluca Vizziello claimed a 14th position in the Qatar race, but was happy with the work and progression he and his crew had managed to achieve throughout the weekend. The Italian is confident he can push his way through the competitive Supersport field this weekend in Valencia and sets out for a good finish for his team.

"If we can continue the progress we made in Qatar I am convinced I can move up through the field and set a good result. I m satisfied with the performance of the bike so far. Hopefully I can qualify a bit further up front and put in a good performance for my team."

Johan Stigefelt (Team Manager);
"I am confidently looking forward to the next race in Valencia. We have been able to spend some valuable time on-track and test some new parts in Almeria with both John and Leon. It all worked out well and is another important step forward in the development of our Stiggy Racing Honda CBR1000RR.

John has shown to be very easy to work with. He's very optimistic and professional. He is not rushing anything, but just takes it step by step. Our main goal for him here today was to learn adapt to the bike and understand the structure in the team. It shows that he really enjoys being out on the bike again.

We still have to sort some things out, but overall I am happy with another step forward. Unfortunately we do not have too much time in the race weekends to test parts and develop the bike, so I am hoping for some more time on-track tomorrow morning.

I am happy with the first impression John has given the team. We already know Leon is fast and to see John step in and show his potential on the bike is just promising."
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Old 04-01-2009, 06:03 AM   #6
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Hopper sighting!

image1 001

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Old 04-01-2009, 06:52 AM   #7
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WTH is up with Hopkins? He looks like a hobo.
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Old 04-01-2009, 06:57 AM   #8
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WTH is up with Hopkins? He looks like a hobo.
Out of work for 4 months?

Yeah, I noticed he looked a little ragged. It seems last year has aged him. ALOT.
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Old 04-01-2009, 06:59 AM   #9
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He's aged or is it me????? (posted before I saw tiatool's post!!)
I really really hope he goes well
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:03 AM   #10
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that's Carlos Checa dropping in I read
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:04 AM   #11
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Hopper looks like a dern hippie lol


I really hope he steps it up on his new bike.

HONDA FTMFW!!!
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:27 AM   #12
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:30 AM   #13
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:27 PM   #14
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Hopper in WSBK. Interesting.........I hope he does well. It's been a while since he's been on the podium......
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:37 PM   #15
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Deosn't Checa have a ailing knee injury? Not exactly smart jumping from a plane.
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:39 PM   #16
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Deosn't Checa have a ailing knee injury? Not exactly smart jumping from a plane.
shoulder injury I believe
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:46 PM   #17
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Those skydiving pics were taken last season. BUT I was surprised anyone would allow him to skydive. I know that most pro's have a safety clause in their contract disallowing them from doing dangerous activities. I guess that goes out the window when you are a professional motorcycle rider.
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Old 04-01-2009, 05:01 PM   #18
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Go Johnny Go that is all
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Old 04-01-2009, 05:09 PM   #19
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WSS'09 Round 3 | Valencia, preview - ParkinGO Triumph BE1 Racing

World Supersport has reached its third round and will take place on the Valencia track. This circuit is the only one that could be defined as the stadium of motorcycling. In fact, all riders are visible from every place in the stands for the entire length of the circuit. At Valencia, team ParkinGO Triumph BE1 Racing hopes to make a step forward after the good performance displayed in Qatar.

Garry McCoy is set to take to the track where he won in 500GP. The fans will certainly remember his tremendous victory in the year 2000, where he beat the raining world champion Kenny Roberts Jr and Max Biaggi. It was one of his career's best races on which the Gazzetta dello Sport had written at the time: "...spectacular McCoy, who scores his third win in 500 this year. The Aussie is this season's big surprise.Thanks to his consistence and skid racing style, «Rally» McCoy managed to win for the second time in a row after his Portuguese victory: nobody had been winning twice in a row in the queen class for the last 22 races..."

Just as then, the Australian proved to be in good form. Nevertheless, some unfortunate incidents during the races prevented him from scoring better results. In fact, in Qatar, after being hit shortly after the start, McCoy set podium times and had an unbelievable race.

Gianluca Nannelli had brilliant results as well on the Valencia track in the last two years. However, the Italian rider is eager to redeem himself after the unlucky race in Qatar where he went twice off track despite his great racing pace that could have helped him finish in the top 10.

GIULIANO ROVELLI - TEAM MANAGER: "We have high expectations from this third round, both because we were pretty unlucky lately and because this track adapts to our bike and riders. McCoy is confident he can score a great result, while Nannelli is desperate to do well on a track that fits his aggressive racing style".
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Old 04-01-2009, 05:10 PM   #20
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World Superbike returns to Europe for round 3 at Valencia

Update: April 01, 2009, 15.30 PM ET

After two exciting overseas races in Australia and Qatar, the 2009 Hannspree FIM Superbike World Championship returns to European soil this weekend for the third round at Valencia's Ricardo Tormo circuit. The Spanish track has been the venue for World Superbike since 2000, and has a tricky technical configuration where precise set-up plays a fundamental role. Troy Corser has the most wins at the Ricardo Tormo track, five, followed by Troy Bayliss on four and Noriyuki Haga, one of last year's winners, on three.

Battle Royale

The first two rounds of the season have been marked by the impressive form of two riders, Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) and rookie Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike). The 34 year-old from Japan is currently leading the championship standings with one win and three second places to his name, and even though he will be racing at one of his best tracks, he will have to watch out for the Texan, ten years his younger, who has set WSB alight with three wins in four races. The gap between the two is 10 points and sparks are sure to fly at Valencia.

All-out Attack

But Haga and Spies won't be resting on their laurels as their closest rivals are aiming to cut the gap and challenge for wins. Starting with Max Neukirchner (Suzuki Alstare), who has had an up-and-down start to the season. Last year the German was heading for his first WSB win when he was brought down at the final turn by Carlos Checa and he will be looking to kick his championship campaign into gear this time around. All eyes will also be on Max Biaggi, who has demonstrated that the Aprilia RSV4 is capable of fighting for wins, and Troy Corser, who aims to make further progress on BMW's promising new contender. Michel Fabrizio, so disappointing in the opening rounds after setting the pace in pre-season tests, will be looking to approach that sort of form again on the second factory Ducati 1098 machine.

Home Alone

Spanish fans will be rooting for Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), who came close to the win last year and who has now fully recovered from the recent shoulder injury that conditioned his form in the first two rounds; as well as Ruben Xaus (BMW), who won race 1 here in 2007. The two Spanish riders are not on the top of their game at the moment, but their home track should bring out the best in both of them.

Welcome to Hopper

This year's championship already has an impressive line-up, and it gains even more prestige with the arrival of John Hopkins. Stiggy Racing Honda and Roberto Rolfo have ended their collaboration by mutual consent and the team led by former rider Johan Stigefelt immediately snapped up the American. Hopkins, 26 years old in May, was born in Ramona (California), and made his debut in MotoGP in 2002, where he stayed until last year. With 115 races and four podiums to his name, all in 2007, Hopkins' best season was that year, when he finished in fourth place. The Stiggy rider has the bike and the potential to play a major role in the championship, and has declared his intention to win races in his rookie WSB season.

Schedule Change

A first step in establishing a series of cost-cutting measures in Superbike will be a new racing timetable that enters into force from Valencia onwards. The big change regards Friday's schedule, with Superbike free practice now beginning at 12.45 and qualifying at 16.15. Supersport, Superstock 1000 and Superstock 600 have just one qualifying session scheduled on the Saturday with Friday devoted solely to free practice.

World Supersport

In Australia and Qatar surprises were the order of the day and the championship is shaping up to be a hard-fought affair. Honda for the moment are monopolizing the scene, with Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate) and Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar) taking the wins, and reigning champion Andrew Pitt leading the points table. Yamaha are becoming a real threat however, with Cal Crutchlow scoring his first Supersport podium in Qatar, while talented Spanish youngster Joan Lascorz, who won at Valencia last year, should go well on the Kawasaki. The three-cylinder Triumph 675 machine is also showing considerable potential in the hands of Garry McCoy and Gianluca Nannelli (Be1 Racing).

Superstock Championships Underway

Valencia will also see the start of the 2009 Superstock 1000 FIM Cup and the European Superstock 600 Championship. In the upper category the favourites for the title must be Belgian Xavier Simeon (Ducati Xerox Junior Team) and Claudio Corti (Suzuki Alstare) but this championship has always had a few surprises in store over the last few seasons. All eyes will be on Tommy Bridewell (Yamaha Lorenzini) and Maxime Berger (Ten Kate Honda), who finished runner-up behind winner Brendan Roberts (Ducati Xerox Junior Team) in 2008. The 600 category looks to be a more open tussle, but judging by their form in 2008 Marco Bussolotti (Yamaha Italia) and Gino Rea (Ten Kate Honda) are likely favourites for the title.

Lap records

Race - Neil Hodgson (Ducati) 1'35.007 (2003); Best lap - Max Neukirchner (Suzuki) 1'33.805 (2008).

The Spanish Round of the Hannspree FIM Superbike World Championship takes place from Friday 3 thru Sunday 5 April. World Superbike free practice and qualifying are held on the first two days, with Superpole scheduled for Saturday at 15.00. The two 23-lap Superbike races are scheduled to run on Saturday at 12.00 and 15.30, with the 23-lap Supersport race at 13.25 local time.

About the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo

Since its inauguration, the Ricardo Tormo Circuit has become an emblem for international motorsport in Spain. This 'Circuit within a Stadium' as it is known, offers the possibility for spectators to see the entire race-track and is one of the few circuits to host both World Superbike and MotoGP rounds. Measuring 4.005 km, the track is unusually in an anti-clockwise direction and it has 9 left and 5 right-hander turns, leading onto the 846 m long main straight.
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