The second round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship kick started yesterday with a press conference at the SBK Paddock Show, with riders representing each of the nine manufacturers involved in the series.
Local riders Toni Elias (Red Devils Aprilia), David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) and WSS contender Nacho Calero (CIA Insurance Honda) were joined on stage by Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team), Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team), Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike), Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Geoff May (Team Hero EBR), Claudio Corti (MV Agusta RC – Yakhnich Motorsport) and Leon Camier (BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike, substitute rider for injured Sylvain Barrier). Former STK1000 Champion Ayrton Badovini took part in the event representing Bimota, the ninth marque to enter the series from this round onwards.
With a month passing since the opening round in Australia, it was to be expected that the majority of riders would comment on the outcome of their recent pre-Aragon test. May and Lowes are anxious to check out their physical conditions following their Phillip Island crashes, both equally pleased with the progress made by their respective teams.
Italian riders Melandri and Giugliano are predicting a close fight in both races on Sunday, but they are looking forward to the challenge, as is Haslam, who is hoping to optimise his performance in the new look Tissot-Superpole.
In the EVO category, Spaniard Salom is excited to hopefully repeat his double victory from the Australian Round, but he claims there will be many riders bringing the fight to him, including the returning Leon Camier.
Reigning Champion Tom Sykes, who was watching the press conference from the comfort of his front row seat, had a narrow escape from the local, and very old friend of the circuit, Mr Dinosaur, who was allowed out of the Dinopolis science and leisure park, located close to the circuit, to get to the track.
On track action starts today with free practice sessions for all classes with the race taking place on Sunday 13 April.
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