Friday, August 24

SUPERBIKES IN RUSSIA

This weekend (August 25-27), the Eni Superbike World Championship is hosted in Russia for the first time in the series 25-year history. The circuit is the newly completed 3.93 kilometre Moscow Raceway, located 77 km to the west of the Russian capital.

This follows last year's agreement between Superbike series promoters InFront Motorsports and the Russian circuit's management for the Superbikes to strut their stuff in Russia for the next 10 years.

We are able to let KR readers have a sneak preview of the new Russian circuit courtesy a video provided by the Honda Racing World Superbike Team which fields Ireland's Jonathan Rea and Japanese rider Hiroshi Aoyama.

The video offers the riders' initial reaction to the new circuit and their expectations for the coming weekend, and can be viewed by clicking on this link below:
http://youtu.be/Yo-m4UDtCqE
Rea and Aoyama sampled the new circuit for the first time on Wednesday, August 22 during an official test, finishing 12th and 18th fastest respectively, with Spain’s Carlos Checa posting the fastest time ahead of this weekend’s two 25-lap races.

Jonathan Rea

"It’s always a great adventure and a professional challenge coming to a new country and a new circuit for the first time. I spent yesterday in Moscow at a Honda customer event and it was good to meet a new group of enthusiastic sportsbike fans. I really enjoyed today’s test as an opportunity to get acquainted with the Moscow Raceway circuit. First impressions of the track are that it’s very tight and twisty. We’re in second gear for pretty much most of the lap, obviously not for the straights, but it’s fun! It’s very technical and I’m enjoying it so far, but for the race weekend the times will be really close and I’m expecting tight racing. The infrastructure’s nice and the track’s quite smooth – it’s a little bit dirty because there’s not a lot of rubber down, but we’re finding the track’s getting faster and faster, so I’m looking forward to the weekend."

Hiroshi Aoyama
"It seems like the racetrack is a little bit compact, so you have to find a good timing on the bike and also the grip level is not so high. I think it’s normal that on the first day it’s a little bit more dusty and many corners are very slippery. I’ve already had a couple of near crashes but I think we’ve started OK and I’m looking forward to improving on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Today was quite good weather so I’m hoping that it keeps like that for the weekend. For sure, everyone is going to go faster so we’ll have to follow and hope to be in a good position."