Round seven of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship is about to get underway at the ‘Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli’ on Italy’s Adriatic coast. Still mourning the loss of Nicky Hayden, the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team has reached the famous seaside destination known as the ‘Riviera di Rimini’, with Stefan Bradl as the sole rider to represent the Netherlands-based squad this weekend.
A few days after completing the UK round at Donington Park at the end of May, Stefan and the team were joined by test rider Michele Magnoni to take part in a two-day test – along with many of their World Superbike rivals – at Misano. This proved to be a good opportunity to evaluate new settings and parts designed and developed for the WorldSBK-spec version of the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2, which is now ready to tackle the second and last Italian event of the season.
Stefan Bradl has a best result at Misano of second – with pole position – scored in 2011, the year of his Moto2 World Championship title.
On-track action will begin this Friday at 9:45am local time (GMT +2) with the first free practice session for the World Superbike class.
Misano is going to be a good race for us and I hope the recent test will help us to be more competitive this weekend. It’s a track that I really like because it’s a good mixture of fast corners and slow sectors, so I hope with the data we were able to gather during the test we will go some way in making a step forward and so move closer to the front of the field. This last month has taken its toll on all of us, but we will do our best to stay focused and do a good job.
We have worked really hard during this little break to better prepared for the upcoming round. During the two-day test at Misano straight after Donington Park we tried many different things, and we also carefully analysed the data we gathered and shared with our technical partners and came up with some interesting findings which hopefully will help us take a step closer to the front guys. It will be our second race with Stefan as the sole rider for the team: it won’t be easy, but we’re fully motivated to do well and improve on the recent results.