The Yamaha World Superbike Team are back on track this weekend at the iconic “Autodromo Enzo and Dino Ferrari” in Imola, for the third Italian race of the 2011 season. This marks the tenth and third last round of calendar and is the third “home race” for Marco Melandri and the Yamaha World Superbike Team.
Fresh from two very successful days testing in Misano last week, where Melandri was the fastest rider to lap the track throughout the two days, the Italian will be looking to pocket a home victory. Despite being a local track, Imola is yet another unfamiliar circuit for the Romagnolo. From the results so far this year it is clearly evident that new tracks are not an obstacle for Melandri, determined to shine on his home turf, backed by the numerous Italian spectators. Laverty on the other hand has unfinished business in Imola and intends making up for the lack of results last year, having fallen from his machine on the last lap in the World Supersport race, while in third place.
As the season showdown begins, this round is crucial as it could be the title decider, with points leader Carlos Checa holding a 74 point advantage on Melandri, with just 150 points up for grabs in the remaining three rounds. Melandri sets out for Imola aiming for victory in order to keep the Championship title within reach. Team-mate Laverty heads to Imola in fourth place in the standings, just 49 points behind 2010 champion Max Biaggi and with his sights firmly on an obtainable third place.
Yamaha World Superbike Team
“Imola is yet another track I am unfamiliar with, it has been more than ten years since I’ve been there. This doesn’t really concern me as I have done well in other new tracks this season and hopefully, I can get good results in Imola also. The two days testing in Misano went well, we made some adjustments to the brake system which I have struggled with on various occasions this year and this has helped me gain more confidence on my machine. It will be an interesting race, where Checa could win the championship. I will give it 100% and do my very best to keep the championship open, even though it won’t be easy.”
Yamaha World Superbike Team
“Fresh from the positive tests we just completed in Misano, I’ll be heading to Imola on a high note, which is nice. I struggled with the track a lot two years ago but I feel that last year I cracked it, even though I was unfortunate and came off at the end. I’m curious to try the track with the Superbike machine but it’s so powerful I’m pretty sure it’ll feel like an entirely different track. I’m looking forward to the weekend. It could be very interesting as it could also be the title decider. Checa will be stronger than ever to claim the championship, but I think the Yamahas will also put on a strong fight.”
Imola technically speaking according to Silvano Galbusera
Marco Melandri’s Crew Chief
“The majority of the track has been re surfaced with new asphalt and we are confident that this should bring an improvement compared to last year. We should experience less problems with bumps on the surface and hopefully the new asphalt will provide good grip. However often new track surfacing takes some time to clean up and therefore it may be tough on tyre wear. We just had two very good days testing in Misano where we worked mainly on improving the brake system with the introduction of new calipers and we also made small adjustments to our electronics. With the strong results at the recent tests we are heading to Imola confident we can have two races and come away with good results.”
Imola technically speaking according to Frankie Carchedi
Eugene Laverty’s Crew Chief
“Since Nurburgring we have tested at Misano where we were able to evaluate some different geometries and set-ups. We lapped consistently faster than earlier in the year when we raced there, showing the progress that we have made since then. To be successful at Imola you need to be strong in all departments, strong on brakes and a bike that handles well. In the past Imola has been the most difficult track to maintain grip, especially in the hotter temperatures. This year the track has been re surfaced in some areas and could make set-up more difficult. We will start with our base set-up, and during the weekend incorporate the changes we made at the test”
Andrea Dosoli – Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager
“Imola is the first of three rounds which will take place in just four weeks, an intense four weeks for the team and riders, where the championship title will be decided on. We are confident we can be competitive in Imola and that both riders can express their talent and capabilities on the historic track, making the most of the progress made during the recent tests in Misano. Even if it has been more than ten years since Marco has ridden the track, he will give it 100% and be highly competitive in front of his numerous local fans as Imola is infact just a few km from his Ravenna.”
2011 World Superbike Italy
(Carlos Checa, 01/01/2010)
Fastest Lap Ever:
(Michel Fabrizio, 27/09/2009)
Last Years Winner: