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Riders Look to Return to Form for Pata Yamaha STK1000 after Summer Break

Pata Yamaha_080916

A promising start to the Pata Yamaha Official STK1000 Team’s 2016 season – claiming two pole positions in the opening races – was short-lived after a torrid weekend at Assen saw both their title challengers side-lined following separate incidents in only the second round. The ensuing three races brought brighter prospects with stand-in riders Niccolò Canepa and Lucas Mahias delivering podium performances on the YZF-R1M, including victory for Mahias at Misano, but with the extended summer break allowing plenty of much-needed recovery time, a return to action could well be on the cards for Riccardo Russo and Florian Marino as the series heads to Germany in six weeks’ time.

Testing his fitness with a return to national competition at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli last month, Italian Russo immediately proved he hadn’t lost any of his speed and determination. Circulating with confidence as he reacquainted himself with his Pata Yamaha machine, his fastest lap – a 1’37.287 – was already clear of this season’s STK1000 pole sitter Faccani at the same track just a month earlier. Russo concluded the weekend with two visits to the podium, claiming a third in both 18 and 13 lap races respectively and confident of his continued development over the summer.

“After returning home from the surgery in Assen I immediately started working with my physiotherapist on all the necessary therapies for my leg, including magnetic therapy and exercises to avoid losing muscle mass. It was very hard, but after one month I was able to start more intensive work in the pool. Now I feel good, my physical level is still not 100%, but I can ride as I want and it was good to be back on the YZF-R1M. The first time with the bike and the Pata Yamaha team after my injury was very good, better than expected and I was still very fast. During the two Italian Championship races in Misano I felt good, both with the bike and with my leg, so I am confident. I will continue training both on track with my supermotard and Yamaha YZF-R3 and also with physical training throughout the summer break but I’m looking forward to the season returning in September. My next competitive race will be in Imola, for the Italian CIV, which is one of my favourite tracks before the STK1000 race in Lausitzring a fortnight later.”

Marino’s return to fitness has been more complicated, with fractures to his pelvis, femur, tibia and fibula. The Frenchman, however, has battled through and with his continued progress looking positive he is also hoping to target Lausitz for his return to international competition.

“I am getting better week by week, it is a long process but coming from where I was after the accident I am happy with how I am at the moment. My recovery is going well it is a lot of hard work but it’s progressing and that’s important! Every day I am going to a rehabilitation centre close to where I live. I am there from nine in the morning until two in the afternoon, working with a physiotherapist on my leg to get back the strength and mobility. Basically we are just doing everything possible to recover as well as I can.

“I have not been on a bike yet since the accident, but my plan is just to keep doing what I am doing now to aid my recovery and of course get back on the YZF-R1M as soon as I can. My return to competition with the Pata Yamaha Official STK1000 Team will depend a lot on the next few weeks. I will see how my leg is feeling and see how my speed is once I am back on the bike. When I come back, it’s because I know I can race as before, that is the best position for me, for Yamaha and the team.”

The Pata Yamaha Official STK1000 Team will be back in action at the Lausitzring EuroSpeedway, in Germany, from Friday 14th September as the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship returns for the second part of the 2016 season.