2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship
Spherical Three – Assen, Netherlands
Virtually six weeks because the final spherical in Indonesia, the 2023 Superbike World Championship prepares for spherical three, which can see groups and riders competing on European soil for the primary time this 12 months, on the historic TT Circuit Assen in The Netherlands. This may also mark the primary spherical of the 12 months for WorldSSP300.
Monitor motion begins at Assen on Friday 21 April. As ever there might be three WorldSBK races over the weekend, with a ten-lap Tissot Superpole ‘dash’ race on Sunday morning, complementing the 2 full distance 18-lap races – one on Saturday and one on Sunday.
Climate situations at Assen can change with nice frequency however most riders might be hoping for constant dry situations, nonetheless on present forecasts that’s extraordinarily uncertain.
Andrew Pitt, Crew Chief for Andrea Locatelli, is intimately acquainted with Assen himself as a race-winning rider and now in his senior technical position. Pitt says the keys to carry out embody tyre selection for the abrasive floor together with a motorcycle set-up that’s secure at excessive speeds and capable of change route. He expects the newest 2023 Yamaha YZF-R1M WorldSBK race machine set-up utilized in Mandalika to additionally work nicely in Assen, shored up with a stable Assen base setting that noticed “Loka” step onto the rostrum in each 2021 and 2022.
“After the take a look at in Barcelona, now we have extra expertise with this 12 months’s R1 and we did quite a lot of work to judge additional new components. It was not straightforward nevertheless it was vital to return on the bike and trip to proceed growth. Now, we are going to see what occurs in Assen. Prior to now it was attention-grabbing right here! We had been quick in 2021 and 2022, I had my first podium in WorldSBK and final 12 months we completed on the rostrum once more with P2. The goal is to proceed to enhance and attempt to get extra podiums like the beginning of the season. I do know the monitor very nicely, as a result of I’ve been using a few years in Assen, additionally with Moto2 and Moto3. It’s a flowing monitor, a quick monitor and I like this sort of structure – usually the R1 additionally works very well so I feel now we have one thing to be aggressive and we are going to attempt to get the utmost outcomes that we are able to.”
Crew-mate Razgatlıoğlu is not any stranger to the Assen podium both, with 4 top-three outcomes on the Dutch venue since he joined Yamaha, however a race win within the premier class has to this point confirmed elusive.
“It has been an extended break after Mandalika and the Barcelona take a look at, I’m glad to be again once more for Assen! Final 12 months was a bit unfortunate, however like all the time I simply strive my finest, benefit from the race and deal with my job. We have to shut the hole to Alvaro however I’m not this, simply attempt to combat for the win and we are going to see what is feasible. The take a look at in Barcelona was not really easy, however there was some good factors with the electronics – we’re all the time studying, my staff are working to enhance my R1 and I hope we are able to take a step in Assen.”
And on the current take a look at on the Yamaha MotoGP machine….?
“For the MotoGP take a look at, I can say I loved it and eventually, I rode in good climate, as final 12 months I solely did 28 laps as a result of climate. Because of Yamaha for the chance. It’s nonetheless a dream however we are going to see sooner or later. That is simply testing, for me to know the bike and for Yamaha to see the potential. It’s all younger riders’ dream to someday, trip a MotoGP bike. I’ve achieved it, loved it however now I come again and do my job once more, as a result of for me, WorldSBK is vital this season, to combat once more for the Championship. This break was loads, I used to be actually bored and now I’m preventing once more. For me, the final two years at Assen, it hasn’t been an excellent race weekend, particularly Race 2. This 12 months, I used to be considering to not trip in Race 2, as a result of I all the time find yourself crashing! I’ll strive once more for this 12 months, for the rostrum or the win. Jonny is all the time very sturdy at this monitor. Yearly, this race weekend is completely different and I’ll attempt to do my finest.”
Paul Denning – Pata Yamaha Crew Principal
“Phillip Island and Mandalika had been collectively our greatest ever begin to a WorldSBK season, with both one or each of our riders on the rostrum in each single race – and excellent qualifying outcomes. However that is WorldSBK, and with three races each weekend we all know something can occur, which is why we all the time must be on the prime of our sport. The current take a look at in Barcelona was difficult to be sincere, however Yamaha’s engineers and the staff got here away with a wealth of knowledge to maintain pushing the event of the R1 ahead. We now have an awesome, balanced bundle which fits circuits like Assen which are each quick and flowing. Via misfortune, Toprak hasn’t fairly been capable of win right here however we might be doing the whole lot we are able to to offer him a bundle that may enable him to combat for a Dutch victory this day out. “Loka” also needs to not be forgotten as he has quite a lot of expertise at this circuit and confirmed what he’s able to even in his first season as a rookie, taking his debut podium within the WorldSBK class in 2021 and backing it up with an excellent second-place end in 2022. No matter occurs, we’re trying ahead to returning to the race monitor after the prolonged break, and to welcoming extra companions and followers to benefit from the Europe.”
Defending World Champion Alvaro Bautista has been on a roll throughout the primary couple of rounds, with 5 wins from the six races held, permitting him to reach in Europe with 112 factors, 37 forward of Razgatlioglu. The Spanish rider’s goal is to defend his management on a circuit the place his essential rivals have all the time proved to be extraordinarily aggressive.
“I sit up for this weekend as I began the 12 months so nicely. The sensation on the Barcelona take a look at was unbelievable, I’m very glad. I’ve good recollections at this monitor as I received with Ducati thrice and final 12 months, we had been aggressive, preventing with Toprak and Jonathan. I haven’t considered my future as a result of proper now, now we have solely had two races; perhaps after this spherical, I begin to consider what I wish to do. I’m not outdated, however I’ve quite a lot of expertise in bike racing. In the intervening time, it’s not my first fear, I simply wish to be centered on this weekend. I don’t have a transparent of thought about my future. I’ll determine very quickly, not only for me however for my staff. Within the case I don’t wish to keep, they need to know as quickly as potential and likewise for my aspect. We’ll see, however for the time being, I don’t have an thought. About Toprak, for positive he desires to go to MotoGP, a minimum of what I heard. It’s a unique Championship, completely different bikes, completely different tyres… I do know he’s doing a little assessments with the Yamaha, however he has to know if he has the potential to go there and do nicely. In any other case, he has a giant identify in WorldSBK and he’s an vital rider right here, so he has to decide on, nevertheless it’s not a simple determination. Each rider desires to strive MotoGP a minimum of as soon as, nevertheless it’s not straightforward, now that the class is so shut with a spot at virtually nothing between first and final. He has to know if he will also be quick there.”
Michael Rinaldi desires to seek out continuity after a begin to the season during which, regardless of a few errors, he proved to be very quick. The Italian rider (twice on the rostrum in Australia) is at present fifth within the standings with 47 factors.
“The primary race in Europe all the time has a particular taste. Assen is a circuit that I like loads even when clearly the rain might change issues. The assessments in Barcelona gave us constructive indications, offering us with increased consciousness. If we had been to race in dry situations the purpose could be to get on the rostrum, however I feel we are able to obtain good leads to moist situations too“.
Six-times WorldSBK champion Rea counts Assen as probably the most profitable circuit over his lengthy and document breaking profession. He has taken 17 of his whole of 118 WorldSBK race victories there, the newest being a double in 2022 on his official Ninja ZX-10RR.
“I’m enthusiastic about Assen. I’ve a fairly good monitor document right here, it’s a monitor I get pleasure from. I rode for a staff primarily based simply up the highway for a few years of my profession. I don’t know why I work so nicely right here, it’s additionally a mixture with the bike. I do know Kawasaki may be very sturdy right here as nicely. Whereas one eye’s on efficiency, it’s important to keep watch over what the climate’s doing. Powerful’s an awesome phrase. Though now we have to attempt to begin from zero and reset, and the outcomes have been fairly poor, we are able to additionally draw positives from among the races we’ve had; steps ahead we’ve made with the bike. We haven’t put all of it collectively. We’ve had two assessments at Aragon and Barcelona to strive a unique route with the bike and to deal with our weaknesses. This season, it’s been overstressing the entrance and the entrance tyre particularly within the latter phases of races. We confirmed some good pace in Australia and Indonesia. The pace’s not unsure, it’s in regards to the longevity within the race. I feel right here at Assen ought to swimsuit us particularly with cooler situations. It’s a tough state of affairs to be in. All I do know is that Toprak’s an unbelievable expertise and given the fitting alternative to go to MotoGP™, with the fitting folks round him, he might do an awesome job.”
Alex Lowes has scored a podium on the distinctive 4.542km lengthy Assen up to now and is as a lot of a fan of the distinctive circuit as his fellow riders. After two profitable current personal assessments together with his team-mate, at Motorland Aragon and Barcelona-Catalunya, he’s out so as to add extra podiums to his third place rating at the newest race in Mandlika.
“I’m excited to get again stepping into Assen. We now have had a few assessments, at Motorland Aragon and Barcelona, because the final race weekend in Indonesia, and I consider we’ve improved the bike set-up a bit of bit. Assen is a monitor that personally I get pleasure from loads. The bike ought to work nicely there and my goal is to problem for the rostrum. The environment and followers are nice there too, so I’m trying ahead to the primary European-based spherical of the 12 months.”
Crew HRC has made a robust begin to the season with each Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge. The latter got here away from Indonesia with a podium to his identify, having powered his Fireblade to a formidable third-place end in race 2. And whereas Lecuona struggled with well being issues at Mandalika, he was capable of rating a double sixth on the season-opener in Australia. Each riders are eager to return to motion in The Netherlands the place Lecuona scored his first WorldSBK podium in 2022, when he completed third in race 2.
“The following spherical is Assen and I’m actually trying ahead to getting there as a result of final 12 months the Dutch spherical was solely the second occasion of my rookie season and I nonetheless wasn’t 100% match after sustaining damage simply earlier than the beginning of the season, so I struggled loads all through the weekend. This 12 months I’m in nice form and we’ve had some constructive testing periods so I’m keen to start out work in FP1 and really feel prepared to offer it my finest shot. We’ll additionally have the ability to rely on good references as a result of Iker was very quick already final 12 months so the purpose might be to attempt to make a robust begin to the weekend after which persist with the entrance group within the races.”
“I began coaching and I don’t have any ache; I’ve been coaching with the follow bike and I don’t really feel ache, so that is constructive. I’m right here, able to combat once more. Actually, I’m very proud of the route; I feel we did an excellent step with race distance, that is the realm we’ve improved loads as a result of final 12 months, we struggled with the tyre efficiency because it was dropping loads within the final laps. Virtually each race, we misplaced this potential to combat for the rostrum or good outcomes. I’m actually glad, additionally the staff and Japan have achieved an excellent step so then, the fact is that if the tyre life makes it to the tip with an excellent efficiency or not, however we’re glad. I spoke with my crew chief Pete this morning and we stated that I’m very excited, so I must be calmer; final 12 months, I went quick with the outdated bike however and received a podium. So, in case you put this into 2023 when in Australia, with the improved tyre efficiency, we overtook Jonny within the final two laps, and the actual fact it’s a brand new season, testing went nicely and I’m excited, I do know the bundle was wonderful, so we have to see day-to-day. I feel I’m prepared; I feel we are able to combat for prime positions.”
The races on the ‘Cathedral of Velocity’ are a house outing for Michael van der Mark (NED) from the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Crew.
Michael van der Mark
“I’m clearly glad to be racing once more. It has been an extended break since Indonesia however for me it was good to remedy my injured fingers. It takes a while and continues to be not good however will probably be no downside when using. So it’s nice to race once more, particularly at Assen in entrance of the Dutch followers. This 12 months I’m a lot fitter than final 12 months so I’m trying ahead to it. The climate appears to be good so I can’t wait to go quick in entrance of my dwelling followers.”
BMW Motorrad Motorsport has used the break in motion to make extra progress with the brand new BMW M 1000 RR. On the finish of March, each groups attended assessments at Barcelona, the place they had been capable of consider varied parts and set-up options.
“Assen is a circuit that has been good for us up to now. I didn’t too dangerous there final 12 months and hopefully we are able to enhance a bit of bit. We now have had a little bit of time without work which has been good to regroup a bit of bit. Now let’s see what we are able to do. You by no means know what the climate will do at Assen, that’s all the time a difficult one, however we might be there to do our greatest anyway.”
Loris Baz (FRA) was unable to participate within the take a look at, as a result of accidents he sustained to his proper leg on the second spherical of the season at Mandalika (IDN) initially of March. Nevertheless, he plans to return to the Assen grid, if the race medical doctors give him the inexperienced gentle to take action.
“I used to be attempting the whole lot to be in Assen. I received the ultimate approval from the surgeon on Friday morning, so all is nice on this aspect. Now it’s all about how I’ll really feel on the bike and we are going to see the way it’s going to be. For positive, I’ve a scarcity of motion on the ankle and the knee, so particularly in the fitting corners, I’ve to see the way it’s going to be. It’s undoubtedly not harmful in any respect, there isn’t a threat, a minimum of no extra threat than regular. I’m coaching and dealing as onerous as I can with the physio and all of the folks round me. I’m actually trying ahead to being in Assen. I actually love that monitor! It will have been a heartbreak for me to not be at Assen. I’ll simply do the very best I can. If I really feel good, I’ll push as onerous as I can to go and enhance the bike. If the ankle is a little bit of an issue on Friday, then we’ll perhaps determine to only take it less difficult. In the intervening time it’s very onerous to know what to anticipate, however I’m simply actually glad to be again on the bike. It’s been robust six weeks, however we had been fortunate with the calendar.”
Garrett Gerloff travels straight to Assen from his native USA. Final weekend, he visited the MotoGP Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin (USA), the place he carried out an indication run on the brand new BMW M 1000 RR MotoGP Security Bike.
“I’m actually excited to go to Assen this weekend straight from MotoGP at Austin. I had an awesome weekend on the Grand Prix with BMW, doing a little PR stuff, however I’m clearly trying ahead to getting again to racing myself. We had a take a look at with the Bonovo motion BMW Racing Crew at Assen not so way back and it was actually good and productive. I had the sensation we found out a bunch of stuff that we are able to use for the race weekend. So, I’m trying ahead to it and can simply attempt to go quick.”
WorldSBK rookies Dominique Aegerter and Remy Gardner will get pleasure from their Yamaha R1 machines on Dutch soil for the primary time, with each realizing the circuit nicely from their earlier expertise in different championships. Certainly, the GYTR GRT Yamaha pair have fond recollections there, with the Swiss rider being profitable in his WorldSSP and MotoE campaigns, and the Australian ending on the podium throughout his Moto2 profession.
Lastly, each Aegerter and Gardner really feel prepared to return again to racing after an extended break, exhibiting confidence forward of the third spherical. Certainly, the Swiss rider says he has educated loads in the course of the hole, specializing in the areas he wants most to trip a Superbike. On the opposite aspect, his Australian team-mate is proud of the progress made within the final months and believes he can shortly adapt to the Assen circuit together with his R1.
Danilo Petrucci will work with some new parts beforehand examined at Barcelona in late March, particularly a brand new tank cowl and a decrease seat in comparison with that utilizing throughout rounds one and two in Australia and Indonesia. It’s important for him to shortly establish an efficient set-up and a weight distribution which permits him to be aggressive as he was in Indonesia.
“Assen is considered one of my favorite tracks and it’s all the time nice to return there. I’m actually eager to race once more after this lengthy break and wish to choose up the place we left off, with the nice sensations I had in Indonesia. We simply have to attend for Friday after which give 100 per cent over the weekend.”
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) might be again in motion at Assen as he continues his return to WorldSBK after racing in BSB in 2022. Younger Czech rider Oliver König (Orelac Racing Movisio Kawasaki) will once more be a part of his WorldSBK friends, in search of his first factors rating of the season.
2022 British Superbike Champion however WorldSBK rookie Bradley Ray (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Crew) embarks on his first marketing campaign within the Championship as he races the Yamaha YZF-R1 machine for 2023. Though two rounds of WorldSBK have been accomplished, Ray didn’t participate in Australia and Indonesia with him and the staff competing solely within the European rounds this season.
“I’m feeling good. It’ll be good to go to Assen, right into a full race weekend, and perceive the way in which all of it goes and get my first race beneath my belt. You all the time wish to win, don’t you? That’s the difficulty! We’ve received to be sensible. I feel we are able to take a look at preventing within the prime ten. I do know who the individuals are round me that I must be preventing with and I feel it’ll be tough within the first spherical. I must get extra time beneath my belt with the bike. Going into an precise race weekend might be completely different. I feel we are able to undoubtedly be taught much more there and get some races beneath our belt, perceive the bundle extra and I feel we are able to do an excellent job from perhaps mid-season onwards; we are able to begin pushing to the place we must be. Simply regular away till we discover our ft. Just a little bit nervous however in a great way. I’m excited.”
Assen is a circuit Ray is aware of from his time in BSB when the championship visited the Netherlands between 2017 and 2019. He raced there six instances in these three years, taking a finest results of sixth place in 2017. He has completed within the prime ten there on 5 events together with his solely race not within the prime ten in 2018, within the first race, when he was seventeenth
World Superbike Championship Factors
|5||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||47|
|15||Michael Van Der Mark||16|
After the drama of Australia and Indonesia, the FIM Supersport World Championship resumes within the Netherlands with a lot up for grabs throughout the 2 races over the Dutch Spherical.
The Dutch Spherical marks Ten Kate Racing Yamaha’s dwelling spherical and the staff may also go looking for their a hundredth WorldSSP victory with riders Jorge Navarro and Stefano Manzi. Each loved a take a look at on the circuit between the Indonesian and Dutch rounds to organize in the absolute best approach for the staff’s dwelling spherical with new objects to strive, whereas it was additionally one other probability for Navarro to be on the bike looking for full health. One other Yamaha rider to probably look out for is Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Crew) after the Dutch rider narrowly missed out on his first WorldSSP win at Assen final 12 months, after he was overtaken by Dominique Aegerter mere seconds earlier than purple flags had been proven. Second in Race 1 final 12 months, might he go one higher this 12 months?
Two wins and three podiums in 2023 means Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Crew) leads the Championship standings after two rounds, 18 factors away from Manzi. The Italian took third and fourth in Race 1 and Race 2 respectively in 2022 and he might be aiming to construct on that in 2023. Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) comes into the Dutch Spherical off the again of his first WorldSSP victory in Indonesia and, with a podium end at Assen to his identify from 2022, might be trying so as to add to that and shut the hole within the Championship standings. Mandalika Race 2 winner, Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Crew) is a race winner at Assen from 2019 and he might be seeking to prolong his profitable run after a robust begin to the 2023 marketing campaign.
Each Triumph and MV Agusta might be hoping they’re within the combat for victory having been so in Australia and Indonesia. Niki Tuuli (Dynavolt Triumph) has been within the prime eight in his final three races at Assen, and 4 instances in his final 5 outings right here, and he has a podium to his identify this season. For MV Agusta, Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) is at present main their cost in his rookie marketing campaign. Though he hasn’t been to Assen in WorldSSP, it’s a circuit he is aware of very nicely from his time within the 125cc World Championship, Moto3 and Moto2 with a finest results of fourth.
The WorldSSP Problem begins at Assen and it’ll mark the WorldSSP debut of 2022 WorldSSP300 Champion Alvaro Diaz (Arco Yart Yamaha WorldSSP) as he graduates with the identical staff that took him to the 2022 World Championship. Yuta Okaya (Prodina Kawasaki Racing WorldSSP) additionally makes the step up in 2023. Maiki Abe (VFT Racing WEBIKE Yamaha), son of the late, nice Norick Abe, makes his WorldSSP debut, as does Luke Energy (MOTOZOO ME AIR RACING TEAM) this season whereas Tom Edwards (Yart – Yamaha WorldSSP Crew) will participate in his first full marketing campaign.
By way of returning riders, Federico Fuligni (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) returns to WorldSSP on Ducati equipment, Maximilian Kofler (D34G Racing) sticks with Ducati however switches groups to be alongside Oli Bayliss whereas Tom Sales space-Amos (MOTOZOO ME AIR RACING TEAM) sticks with the identical staff for a second marketing campaign.
Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) missed the Indonesian Spherical by means of damage however he’s aiming to be again on a motorcycle, topic to medical clearance, at Assen together with Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Crew) who was injured in the identical crash; Montella was using on the current Catalunya Take a look at. By way of wildcards, there is just one for the Dutch Spherical as Simone Corsi (Altogo Racing Crew) makes his WorldSSP debut after 12 seasons in Moto2.
World Supersport Championship Factors
|11||Glenn Van Straalen||18|
|12||Raffaele De Rosa||18|
The FIM Supersport 300 World Championship returns to motion to start out the 2023 season on the TT Circuit Assen in the course of the Pirelli Dutch Spherical with the primary two races of what’s set to be an exhilarating and unpredictable marketing campaign. With a brand new producer becoming a member of the grid, the reigning Champion transferring to WorldSSP, a Champion returning the category and a number of riders aiming to put in writing their names within the historical past books in 2023, the Dutch Spherical will kick off the season in type.
The beginning of the 2023 marketing campaign will mark a historic second as Chinese language producer Kove be a part of the grid with Shengjunjie Zhou (China Racing Crew) making his WorldSSP debut, with 4 producers competing in 2023. The 312RR just lately raced within the Spanish championship with Zhou, giving him some expertise forward of his WorldSSP debut. The Dutch Spherical additionally marks the return of 2020 Champion Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) to the Championship as he seems to make historical past and he might be joined by Loris Veneman in 2023. Buis has seven WorldSSP300 wins to his identify and another would make him the rider with probably the most wins within the Championship’s historical past. May he make historical past at his dwelling monitor.
After taking Alvaro Diaz to the title in 2022, the Arco Motor College Crew have expanded to 2 bikes for 2023. Ruben Bijman and Gabriele Mastroluca look to select up the place Diaz left off in 2022 by preventing on the entrance persistently. The AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha squad have additionally expanded to 2 bikes with Raffaele Tragni race winner Matteo Vannucci on the staff. There are additionally new groups on the grid: China Racing Crew will make their debut with Zhou whereas Deza-Field 77 Racing Crew will debut with Jose Manuel Osuna Saez.
There are a number of different rookies on the grid too with Mattia Martella (ProDina Kawasaki Racing) returning for his first full-time marketing campaign alongside Samuel Di Sora. Like Martella, Julio Garcia (Crew Flembbo-PI Performances) returns after a formidable one-off look in 2022 when he fought for the rostrum whereas a number of riders will make their debut. Clement Rouge (Elegant Racing by MS Racing), Raffaele Tragni, Devis Bergamini (ProGP Racing) – who was third within the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Championship in 2022 – Mexican Juan Pablo Uriostegui (Crew#109 Kawasaki) and Osuna Saez will all make their debuts at Assen.
There might be six riders who’ve received a race previous to 2023 on the grid this season together with the aforementioned Buis. Three one-time winners, Kevin Sabatucci (Crew Flembbo-PI Performances), Mirko Gennai (Crew BrCorse) and Dirk Geiger (Freudenberg KTM-Paligo Racing) might be joined by two-time winners Vannucci and Samuel Di Sora (ProDina Kawasaki Racing). Will any of those riders have the ability to add to their win tally, or will 2023 function new riders standing on the highest step of the rostrum?
There might be two wildcard riders on the TT Circuit Assen and each hail from the Netherlands and each will compete for a similar staff. Sven Doornebal and Thom Molenaar will each compete for the Molenaar Racing Crew on the Dutch Spherical as they did in 2021 and 2022. Molenaar’s finest result’s twentieth, in Race 1 in 2021, whereas Doornebal additionally has a finest results of twentieth which got here in Race 1 final 12 months. There are not any Aussies on the WorldSSP300 entry record.
WorldSBK Assen Schedule
2023 FIM Superbike World Championship Calendar
|30 Jun-02 Jul||Donington Park||X||X|
|28-30 Jul||Autodrom Most||X||X||X|
|13-15 Oct||San Juan Villicum||X||X|