WSBK

Imola The Next Stop For Sykes and Lascorz, Vermeulen still sidelined

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The impossibly iconic Imola circuit hosts the 11th round of the WSBK championship this weekend, with Joan Lascorz and recent NÌ_rburgring race winner Tom Sykes ready for action once more.

Sykes and Lascorz will arrive with a positive recent testing experience at the nearby Misano circuit under their belts, while third team member Chris Vermeulen will miss the Misano race as he is still not quite at 100% fitness.

As well as enjoying the recent testing sessions, during which Sykes was second fastest on race tyres and fastest of all on qualifiers, Tom arrives in Imola with the momentum that he and his new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R have built up after the first win at the NÌ_rburgring last time out. He can also look at some impressive front-running periods from last year's race on the 2010 Kawasaki to add to his already high confidence level.

"We had a great weekend in Germany and we could not have wished for anything else, so massive thanks to all my crew and Kawasaki," Sykes said,

"To get that win under our belt was a fantastic feeling and we can build on that now. We went to Misano for a test last week and we were fastest in qualifying trim and joint second fastest on race tyres. So I am hoping that some of the information we had there would transfer to Imola for this weekend.

"Imola is very stop and start, narrow and not so much room for error. Hopefully we can be even stronger than last year and if that is the case we could well taste champagne again. We do not want to get carried away but we need to go there with our heads screwed on and build on the latest information we have from the Misano test."

Sykes' impressive German weekend takes him to 11th in the overall rankings, with Lascorz only a few points behind in 13th. Both riders have the final three rounds, and six remaining points scoring races, in which to lift themselves higher in the overall rankings.

"Our recent tests went well at Misano and we tried some new settings on the machine," Lascorz explained. "They helped me in some areas of the chassis performance so I was happy with that. We will go to Imola to be more consistent in our set-up and get a good grid position in Superpole. Imola can be a very good track for us but we will have to work well to make sure we get away with the leading riders so we can go for the best finish possible in each race."

Roberto Rolfo and Mark Aitchison (Kawasaki Pedercini Team) will be out for more forays into the top places at what is a home track for both Rolfo and his team. Currently Rolfo is 18th overall, and Aitchison 19th.

Main Photo: Tom Sykes

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