Motorcycle racing fans will be treated to a double-header this Sunday with the San Marino Grand Prix at Misano and World Superbikes at Istanbul Park in Turkey.
As the MotoGP grid heads to Misano this weekend for round 13 of the championship, there is once again only one thing on riders’ minds - how to close the gap to championship leader Marc Marquez.
Last time out at Silverstone Yamaha’s reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo managed to beat the works Honda rookie sensation with a bold overtaking move on the final lap.
TOUGH TO BEAT
Lorenzo will aim for much of the same as he tries to cut the lead to Marquez and his team mate Dani Pedrosa, who will look to convert his outright pace into a win to get his title challenge back on course.
Marquez may prove tougher to beat at Misano’s Marco Simoncelli circuit, however, as he will have recovered further from the dislocated left collarbone he suffered in a crash during Sunday warm-up at the previous race.
Motorcycle legend Valentino Rossi is aiming to find his end-of-race pace directly off the start line, as that looks to be the weak link stopping the Yamaha rider from challenging for a podium or win at the moment. Rossi has four podiums to his credit (including a win at the Netherlands round) in his comeback season with Yamaha and lies fourth in the championship, but hasn’t sprayed champagne since the Laguna Seca round in July.
Meanwhile, the World Superbike riders head to Turkey for Round 11 of their championship, making their debut appearance at the Istanbul circuit. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) will have his work cut out to retain his championship lead as he’s the only rider in the top five who hasn’t raced before on the Turkish track.
His main rival Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) is only one point behind, but is still recuperating from a shoulder injury that has been bothering him since the second half of July. The man to watch is third-placed Marco Melandri on a BMW, who won twice here in MotoGP in 2005 and 2006.
In the supporting World Supersport category, South Africa’s hopes will be with local boys Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki), Ronan Quarmby (Honda), Mathew Scholtz (Suzuki) and David ‘McFlash’ McFadden (Honda) . - Star Motoring