The official press conference ahead of the third round of the 2015 eni FIM Superbike World Championship took place today at MotorLand Aragon in Alcaniz, involving several leading riders from this year’s series.
The first of two events to be held on Spanish soil saw local riders Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) and Nico Terol (Althea Racing Ducati) receiving the loudest applause as they made their way onto the stage, with Torres so excited he chose to jump directly onto it.
“This is my first home race and finally I can speak my own language” Torres joked. “If there’s a track where I want to finish onto the podium, this is it.”
Both rookies were asked about their adaption to WorldSBK as well as their aspirations for the weekend. “I’ve always done well on this track in the past and I think it should suit the Ducatis, too” added Terol. “I hope to score some good results here and to get some extra motivation from the Spanish fans.”
Current championship leader Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) was joined by team mate and former World Champion Tom Sykes, both expecting their Ninja ZX-10R to be strong in Aragon as it has been in recent years. “This weekend should see another strong round for the Kawasaki team,” Rea said. “Last year Tom was strong here and I’m sure it won’t be long until he is at the front again. Leon (Haslam) has been strong, so has Chaz (Ducati) but I think there could be many other riders involved in the fight here.”
With the pairing enjoying different successes in the previous two rounds, Rea believes the new track layout is not going to affect his overall chances, while Sykes is clearly determined to close the points gap to the front. “I’m aware that it hasn’t been the strongest start to the season for me” Sykes commented, “but we are working hard and I am confident about this weekend.”
Sylvain Guintoli’s physical condition has further improved from the Thai Round, meaning the Frenchman can now fully concentrate on improving the overall package with his Pata Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP. “We have to play catch-up” said the reigning champion. “My physical condition hasn’t been perfect, though this cannot be an excuse for me not to do my very best here.”
With STK1000, STK600 and EJC classes also beginning their season at Aragon, close racing throughout the weekend is expected. Free Practice for all classes starts tomorrow at 08:45am local time.
Earlier today several riders joined local Ernesto Fernandez in a World Record attempt to create the biggest Rubik cube mosaic ever. The previous record stood at 5000 but ahead of this weekend’s 3rd round, Fernandez designed a 5355 cube layout resembling the official round advertisement poster.
Jordi Torres, David Salom (Team Pedercini), Roman Ramos (Go Eleven Kawasaki), Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) and Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing) placed the last cubes into the mosaic to help Fernandez in setting the new record.
The final mosaic stood 2.6m high, 6.82m wide, consisted of 48195 individual squares and is estimated to cost 80,325EUR.
Moments before Jordi Torres emerged victorious in the rider ‘Cube Challenge’, joking that he was lucky to be the quickest of the riders involved in completing a full red side of a cube. When pressed further he said “Maybe after some weeks of practice I can be as fast as Ernesto, I will bring it completed to Laguna Seca.”