As round ten approaches
The most recent race in the World Supersport Championship, the rain disrupted Assen contest played its part in Sébastien Charpentier (Winston Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) losing his leading status for the first time in the 2006 season, but despite recent
reversals in fortune the 2005 champion is still fully in the title fight with three rounds to go.
He is now seven points behind Kevin Curtain, winner of the Lausitz round in 2005, but back to virtual fill fitness, Charpentier fully expects to be at his very best for Lausitz.
Charpentier can count on great support from his team-mate Kenan Sofuoglu (Winston Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) who scored an impressive debut win in challenging wet conditions at Assen. Sofuoglu's 25-points from his Assen triumph pushed him to fifth in the championship and at a circuit he knows well, thanks to his early career in the German national racing scene and a recent test session, Lausitz may well be another happy hunting ground for the young Turk.
After a crash at Assen, Yoann Tiberio (Team Megabike Honda CBR600RR) slipped one place to seventh on the championship fight, on an unchanged 67 points. He set the pole record at Lausitz during his European Superstock 600 championship campaign last year, and is thus no stranger to the nuances of the tortuous circuit layout.
Katsuaki Fujiwara (Team Megabike Honda CBR600RR) got through the Assen weekend without any great problems to his injured hand, but will be out to improve on his finish outside the points, before pushing for more in the final two rounds in early October.
Charpentier is set to put the niggling problems of Assen behind him and now knows exactly what he has to do to retain his champion's status.
"I just had a problem with the small muscle on my back at Assen," said Charpentier, "but I can say that I am definitely ready for the last three rounds. I'm clear in my head, motivated and I'm in the championship to win it. I am only seven points down and the championship is not finished. Last weekend was not easy for anyone but I am OK; I feel no pressure because I have a very well sorted bike. I know everyone in the series and I know what we can all do. I am very motivated to win the championship."
Sofuoglu, buoyed by his winning form at Assen, is relishing the prospect of a return to where he first came to global notice. "I'm very happy to be going back to race at Lausitzring," said Sofuoglu. "We had a good test there just a short time ago and I made very good times on the Honda. I know the track very well because I raced in the German Supersport Championship there in 2003. I have great motivation from my Assen race win and I hope to make another good race weekend in Germany."
For Tiberio, Lausitz holds no fears and indeed he marks it down as one of his better tracks. "Assen was another bad race for me, but I feel good for Lausitz," stated Tiberio. "In Assen the rain didn't help me to get a better result but I hope for much more from the German round, because I like the track very much. The bike is good and we have a good starting set-up, so I'm not expecting it to be a difficult weekend for me."
After a tentative weekend in Holland, Fujiwara is looking for more from the Lausitz weekend, especially if the rain stays away. "Last weekend it was important for me to get lots of laps in and gain more confidence with the bike," quoted Fujiwara. "I didn't expect a big result, especially on Sunday morning when I saw the rain. In Lausitz I will be a lot more ready than I was for the Assen weekend. I just hope it stays sunny."
The final two World Supersport and Superbike rounds will take place in early October, at Imola on October 1 and Magny-Cours on October 8.
SBK Press Office