The penultimate World Superbike Championship round is about to be held at Imola, on the Enzo and Dino Ferrari circuit, only one week before the season finale at Magny Cours, France. This stage of the season sees the Winston Ten Kate Honda Team in the role of one of the main championship protagonists, thanks to the efforts of James Toseland. The English rider, having won the most recent race in Germany, is still fighting to secure second position in the championship and Imola is an ideal track to make his decisive attack - and the circuit will also offer opportunities to Karl Muggeridge. Until now fortune has not smiled on him too often, but the Australian rider is back to good form as he aims to step on the podium for the first time this year, on a track which has previous delivered him two World Supersport Championship race wins.
Ronald Ten Kate - Team Manager;
"Last year, in the final part of the season, we were consistently fast and we are hoping to have the same results this year. At Lausitz we did quite well and I believe we are really on the right track for Imola - in every meaning of the word. The recent test at Magny-Cours went well, we tried some new electronic parts and got some positive feedback from both of our riders. Both Karl and James are in good form overall and we are determined to win some races in the next two rounds."
James Toseland - Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider;
"I'm ready for Imola. The test in Magny-Cours has helped to set the bike up for the last race of the season, to be held on that very same track, and it also helped us to try some new parts for the bike. The victory at Lausitz lifted the team's morale and I know all of us want to win again in these last four individual races. The fight for second place is still open and I will be doing my best to win it."
I still think I can finish in the top three this year and that's what I'll be shooting for at Imola and Magny. It's been a real up and down year - literally in some cases - but I'm aiming for strong consistent finishes in the remaining races and a good end to the season. I had mixed feelings last year when the second race was cancelled because I would've liked to have taken the title in normal conditions. But our team had worked so hard over the winter months and we were all set from the very first race - and so our title was well-earned. It's not going to be so easy these last few races because Bayliss and his Ducati are working so well - particularly his traction control. Also, Imola is a home race for Ducati because their factory is just down the road, but that's a big incentive for me and the rest of the boys to put one over them. That's what I'll be trying to do, for sure.
I do not have such good memories of Imola last year so I will be doing my best to get two good results this time - maybe podiums. Ever since mid season, when I was fully fit again, I have been feeling good on the bike. There have been changes to the bike from last season and it has not always been so easy to get a really good set-up at some race tracks. I think my riding style has changed a little during the year and I have learnt how to be more patient. It is not my natural style, but if it works, of course I will use it. It's always a bit of a problem when you have back-to-back races but I want to take podiums in all the four races and end the year in a big way.
Karl Muggeridge - Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider;
"We're getting close to the end of the season and I really want to step on the podium at least once. It hasn't been a lucky racing year for me, due the injury right at the beginning of the season, which held me back for a while. It was hard to recover from it, but in the last few races I've felt good again. In Imola I will give all I have to get on the podium. The weather forecast promises sunshine and warm temperatures, and this should help us to reach our goal."