The sixth round of the 2007 World Supersport Championship will take place at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza near Milan this weekend. HANNspree Ten Kate Honda will contest the race at the 5.793km circuit with permanent riders Kenan Sofuoglu and Sébastien Charpentier aboard the CBR600RR.
Sofuoglu heads to Italy with a huge 120-point tally in the championship standings after another stunning performance at Assen. The Turkish rider has so far racked up five podium finishes in as many rounds, including four race wins. He is looking to increase this to six podiums and five race wins after this weekend's race in Monza.
Charpentier made an admirable comeback at Assen after a month-long recovery from pelvic injuries sustained during the third round. The Frenchman is now confident that he is back to full race fitness. Last year's Monza round saw Charpentier recover from a jump start penalty to finish third after a display of brilliant riding. He hopes to equal, if not beat this position in 2007.
Ronald ten Kate, Team Manager:
"Although Assen was a very memorable weekend for us in Supersport, we have to keep our focus on the future. We will come to Monza with our permanent riders Kenan and Sébastien. Kenan is riding on a high at the moment, and with Sébastien's injuries healing well, we are expecting a good result from him at Monza. Hopefully we can make this round as memorable as the Assen race."
"I was on a high after Assen because I really did not expect to win the race with such strong competition. It was a tough contest but I was able to judge the situation well and I didn't push hard until I needed to. I will take this approach again at Monza and I think I have a good chance of a podium finish. My aim is to be consistent and to finish in the top three - the race win would be a bonus."
"I think at Assen I was probably 80 per cent fit - the circuit is very physical and it was not easy for me to finish the race. I was holding on with just my fingers by the end. For Monza, I am much closer to being 100 per cent fit and this is a less physical track so I am feeling confident about the race. I think I have a good chance of finishing on the podium - last year I finished third despite a jump start and going straight on at the chicane and in 2005 I was second - so it's a good track for me. Plus, I am very motivated and the bike is very, very good so the odds are in our favour."