The 2007 World Superbike Championship heads to the Republic of San Marino this weekend for the eighth round of the ultra-competitive series at Misano. Although the direction of the 4.6km circuit has been reversed for 2007, both HANNspree Ten Kate Honda riders are prepared for the challenge.
Isle of Man resident James Toseland is looking to put the events of Silverstone behind him as he fights to maintain his championship lead. Following his heroic battle at the UK round, the 26-year-old is currently 23 points ahead of nearest rival Noriyuki Haga in the standings. Despite his apprehension about the change of track direction, Toseland is confident that he can continue the success he has enjoyed so far this season.
Team-mate Roberto Rolfo put in another impressive performance in the wet conditions at Silverstone to secure his second fourth place finish of the year. The Italian rider now lies in eighth place in the standings and is aiming to secure his first World Superbike podium at Misano.
Ronald ten Kate, Team Manager:
"First of all, we have put the water back into James' engine after his Silverstone crash - he will certainly be needing it in the heat of Misano! On a serious note, this is a new track for us and we will have to work hard this weekend to find the right set up as soon as possible. James has come back from the Suzuka Eight-Hour test in high spirits and with some good information. We are obviously looking to extend his lead even further. Roby had his best race of the season at Monza so we hope that racing on Italian territory will boost his confidence once again. We are looking forward to making his best even better."
"I'm a bit apprehensive about Misano this year with the track direction being reversed. Everyone has tested there except for us - we didn't realise the track was going to be finished so we didn't designate it as a test track. However, the recent Suzuka test went really well and I didn't know that circuit so I can't see a problem with getting to know the new Misano circuit either. I got pole position there last year and hopefully I can do the same this year."
"I'm looking forward to racing at the new Misano circuit. I'm curious about what the weekend will bring - we didn't test there so this is completely new for us. I have spoken to some of the other riders and they have told me that the new layout is an improvement. I hope this is true because Misano has always been one of my favourite tracks. After Silverstone, I'm excited about getting back on my bike. I really enjoyed the wet racing and I'm now confident going into the eighth round at Misano. Being so close to Italy, there will be a lot of the home fans there and I want to perform well and fight for the podium to keep them happy."