The World Superbike Championship reaches its mid-point of the season at the Silverstone circuit in the UK this weekend. Seven rounds and 14 races remain for Ducati Xerox Team's Troy Bayliss to make up the points gap on the three men lying ahead of him in the table, James Toseland, Noriyuki Haga and Max Biaggi.
After gaining three points on points leader Toseland at Monza, the Silverstone short circuit could offer the 38 year-old Australian another chance of cutting the gap at a track where he scored the double last year.
Troy Bayliss, 4th in championship (164 points);
Troy has a great record at Silverstone, winning three out of the four races he has competed in there. He split the wins with Colin Edwards on the long circuit in 2002 and then took a double last year.
"Silverstone is featureless and a bit computer-like really, it's a flash circuit with great facilities and is big, wide and safe but doesn't compare with any circuits in England. We found a couple of simple things with the bike in testing at Misano last week but basically we just had a very good test and left there very confident. Honestly what we learnt there will help us at every track as well as Silverstone and I came away from there very happy. From now on I've always got to be on the podium but it's time to win a few races as well because James, Nori and Max have all been really consistent. I expect those guys to be the main guys to beat this weekend but our bike is strong and we'll put in a good performance as well."
Lorenzo Lanzi, 6th in championship (107 points);
Lorenzo's record at Silverstone on the other hand has never yet yielded him a top 10 finish in his four participations in 2005 and 2006.
"Until now, apart from Valencia, we have gone better than last year and even my position in the table is better. The Silverstone track is much more favourable for us than Monza, but there's always the unknown factor of the weather. Even though there are not many places to overtake, I like this circuit and I won here on my debut in Superstock in 2003. Hopefully I can get some good results this weekend and I'll be trying to get into the top positions. There are five or six guys who are really strong out there but this does not intimidate me, on the contrary it really motivates me to improve".