Following exhilarating back-to-back opening races in Qatar and Australia, the 2007 World Superbike Championship heads to the UK for the first European round of the season at Donington Park this weekend. Following a three-week break, HANNspree Ten Kate Honda riders James Toseland and Roberto Rolfo are fired up and ready to go.
Youngest-ever World Superbike Champion Toseland returns home after a triumphant start to the season that saw him storm to the top of the standings. The Yorkshireman arrives at Donington Park having secured four podium finishes - including two race wins and two second places - at the previous two events. This means he enters the 23-lap races at the 4.02km circuit with a 16-point advantage over his nearest rival.
The Donington Park round marks the 20th anniversary of the first ever World Superbike race. It is also the first time that the series has visited the Derbyshire circuit since 2001. Toseland is determined to add to the celebrations by securing the Superpole and a double win for his home fans.
Toseland's team-mate Rolfo continued to improve aboard the Honda CBR1000RR throughout the first four races of the season. The Italian rider set a good race pace and put in some impressive riding to finish inside the top ten of the championship standings. Rolfo is determined to prove his championship potential by securing a top six placing at Donington Park.
Ronald ten Kate, Team Manager:
"We are very happy with the way things have gone so far. James is on top form and is racing brilliantly. Donington is obviously an important race for him as he wants to impress the UK fans and he is really determined to show them what he can do. I am confident that he can bring home more podium finishes for HANNspree Ten Kate Honda. Roby is also riding well and has made significant progress over the first two rounds. He is still getting better all the time and I think he will really prove his potential over the next few rounds. The whole team is looking forward to what this weekend might bring."
"So far, the racing has been spot-on for me. It's an honour to be riding with such great competition and to hear the like of Troy Bayliss complimenting me at Phillip Island is very flattering. It's a great feeling to be heading to Donington as the championship leader - I couldn't ask for a better way to be going into the first home race. I feel fitter than ever and I cannot wait to race in the UK - I'll give it everything I have to get a win for the fans."
"Although the first two rounds did not go as smoothly as I might have hoped, my aim was to be inside the top ten and that's where I am. I feel more confident on the bike and I know that I can do well at Donington if I get my head down and concentrate on the task. I have ridden at the track before from my days in the 250cc World Championship so I'll use that to my advantage and hopefully get the top six place we are aiming for."
The third round of the 2007 World Superbike Championship will take place at Donington Park from 30 March-1 April 2007. For information on tickets and pricing visit www.donington-park.co.uk.