WSB men ready for two day Imola test

Published: 10 July 2009

WSB’s big guns head to Italy next week for an official two day test at the revised Imola circuit, which was last used by SBK back in 2006.

Championship leader Noriyuki Haga will sit out of the test following injuries sustained at the Donington Park race. Ducati has denied rumours that reigning champion Troy Bayliss could test in his place leaving Italian Michel Fabrizio as the lone Xerox rider.

American Ben Spies will have two valuable days to learn the famous Imola track along with fellow WSB rookies and team-mate Tom Sykes.

Ten Kate Honda riders Jonathan Rea and Ryuichi Kiyonari will get their first taste of the circuit, with Carlos Checa at least knowing his way around the track from his time in GP’s.

Aprilia’s Max Biaggi and Shinya Nakano will arrive at the track fresh from their two day test at Brno, as will BMW’s Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus who tested at Mugello last week.

Stiggy Honda’s Leon Haslam and John Hopkins only finished their two-day test at Brno on Wednesday and the team are currently on route to the Italian track.

Shane Byrne got his wish to compete in the next weeks test after his participation initially looked doubtful.

The Imola test will also mark the return of Alstare Suzuki’s Max Neukirchner and Kawasaki’s Makato Tamada who were both injured in a horrific first corner pile–up at Monza in May. Neukirchner and Tamada will be joined by their respective team-mates Yukio Kagayama nd Broc Parkes.

In Supersport, championship contenders Cal Crutchlow and Eugene Laverty will be on track alongside the Ten Kate Honda pairing of Andrew Pitt and Kenan Sofuoglu. Spaniard Joan Lascorz will miss the test while former SMT Honda BSB man Jason O'Halloran will ride for the Honda Althea team.

South African sensation Sheridan Morais will wild card the third ParkinGo Triumph 675 alongside Garry McCoy and Gianluca Nannelli. Morais impressed earlier in the year when he secured 11th at Kyalami first time out on the Paul Bird Kawasaki Superbike.

The Superstock 600 and 1000 classes are on track on Tuesday with WSB and WSS getting two full days on Wednesday and Thursday.