Only five-points separate De Rosa and Mercado heading into the Pirelli German Round.
Before the interruption of the summer break, the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup left its main protagonists immersed in a climatic edge-of-the-seat battle leaving the championship open by five points.
The last race at the Pirelli Riviera de Rimini Round saw the leader Raffaele De Rosa defend a tight five-point lead against his main rival, Leandro “Tati” Mercado. Althea BMW Italian and the Argentine of Aruba.it Racing- Junior Team were engaged in an intense battle for victory that ended dramatically with the fall of both in the last lap when De Rosa tried a very forced overtake to regain the top spot.
Luckily the unfortunate absence of points did not affect their positions in the overall standings, where they occupy first and second position. However it did give chance to their immediate pursuers to chip away at the points gap where previously first and second points were divided equally between the leading pair in the previous four races.
The fierce battle between the Italian BMW rider and the Argentinian on the Panigale R will resume this weekend with two factors to consider: De Rosa is penalised three positions on the grid at Lausitzring because of his race-ending maneuver at the last round, and both will enter the race with equal knowledge of the track as a result of their summer tests at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz.
Italians Kevin Calia (Nuova M2 Racing) and Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing-Junior Team), have been given an opportunity to continue fighting for the Cup after the leaders wiped out in Misano. Calia, who came second in Misano is now third place overall, only 16 points behind De Rosa, while rookie Rinaldi is fourth overall, 23 points behind first place.
Behind the top four, the Superstock 1000 top ten are only separated by a mere seven points: Andrea Mantovani, Toprak Razgatlioglu, Jeremy Guarnoni, Roberto Tamburini, Marco and Luca Vitali Faccani respectively.
German riders Marc Moser and Toni Finsterbusch, after a tough race for the pair in Misano look ahead to the Pirelli German Round where they look to impress in front of a home crowd.
STK1000 will hit the track at 9:15am on Friday 16th of September. The race will start on Sunday at 2:20pm local time (GMT+2).