STK1000: Tight at the top heading into Germany
Following a stunning European Superstock 1000 Championship race last time out at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, which saw Marco Faccani (Althea BMW) take a stunning victory ahead of championship leader Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team), it’s time for the STK1000 riders to prepare for the second half of the season. With just one point separating the top two in the standings, there is everything to play for heading into the sixth round of the season at Lausitzring for the Prosecco DOC German Round, and one thing is certain: no one will be holding back.
Italian Rinaldi has had a stunningly consistent season in the STK1000 championship so far, with the 21 year old taking four podiums – two of them victories. Showing pure dominance in the races he has won so far, it’s clear Rinaldi is feeling confident onboard his Panigale R and will be coming back from the summer break as determined as ever. With a tough outing last year at Lausitzring in wet conditions, the Italian youngster will be keen to improve his pace this year. Following a test around the 4.225km circuit in July, he will be able to work through any issues throughout the weekend to bring the fight to the pack on Sunday.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) continues to impress in the competitive STK1000 class and sits just one point behind Rinaldi in the standings. Securing his first victory at the Acerbis Dutch Round, his momentum continued on throughout the season, standing on the top step for the second time at Donington Park for the Pata UK Round. However the young Turk is another rider to have struggled around Lausitzring last season, meaning it will be a tough ask for the two front runners in the STK1000 championship. Recharged and ready following the nine week summer break, Razgatlioglu will be fighting to take his first title in the WorldSBK paddock.
French rider Florian Marino (Pata Yamaha Official STK1000 Team) is a not-so-distant 23 points off the top of the championship, as he has been quietly consistent so far this season. Securing three podiums and only one race outside the top five so far, Marino is still searching for that all important first win onboard his YZF R1. Missing out on last year’s German round with injury, it will be a testing weekend for the 24 year old but with his rivals suffering a tough history around the circuit; it may work in his favour.
Keep up with all the stunning STK1000 action as the series returns from the summer break from 18th – 20th August.