STK1000 – Who will take the opening honours?
The European Superstock 1000 Championship gets underway this weekend and its set to be as unpredictable as ever, however one thing can be guaranteed is the stunning racing action fans are set to be treated to. 34 riders will line up on the grid for the opening round at MotorLand Aragon, and it will be an intense fight for the lead between the adrenaline fuelled riders. The Spanish circuit of Aragon is the perfect setting for the stunning opening round of the championship, as it can provide close racing at a high standard, with the 5.007km circuit offering speed, tough corners and some strong overtaking options.
With 11 nationalities lining up, of all ages on board six different manufacturers it will be interesting to see which riders can make the most of large field.
Roberto Tamburini (Pata Yamaha Official STK1000 Team) heads into his third season in the championship and with the backing of the official Yamaha team, the Italian has a strong history around MotorLand Aragon – taking the victory and fastest lap in 2015. Team-mate Florian Marino (Pata Yamaha Official STK1000 Team) was pole position holder in 2016, unfortunately injury plagued the French rider last season, but he’s back and fully fit, ready to take on the battle ahead of him.
Illia Mykhalchyk (TripleM Racing) moves across to the European Superstock 1000 Championship for 2017, as the Ukranian rider put up a strong fight in the European Superstock Cup last season. Turkish rider Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) has the support of WorldSSP World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu once again for 2017, taking on the new season again with Kawasaki Puccetti Racing. The young Turk will be hoping to improve on his top five championship finish last season.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team) will be a rider in particular to watch throughout 2017, as he set the fastest lap around MotorLand last year and finished in second position. Nuova M2 Racing have undergone a vast testing regime over the winter to get their riders Luca Vitali and Maximillian Schieb prepared for the tough season ahead. The Aprilia-backed team will be taking on the STK1000 class with two experienced riders with them, as they face a tough season ahead.
Marco Faccani (Althea BMW Racing Team) joins the string of riders to keep an eye on over the season, taking on his second full series in the class and will be hoping to improve on his results from the opening round last season. Emanuele Pusceddu (RSV Phoenix Suzuki) and Kevin Calia (RSV Phoenix Suzuki) are the two lone Suzuki riders in the class for 2017 and with an experienced background between the pair; it will be interesting to see how the GSX-R1000 develops throughout the season.
STK1000 action gets underway for the first time on Friday 31st March and it will be sure to be an action packed field with plenty of riders to keep an eye out for. Action gets underway at 09:00am LT, before the all important race at 15:15LT.