Superstock 600: A thrilling year of racing draws to a close
Superstock 600 has been nothing short of brilliant this year. Even last season’s Champion Marco Faccani has acknowledged that the class has been more hard-fought, with some titanic scraps on offer. There is no hiding from the fact that Toprak Razgatlioglu has come out on top every time apart from Misano and Jerez (although he didn’t compete in the latter due to a broken collarbone), but the Turkish Champion has certainly had to fight hard at times.
The last two races have seen new winners in the category. At Misano the victor was Federico Caricasulo, while at Jerez fellow Italian Michael Ruben Rinaldi took the chequered flag. The former missed the Spanish round after dislocating as collarbone in practice and is now keen to get back into the action, as he challenges his compatriot for second position overall; with just one race to go, Rinaldi holds the runner-up spot by only 12 points.
In some ways, things have gone full circle. It was at Magny-Cours last year when the razzmatazz really began: Toprak stormed to his first win in his first race, while the top six riders were covered by less than one and a half seconds (Anthony Dumont was second from Niki Tuuli, Ilya Mikhalchik, Hugo Clere and Andrea Tucci). In stark contrast, Champion Faccani failed to finish the last race of the campaign as he retired two laps from home.
Two French riders are entering this weekend’s race as Wildcards and both are to be equipped with Yamaha R6 bikes; Alexandre Santo Domingues competes with Moto Team 95 Events, while Yvan Laetzig will race for Team Motorsport. The aforementioned Mikhalchik of the Ukraine runs as a One Event rider for the DS Junior Team, having carried World Superbike rider David Salom’s new outfit to its first points with the Kawasaki ZX-6R last time out in Jerez. Fellow One Event runners are Italy’s Rodolfo Oliva (Team MotoxRacing – Yamaha) and Portugal’s Pedro Barbosa (Team TARGET / FMP / UNIXIRA – Yamaha).
As ever, Superstock 600 kicks off the WorldSBK weekend as its race is staged on Saturday. The action will begin at 5:50pm local time (GMT +2).
FIM Europe European Superstock 600 Championship (7 of 8 rounds completed)
1 – Toprak Razgatlioglu Kawasaki Puccetti Racing 141*
2 – Michael Ruben Rinaldi San Carlo Team Italia 98 (-43)
3 – Federico Caricasulo PATA Honda Junior Team 86 (-55)
*Already crowned the 2015 Champion