Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx) followed by Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) in Estoril – the Turk has already tested this year at Misano and is in excellent shape. Can he keep ahead of Scott Redding there, after he is the first pursuer in the title hunt behind the reigning world champion?

Some WorldSBK driver voices before Championship round 3 in Misano

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) World Championship leader:I’m really looking forward to coming back to the Adriatic coast, especially after we missed the races there due to the pandemic last year. It’s a track that I really enjoy driving. I really like the route itself as well as the Italian hospitality. The area is amazing, and I always enjoy spending time there with my family, on the beach and by the sea. The food, the fans, it has absolutely everything. Especially next weekend as we have some fans behind the track, which will make it even more special. The first races were good. We were able to change the properties of our Ninja ZX-10RR in Estoril and my crew has significantly improved their drivability in an even wider window. In the middle of the summer months, I think of all the work in the preseason. Misano is a fairly flat stretch, and it has been re-paved for this. I had a strange feeling during the tests last year, but we were still fast. Now I’m looking forward to the challenge this weekend and to seeing fans out on the track again.“

Misano-winner Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki, left) photographed by us in an interview in June 2019 after the first race with Tom Sykes in second place. According to the current forecast, it does not currently look like another rain race.

Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team) as the fourth in the interim ranking:Since we didn’t have a normal calendar last year, I haven’t raced for Kawasaki on many of this year’s tracks. But I know Misano very well, and I know that it has done well there in the past. I’m really looking forward to challenging myself by riding the green machine in Italy. We have a good basic setup on the bike that we developed in the winter tests. It worked on a lot of tracks, so I’m pretty confident it will work in Italy too. I look forward to getting active again. It will be important to work hard and well on Friday. I know the track was repaved last year, so we need to check the tire life and which tires are working. Especially at the front because that can be very critical on the racetrack at the Adriatic coast. It’s just great to come back to Italy. Misano is always a fantastic lap and one that we missed last year

Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team) in Estoril ahead of Andrea Locatelli (Yamaha), where he suffered a fall on Saturday. In the two races on Sunday, however, the fast man from Lincoln showed two excellent races and regained many points that were previously lost. Only ten of them are currently missing from Scott Redding and third place in the World Championship.

Tom Sykes (BMW) Arriving as World Championship eighth and with a podium 2 years ago in Misano: I’m really looking forward to the Misano round of the WorldSBK calendar, of course. It’s a track that I really enjoy. It will certainly be tight in terms of lap times because it’s pretty tight and twisty, but of course we want to be competitive. We’ve had some strong results there in the past with the BMW S1000 RR, so hopefully we can improve those with the updated M-RR. That is definitely my goal, and it would be fantastic. We had already celebrated a podium there. If I can do something similar this weekend, that’s exactly what we need. Overall, it’s a fantastic place and I look forward to being there again.

Michael van der Mark (BMW) as seventh in the interim ranking before the Italy round: Misano is one of my favorite courses. I missed going there last year. I love the track, I love the layout, and I’m looking forward to it. It’s a completely different track again compared to Aragon and Estoril, but I think it will suit the BMW very well and especially how the bike works now. After some good results in Spain and Portugal, a completely different layout and I think we can do really well there. As for the goals for the weekend, I think it’s still difficult to say where we stand. But I think we should be close to the top 5. We’ve already got some good results, the gap is still a little too big. Still, I believe I can do really well in Italy.

The works team duo of the blue and whites with Tom Sykes in front of “Magic Michael” van der Mark – the new M-1000RR definitely seems to be a step forward, but there were still too many problems in the first two laps. Compared to HRC Honda, the German-English team with an English and a Dutch driver is in a much better position at the moment. The private BMW drivers struggled in Portugal, however, with Eugene Laverty in particular showing an upward trend.

Stand in the WorldSBK World Championship

>WSBK Misano Preview & schedule: see separate report on this page.

Unless otherwise mentioned, applies to all images (© WorldSBK).