As the World Superbike Championship heads to Misano for the Italian Grand Prix this weekend, four of the championship’s top riders have been commenting on their experience at the Isle of Man TT.
Series leader, Jonathan Rea, was joined by Kawasaki teammate Tom Sykes, Chaz Davies and 2014 champion Sylvain Guintoli on a special parade lap around the Mountain Course.
Sykes, who currently finds himself 124 points behind Rea in the standings, had never been on the famous circuit before but soon began to see just why the event is so popular.
He said: “I can see why all these riders are so in love with the place. I’ve never been round it and suddenly looked down and I’m at 170mph as I go through a village. I would have liked to go behind Milky (TT Rider liaison officer Richard Quayle) the whole way round as I felt I was riding blind when I wasn’t behind him and was really relaxed when I was. We had a fantastic reaction from the crowd and it was a great experience. I only wish I’d been able to do a few more laps.”
The circuit also had a lasting impression on Ducati’s Davies, who was full of admiration for those riders who choose to compete in the event.
Davis said: “There was so much to take in over one lap. It was like nothing else I’ve done. My respect levels for the road racers were really high before this but seeing this now, feeling the bumps they’re gone through the roof. I’m currently on a safety commission for WSBK and we complain about a few bumps but it’s fair to say my perspective has definitely changed.”
Guintoli, who made the switch from Aprilia to Honda for the 2015 season, was impressed by the speeds that riders are able to reach on the circuit.
The former Moto GP rider said: “What an unbelievable feeling. That felt so fast. I had to push to follow the other riders. I looked down at one point at the speedometer and it said 170 and I thought that’s not right and I even managed to outbreak myself at one point. What a track.”
All four riders will now be concentrating on Misano this weekend, with the first practice session getting underway at 10:15 tomorrow morning.
The races themselves take place on Sunday, with race one scheduled for 09:30 and race two due to take place at 12:10.