After facing the rain and cool weather at Donington Park in the U.K., Kawasaki Puccetti Racing now prepares for the stifling heat of Imola, the stage for the seventh round of the Superbike World Championship and Supersport World Championship.
This will be the second home round of the 2023 season for Manuel Puccetti’s team, another opportunity to meet with fans and supporters and to welcome sponsors to the modern and spacious hospitality unit, an identifying symbol of the Emilia-based team.
The latest British round confirmed the progress Lucas Mahias and Tito Rabat are making respectively in the Supersport and Superbike categories. After qualifying a strong fourth in Superpole, the French rider was unable to exploit his starting position in the race, also due to some setup issues. Rabat continues to build his feeling with the Ninja and will be aiming for the points zone again in Italy, without ruling out a top ten finish if the opportunity were to present itself.
This weekend will see the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing bikes flaunting the historic ELF livery, similar to that used in the 80s by “Rocket Ron” Haslam, graphics that Kawasaki Puccetti Racing already used earlier this year at Misano as well as at past Italian rounds. The livery celebrates the partnership between Total Italia and Kawasaki Puccetti Racing, a solid and long-lasting professional relationship that is renewed each year and that is a point of pride for both parties.
The Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola is a very technical track that presents some challenging turns and braking points. WorldSBK has raced at Imola since 2001, with races that have gone down in championship history. A real standout was the final race of 2002 and the battle between Troy Bayliss and Colin Edwards that saw the American secure the world title. The circuit and its facilities underwent restructuring and modernisation work between November 2006 and September 2007, overseen by German Hermann Tilke, an architect who specializes in racetrack design. A new ‘variante bassa’ turn was created in the summer of 2009, while in August 2011 70% of the track was resurfaced.
“Even more so than Misano, Imola represents our home round. Another wonderful occasion to meet with our sponsors and supporters. Our bikes will be dressed in the iconic ELF livery that now characterizes our race events in Italy. I’m sure that this second Italian round serves as added motivation not only for the entire team, but particularly for the riders who will give it their all to score the best possible results.”
“The Imola round is my third event with Kawasaki Puccetti Racing this year. We continued to build experience at Donington and took an important step forward, especially in qualifying. This weekend we should receive some updates in terms of the electronics, and I expect to be more competitive. It’s an important round for the team, because Imola is not far from its base and all our sponsors and fans will be there to support us. Another reason to do well!”
“I haven’t raced at Imola for a long time. I like the track and will do my best to enjoy it after what was a complicated Donington round. I want to be careful in practice and work to build my feeling with the track and, more importantly, find the best setup for my bike. In England I realised that I need to change my approach to the races, and that I need to be even more determined in the early stages. The bike’s very competitive and so it’s up to me to really harness its potential. This is our team’s home round and so it will be important to score to score strong results in front of the fans.”