Jonathan Rea in action at Portimao Pata Honda riders Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam are preparing for this weekend’s (28-30 June) two seventh-round World Superbike championship races at Imola in Italy.

The historic 4.936km Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari has witnessed some classic Superbike battles over the years, with both Rea and Haslam sharing in success and visits to the podium.

A big fan of the challenging and undulating circuit, Rea won at Imola in his first race back following a long injury lay-off in 2011 and technical issues have almost certainly deprived the 26-year-old Ulsterman of further podium visits.

Haslam, meanwhile was on the Imola podium twice last season and is confident that further improvements in the strength and mobility of the leg that he injured at Assen in April will allow him to be more race-ready this weekend.


Jonathan Rea in action at the last round in Portimao

Jonathan Rea in action at the last round in Portimao

Jonathan Rea:

We’ve had a few frustrating rounds lately, with little problems affecting our results. The bike is competitive though, so hopefully the guys have had some time back at the workshop, analysing the data with my comments, to make some progress. I’m looking forward to seeing that progress this weekend at a circuit that I really enjoy. Imola has a bit of everything and we get really close to the fans in some places, which really adds to the special atmosphere. I’ve had a good break to recharge the batteries and reflect on the first half of the season. Hopefully, we can maintain our podium form and develop the package so we can start to really challenge for race wins.

Leon Haslam - making progress

Leon Haslam – making progress

Leon Haslam:

It’s been a long and really repetitive road trying to get my leg back in the kind of shape that I can ride with it, but we’ve definitely made some more progress since Portugal. I had one of the screws removed last week and that’s reduced the pain when I’m on the bike. I did a race school at Donington soon afterwards and it definitely felt a lot better. I’m confident that I’ll be able to race at Imola, which I’m really looking forward to. It’s given me mixed results over the years – my engine blew in 2010 when I was chasing the championship, but I got a double podium there last year. I love the place, so I’m really looking forward to riding there.


2013 World Superbike championship, round seven

Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – weekend schedule (local times – GMT+2)


Friday 28 June

11.45-12.30 Free practice

15.30-16.15 Qualifying 1


Saturday 29 June

09.45-10.30 Qualifying 2

12.30-13.15 Free practice

15.00-15.14 Superpole 1

15.40-15.50 Superpole 3


Sunday 30 June

09.20-09.35 Warm-up

12.00 Race 1 (21 laps 103.656km)

15.30 Race 2 (21 laps 103.656km)

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