The Italian venue hosted the first-ever Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup round last year, making it the unofficial birthplace of the FIM Superbike World Championship-supporting series.
Although Maxim Repak (school exams) and Uriel Hidalgo (injury) will be absent from this weekend’s round, seven wildcards will join the remaining 21 season regulars in Misano, all eager to prove their worth in front of the WorldSBK paddock.
Amongst the new entries is Mohammed Abdalaziz Binladin, who becomes the first rider from the United Arab Emirates to race during a world championship weekend. He will be joined by six Italian riders, who all took part in the recent Yamaha R3 bLU cRU Cup Italy, which concluded last weekend at Vallelunga.
The national R3 Cup winner Federico Iacoi and Women’s class champion Josephine Bruno will be joined by Emanuele Cazzaniga, Emiliano Rapanotti, Emiliano Ercolani and Mattia Sorrenti, seeing Italy represented by nine riders.
Brazil’s Enzo Valentim currently leads the standings after a dominant performance last time out at Assen. The 17-year-old won both races and holds an 11-point advantage over fellow Brazilian Kevin Fontainha, who also enjoyed a strong outing in The Netherlands to take his third consecutive podium finish.
Italy’s Devis Bergamini will be looking to close the gap to the top two at his home round, having lost his championship lead in Assen. All three, as well as Poland’s Jurand Kusmierczyk and Italian Andrea Pizzoli, also took part in the recent Yamaha VR46 Master Camp event last month.
Last year it was Repak and eventual title-winner Iker Garcia Abella who shared the spoils at the 3.488 km circuit, and of the returning youngsters Marc Vich Gil enjoyed the strongest performance, with a best result of seventh.
After Thursday’s track walk, the 30-minute Free Practice session on Friday morning will allow the riders to get up to speed at the Misano circuit, before qualifying that afternoon. Saturday will host two races once again, with 50 points up for grabs.