Cluzel targets the win at Imola


CIA Landlord Insurance Honda rider, Jules Cluzel has his sights set on the top step of the podium at Round Five of the World Supersport Championship this weekend at the iconic Autodromo Internationale Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola in Italy.

Cluzel is in great shape after claiming a well-deserved third place at Assen which was his first podium of the season and is confident that he is back in contention for the World Title.  He said: “I am really excited for this race and I think we can do even better than Assen because we improved a lot on the bike   We worked really well in Assen, every session we improved.  I am looking forward to this race and to be better than third because we need to take more points in the Championship.”

Teammate Hikari Okubo had a disappointing result last time out at Assen after injuring his ankle when he was brought down by oil on the track in Friday’s Free Practice and the Japanese rider is aiming to get back into the top six at Imola.  He said: “It was not a good result for me at Assen but I have been training hard in the UK.  I like the Imola track and I can get a good result there.”

Swiss rider, Robin Mulhauser will also be hoping Imola will bring him some better results after a disappointing weekend in the Netherlands.  Robin said: “After a bad race weekend in Assen I’m looking forward to Imola, not only for normal weather – not cold like the North Pole in Assen, but also to find my good feeling on the bike and having my good race pace back.”

Hiromichi Kunikawa is aiming to continue the improvement he has made at the previous two rounds of the European Supersport Championship at his first visit to Imola this weekend.  He said: “We did not get what we expected at Assen but we were able to improve.  This is my first time at Imola but I think I can improve again so I will do my best.”

CIA Landlord Insurance Team Manager, Simon Buckmaster said: “It was a good result for Jules at Assen.  We are not in a position to play it safe now, we need to win races it’s as simple as that.  We need to finish every race, be on the podium in all of them and win some races.  For me it’s all about Cluzel and Sofuoglu and if we consistently beat Kenan I still believe Jules will be World Champion. Jules really likes Imola and we have improved our package so Jules needs to be smooth and concentrate on riding the bike very consistently.  Even now we still have some improves we can do to the bike and even though I think that Jules is the best rider out there, I believe he can still improve.  It’s all to play for so bring it on and may the best team win.

Hikari was unlucky to be injured at Assen.  It was a disappointing performance from him, the cold conditions are not the best situation for him.  He needs to work on that to become the complete package as a WSS rider.  We work hard and support him with that.

It was the same for Robin at Assen.  I know that Assen is not one of his favourite circuits but that doesn’t count.  You have to work hard, be at your best and fast at all tracks if you want to challenge for the World Championship.  Robin is a good strong rider so we will reset for Imola and we want to get him into the top ten.

This is a learning year for Hiromichi, every track is new to him but the more times he gets on the bike the more consistent he gets.  That’s what it’s all about, he knows that and we know that.  He’s a great guy to work with and we will continue our learning curve into Imola.”