After a disappointing weekend in Germany last time out which saw Broc Parkes and Makoto Tamada involved in an opening corner accident, which ruled the Japanese rider out of the meeting with concussion and left Australian Parkes to race his spare machine, both are hoping for a strong showing at Imola.
27-year-old Parkes has a good record at the Italian track and is confident of success whereas 32-year-old Tamada is looking to salvage something from a disastrous, injury-ridden season aboard the www.supercasino.com, Vent-Axia, Kick Energy and Henleys-backed Kawasaki Superbike Racing Team Ninja ZX-10Rs.
Meanwhile, team boss Paul Bird will be hoping he can bring some silverware of his own to the team in the final two rounds of the World Rally Championship.
For the Salou-based Rally de Espagne on October 2/4th and Rally GB which starts in Cardiff some three weeks later, the Cumbrian has been drafted into the official Munchi's Ford World Rally Team alongside Argentine driver Federico Villagra whereby he will drive a works Ford Focus WRC as one of the ten 'A' seeded drivers.
Broc Parkes: "I'm looking forward to the Imola race as I have had podiums in WSS there before and also a couple of top tens in WSB. I really enjoy the circuit and it has a great atmosphere. Nurburgring was a tough weekend after I was taken out in the first race and I was lucky not to break any bones, but I had skin taken off my bottom which made it uncomfortable to ride but I'm feeling good now and ready to race. For Imola, we have some more things to try on the bike so I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes. Each race we seem to be making progress and I would really like to be back in the top ten in Imola."
Makoto Tamada: "The test went well earlier in the season at Imola and I am pretty confident about the circuit. We were still relatively behind the leaders in terms of lap times at the test, but the bike feeling has improved significantly since then and I was confident on the race set-up at Nurburgring but unfortunately the crash in race one took me out of both races. I have no significant injury and my broken finger from Brno is healed so I am 100% fit for Imola. If the bike works well as it did in Brno and Nurburgring, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R should finish in an easy top ten. I guess it depends on me if we can finish in the top five, or even on the podium."
Sunday 27th September
1100-1200 LIVE WSB race one on British Eurosport & Eurosport HD
1540-1630 WBS race two on British Eurosport 2
1800-1900 Highlights on British Eurosport 2
2335-0035 Highlights on British Eurosport
British Eurosport is available in the UK on Sky channel 410 and Virgin Media channel 521 or British Eurosport 2 available on Sky 411 and Virgin Media 525. Also live on your PC via the Eurosport Player