As the circus of Superbikes moves towards Czech Republic's Brno is time to look back and find who were the most successful riders and machines at the Czech circuit trying to figure out who might be in advantage to come on on top.
Aprilia have won three times there with Max Biaggi: in Race 1 in 2009 and Race 2 in 2010 and 2011. Their six podiums in Brno were also secured by Biaggi, from 2009 to 2011 the Italian Champion always finished in first or second with Aprilia.
Back In 2012 for their last weekend in Brno, Biaggi was again the best Aprilia rider as he recorded a fourth place in Race 2 despite starting only in fourteenth.
Alike Aprilia, BMW has an Italian rider to thank for their best performances in Brno, as Marco Melandri recorded a double-win in 2012.
Those two wins, in the last two races run at this circuit are the only podium placements for BMW on the record sheets of the Czech track.
Ducati has been the most successful manufacturer in Brno scoring five wins and 17 podium finishes. The wins span 15 years from the success in 1993’s Race 1 from Carl Fogarty, to 2008 when Troy Bayliss scored a double-win starting from pole.
In the middle there was another double from Troy Corser, in 1996. In their last weekend here in 2012 Carlos Checa was their fastest rider, with a fourth in Race 1 and a third in Race 2. Interestingly, all the Ducati wins in Brno came from pole.
Honda have won twice at Brno, in 2007’s Race 1, with James Toseland and in 2010’s Race 1, with Jonathan Rea. They are second in the Brno rankings for podiums with 15, just behind Ducati’s 17. All this success came without the advantage of a single pole position, as the best grid spot for a Honda bike in Brno is a second place, recorded in qualifying in 1996 by Carl Fogarty and in 2006 by James Toseland.
With 2012 as the last race run in Brno, Kawasaki are yet to make a significant impact on the records. They have won once here, back in 1993’s Race 2 with Scott Russell, and climbed on the podium six times - the last one in 2012, when Tom Sykes and Loris Baz were on the podium three times out of possible four in the races. In 2012 Sykes recorded the only Kawasaki pole position at Brno. The 2012 Brno podiums for Kawasaki were the first ones since the 2001 Sugo round.
As for Yamaha, the Japanese manufacturer holds the record for pole positions in the circuit - four. They recorded this feat in just five years: from 2006 to 2010 as they qualified on pole position four times out of five possible. Yamaha have won three times here with three different riders: Noriyuki Haga in 2005 Race 2; Ben Spies in 2009 Race 2 and Marco Melandri in 2011 Race 1.
The Japanese machines have not only been the fastest bike in qualifying, with the aforementioned four poles, but also the fastest bike in the races, as the fastest race lap went eight times to the YZF-R1 from 2005 to 2011, matching the same, record, value for this track set by Ducati from 1993 to 2012.
So the real question here is, can Kawasaki improve their record? Or will Yamaha continue their strong run of form at Brno?