The World Superbike
paddock heads off for Round 8 this weekend in Italy and… AAAANNNNGGG! Wrong, you fool! Misano is in San Marino – an independent republic surrounded by Italy. Look it up, they got their own stamps and everything there. See, if you don’t even know where WSB is racing, how are you going to pick Fantasy Superbike
riders without our help?
Max Biaggi takes his wins by the double. May as well choose him twice this weekend.
Max Biaggi (Aprilia) – 267 points:
If you had to bet the farm on a rider, it would be old Maxwell. The Aprilia ace has the most wins as the season heads on the downhill side of the schedule. All six victories have come in double-victory fashion too. When Max wins, he wins big.
Leon Haslam (Suzuki) – 247 points:
Haslam’s been flawless really, up until Miller where he crashed out of Race 2. The costliest of DNFs gifted the points lead to Biaggi (the real SBK points lead, not our pretend fantasy lead…). So how will the Alstare Suzuki rider respond at Misano? We’re betting on the steps.
Jonathan Rea (Honda) – 166 points:
Rea has one of the highest points total, but his consistency is killing us in fantasy racing. One race on the steps, another on top of them, the next in gravel. A solid Maybe in our mind, but a tenacious one worth pulling for, and don’t forget Rea’s first career SBK victory at Misano in 2009.
Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) – 107 points:
Take almost everything we said about Rea and paste it here. Tremendous upside, but inconsistent. Crutchlow’s a difference-making wild card pick that could prove quite savvy and seems to be getting faster with every round.
Noriyuki Haga (Ducati) – 135 points
What happened to Michel Fabrizio's 2010 campaign? The Italian has been too streaky, and is not living up to the high expectations of a Ducati factory ride.
: Is Nitro Nori back? Maybe…
James Toseland (Yamaha) – 132 points:
Fast in recent tests at Misano. Toseland’s still winless since his SBK demotion from MotoGP. It has to smart too that in rumors to fill Rossi’s vacant seat, his teammate Cal Crutchlow was the one lined up for a temporary GP promotion. Could be good motivation for Sunday.
Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) – 107 points:
The Italian’s poor season didn’t get much better last round with his underwhelming 9-DNF byline. Think Ducati wants Bayliss back in the saddle much?
Carlos Checa (Ducati) – 166 points:
Carlos, Carlos… You broke our heart at Miller, or rather your Althea Ducati broke our heart. Checa was bound for an astounding 60 point pickup, with two wins and two fastest laps. As it stands his 10 point-double DNF weekend is an oddity we hope doesn’t replicate at Misano. The pick of the B-Rider lot, in our esteem anyway.
Leon Camier (Aprilia) – 115 points:
Carlos Checa should have nabbed 60 points last round, but his Duc crapped out.
The reigning British Superbike Champ is looking faster than ever this season. Like many of the young guns, his consistency is questionable, but Camier’s podium chances may be the best of the B-Riders.
Troy Corser (BMW) – 127 points:
The model of consistency, the former champ seems capable of more podiums, if his BMW didn’t churn through tires so quick. Still a valuable B-Rider selection.
Jakub Smrz (Ducati) – 61 points:
Smrz was the standout, after Checa, at Miller with his Pata B&G Ducati a surprise in practice and qualifying, but like Checa, crapping out in the races.
Shane Byrne (Ducati) – 81 points:
Shakey seems a reliable top-10 rider, with a podium to his credit in seasons past.
Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki) – 100 points:
Haslam’s teammate hasn’t been much heralded, but consistently a top-10 finisher. His 8-6 result at Miller wasn’t breath-taking, but it snagged some points.
Ruben Xaus (BMW) – 53 points:
Has managed solid finishes aboard the Beemer, but more often than not his BMW doesn’t finish in one solid piece!
Choose your poison in the B-Riders. Now that the season waxes on, the prime selections must yield to the backmarker picks. Anyone can pick the good guys and do well, but can you find those extra points from the bottom-of-the-barrel that separate you from the Fantasy Superbike
The Kawasakis keep working hard, but the Ninja is struggling mightily in the stacked SBK field.
Aprilia Racing has the best 1-2 punch in the paddock with Biaggi and Camier. Alstare Suzuki and Sterilgarda Yamaha are solid picks too. Ducati Xerox should be a safe bet, but they aren’t, with the Althea Ducati satellite squad perhaps a safer selection… If they can keep Checa’s racebike running! As for the Kawasakis, it seems as though Team Green has pretty well cashed in the chips and are doubling down for their 2011 ride. That doesn’t mean Chris Vermeulen and company will be playing it safe, but getting any points at all seems a victory for the Kawasakis.
Get your Fantasy Superbike picks in now!