Team Hero EBR
Round Two Preview – Chang International Circuit, Thailand 20-22nd March 2015
Team Hero EBR will take its second step on the 2015 championship trail this coming weekend when Larry Pegram and Niccolo Canepa get their first taste of track action at the all-new 4.554km long Chang International Circuit near the town of Buriram in north-eastern Thailand.
In what will only be the second race weekend for the current Hero EBR team the riders will get an extra-long first practice session to learn the layout and find a basic set-up to take forward to practice and qualifying, in readiness for each points-scoring race on Sunday 22nd March.
In the opening round of the year at Phillip Island in Australia last month rider/team manager Larry Pegram secured two finishes, in 18th and then 14th place, putting him 18th in the overall championship standings at the beginning of what is his first full-time WSB campaign.
His team-mate Niccolo Canepa had been on great early season testing form but a fall in race one in Australia injured a tendon in his left ankle, forcing him out of participation in race two.
Canepa has been undergoing a period of recuperation ever since to be in the best possible shape for the expected intense heat and humidity that awaits all the WSB competitors this coming weekend.
The new circuit in Thailand features two long straights, several tight corners but few fast curves. It is generally flat in nature and has already hosted an Asia Road Racing Championship round last year. This will be the first time, however, that any circuit in Thailand has run a WSB race weekend. When track action starts on Friday 20th Chang will becomes the 48th different circuit to have be used in the 28-year history of the series.
With no regular WSB teams having been there to test before the Hero EBR squad should be at less of a disadvantage than they may be at some other tracks, where their more experienced rivals have years’ worth of transferrable data and previous machine settings to refer to.
“I am very excited to go to Thailand. For our Hero EBR team and myself it’s a new track but it is also new for everyone else and that means we are all on level playing field. I am also anxious to see how we stack up against the other teams. At Phillip Island I think we surprised a lot of people. I think that we will continue to do so in Thailand.”
“Every day my ankle is better and I am happy because I have started to train again and this will be important. It will be very hot in Thailand so I need to be in shape. My ankle still hurts a bit but not too much so I think I can still ride the bike without any problems. Chang is a new track but I am usually very fast in learning them. I am positive about the weekend and the only difficulty may be in understanding how hot it will be. I have seen the forecast and it is not easy to ride in these conditions – but it will be the same for everybody. I think we have done ten days of testing now, and then the race weekend in Australia, so I really know my bike now. We still need to learn some things and understand some things because every track is different. In some ways the tracks are all new for us so it is not easy, but I have a very good feeling with this bike and also with the team. We are already a group, very close, and we help each other to find a solution when we ha ve a problem. This is very important for a team and it makes everything easier.”