Round six of the 2021 Superbike World Championship is now underway at Autodrom Most in the Czech Republic. The MIE Racing Honda Team is on track with Italian rider Alessandro Delbianco stepping in for Leandro ‘Tati’ Mercado who has tested positive for Covid-19 and is therefore unable to participate.

Encouraged by the progress made at the recent Assen round, the team were keen to make a solid start at what is a new circuit for almost the entire WorldSBK field. The morning’s first free practice provided a first opportunity to get an idea of the track layout as Delbianco got back into the swing of a WorldSBK race weekend, having last competed in this championship in 2019. By the end of this opening phase, the young Italian was lying twenty-first with a best of 1’36.077

Light rain began to fall just as the afternoon’s second practice was about to begin. Most of the Superbike field, Delbianco included, spent the best part of the session in the garage, but riders did head out in the final stages, albeit in wet conditions. With no one able to improve on their morning’s references, Delbianco consolidated twenty-first place at the end of this first day of action.

Alessandro Delbianco 52

P21 1'36.077

“The track is new for me but also for everyone else. Having to adapt to a new track and to a bike that honestly feels quite different to the stock version I’m used to in the CIV has been a bit challenging. Mostly because I asked the guys not to change Tati’s setup so as to avoid any confusion, without considering that he’s 30 cm taller than me! I basically couldn’t reach the handlebar. So I spent FP1 basically getting to grips with the track and the bike. I quite like the track, although I usually prefer tighter corners. The bike, as I said, is different to the one I use in the Italian Championship. It was a pity about the rain in the afternoon, also because some of the riders were able to make one dry lap so the final standings do not really reflect the real performance in the wet. Anyway, it’s all good and I’m happy to be here with the MIE Racing Honda Team. I’m looking forward to tomorrow!”