Ottobiano (Italy), 20 April 2017 – After a long winter break, the 2017 FIM Supermoto European Championship season is about to start this weekend at Ottobiano, Italy. The famous Ottobiano Motorsports Park in the city of Pavia will host the first race of the European championship, an venue which already hosted many events in the past and is one the best utilized circuits in Europe. Biggest change for this year’s season is the separation of the FIM Supermoto European and World championship races. The European championship rounds are open for all riders so not only for last season’s S2 class, but also for the S1GP riders. At the start in Italy the new S4 class will make its debut as well.
In Ottobiano the defending World champion TM Team Factory rider Thomas Chareyre will be present on the starting grid. The fast Frenchman will do his best to leave Italy with the red plate on his bike, but Chareyre will also try to take double in 2017, World and European champion.
With a lot of rider and team changes, Chareyre will not be the only rider who will try to achieve this goal. Runner-up in the World championship from last year Marc-Reiner Schmidt joined the new BRT SWM team together with Italian rider Edgardo Borella. After developing through the winter Schmidt and Borella will try to bring SWM and their selves back to the top again.
Team TM Degasoline Motorsport will have two new riders this season, after Schmidt decided to join SWM. Pavel Kejmar, last year’s number three, has joined the Italian based team together with the young Belgium rider Romain Kaivers who has to pass the first round due to an injury.
The Spanish team Suzuki Grau Racing will be back in 2017 as well with two riders in the S2 class. David Gimenez and Zoe Parra will defend the yellow Suzuki colours in Ottobiano.
The biggest team at the first round of the European championship season will be Gazza Honda Racing with in total five riders. Italian riders Luca Ciaglia, Lorenzo Promutico and Emerick Bunod extended their contracts with Gazza Racing and will ride the Honda again. They are joined by Finnish riders Aaro Harvia, who is back after his injury in 2016, and Patrick Ala-Heikkila, who is new to the championship.
At the TM Factory Racing team, led by Alex Serafini, nothing has changed for 2017. Diego Monticelli and Joan Llados will be riding the TM again, joined by five times World champion Thomas Chareyre.
MTR KTM Racing from Franco Mollo, one of the oldest teams in the paddock, will have one rider at the start in Italy. New Finnish rider Eero Madisson will defend the orange colours of KTM.
The numbers two and three of the S2 European championship in 2016, Milan Sitniansky (Honda Tuning Motorsport) and Giovanni Bussei (TM SBD Racing) will also be present again with their private racing teams and will try to set some good results at the start in Ottobiano. Italian home rider Gabriele Gianola from J-Team Racing will ride the complete season as well in 2017 on Honda.
In total 25 riders will start this weekend at the first race of the FIM European Supermoto championship. In a field of factory teams and private teams the action will be intense at the first race of the season. Together with the good weather predictions, it will be a prefect start of the new season.