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Marvin Fritz in the World Superbike Championship: Why the original plan fell through

At the WSBK event in Estoril, Marvin Fritz will start as a substitute rider: In an exclusive interview, he explains why it was not possible to ride all the European races

Marvin Fritz is back in the paddock of the World Superbike Championship. At the third WSBK event of the current season, Fritz will take over the Yamaha R1 from Roberto Tamburini (Motoxracing), who injured himself during the break between Assen and Estoril. Actually Fritz had planned to contest all the European races this year. We asked why this plan could not be realised.

The World Endurance Championship clearly has priority for Fritz. Immediately before the trip to Estoril, he tested together with his YART team at Spa. “It was a cool test in Spa and a short night. I was home at 11pm and got up again at 3am because I was heading for the airport at 4am. I only slept four hours,” he reports, adding, “Today it’s off to the hotel early to get some more sleep.”

Fritz is very familiar with the course in Estoril. “I know the course well from the endurance race. We were right at the top of the podium there. I think that the course suits me,” the German comments and emphasises: “I definitely don’t want to rush things here. “

More substitute pilot assignments in prospect

“Of course it’s a shame for Roberto Tamburini. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’ll be fit again quickly. I see it as a good chance to show myself and ride without pressure,” explains Fritz before the start of training in Portugal.

It is conceivable that Fritz will ride for the Motoxracing team again at the upcoming event. “We have to see if Roberto will be fit again by Misano. It’s only three weeks. Tomorrow he will have an ankle operation. Niccolo (Canepa) broke his ankle a year ago in the spring and it took him two months to be able to perform and train properly again,” notes the Yamaha rider.

What is the technical status of the Yamaha R1 from Motoxracing

When Fritz goes to Estoril, he will have to get used to a different version of the Yamaha R1 and to the Pirelli tyres. He last rode with Pirelli tyres in September 2021. “The bike is completely different,” he explains. “And then I also have to get used to the Pirelli tyres again. I haven’t ridden on Pirelli since last year in Jerez. But I’m going for it without any pressure,” said Fritz.

“The team has a lot of data. It’s Loris Baz’s bike, the 2020 Ten-Kate bike, so it’s a bit older, but it’s still great,” he notes, comparing: “I know the endurance bike very well. It has less power and is easier to ride. In Most it was maybe not so bad. But in Jerez it was certainly a disadvantage. “

Why Marvin Fritz is no longer racing in the World Superbike Championship

Fritz made a strong impression during his guest starts in Most and Jerez last year. As a result, the plan was developed to do even more races in the World Superbike Championship in 2022 and to switch to WSBK as a regular rider in 2023. However, the plan to ride all the European races was not realised. Why?

“We get a lot of support from Yamaha in the World Endurance Championship. The goal is to win the world championship title. Last year, Yamaha won everything there was to win, with the exception of the World Endurance Championship. We want to change that this year. That’s why the World Endurance Championship is our clear goal. It is above everything,” Fritz reasons.

“Sure, I would have liked to do more races in the World Superbike Championship. But it’s very difficult financially,” he admits. “We had a sponsor in sight, but unfortunately that didn’t work out. That’s why it all disappeared into thin air. But the plan is to do two or three guest starts.”

Which races would Fritz like to start in this year? “Most was planned. Unfortunately, right after that is the endurance race in Suzuka. That is the most important race of the year. The practice sessions start in Suzuka on Monday. That’s why we don’t know yet whether we can race in Most,” he muses.

More realistic is to compete in the races in Barcelona and Portimao in autumn. “The budget is always problematic. But we have a guest start planned, maybe even a second one,” he explains. “Barcelona and Portimao would be ideal because we could go straight from the Bol d’Or. “

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