The Italian rider will be contesting in the 2013 CIV this season for Superbike team X° Mas Racing and will be riding a MV Agusta F4 and he announced it via his Twitter account earlier today: “This time I dribbled everyone. CIV SBK Mv Agusta! Guys, it is so satisfying being part of the Castiglioni family!”
The new team will be run by Mauro Scardassa, while the technical staff will be headed by Massimo Venturini and while Lanzi and the squad did not test during last weekend’s CIV test at Imola, they are expected to test somewhere between the end of March in order to be ready for the opening round of championship that starts on April 6th at Mugello.
While Brett McCormick took to his Facebook page to announce that he will not be racing in 2013, despite having talked to teams in WSBK, British Superbike and AMA Superbike - he doesn’t want to pay to ride - his former Effenbert Liberty team dropped out during the 2012 season after axing three of their four riders for different and unexplainable reasons, but mainly because they were cash strapped.
In January there were rumors that the Czech team could be making a World Superbike comeback and debut in next month’s Aragon round on BMW machinery.
The team has now updated their website with “Team Effenbert Liberty Racing is back” and also posted the above photo of the BMW S1000RR with a new livery, and the team website is also following all the current WSBK news, including a clock ticking down the number of days and hours to the Aragon round.
However speedweek.de is reporting that the image is just photoshopped, even if Liberty Racing did indeed lease two BMW’s and was in talks with Lorenzo Lanzi to ride, but it seems that the Italian rider turned them down because team owner Mario Bertuccio’s comeback plans were more wishful thinking than anything else, and also because he didn’t want to ride unfamiliar machinery without testing.
If the team should return to World Superbikes, the German website is also stating that there will be a line of creditors waiting for them at the door, starting with the team’s former employees, who’ve so far have only received a third of their 2012 wages and they want to bring their grievances to Dorna and apparently Pirelli is also waiting to be paid.
The last time we heard about the Effenbert Liberty team was last November when it was rumored that the Czech based team was working on making a comeback to the World Superbike championship - after all their 2012 ups and down - retaining their last rider Brett McCormick (they fired Sylvain Guintoli, Jakub Smrz and Maxime Berger during the last part of the season) fielding him on BMW machinery.
Now the latest rumor is coming from speedweek.de who is reporting that Mario Bertuccio’s team will be returning - seemingly without the backing of Effenbert - and will be fielding instead of McCormick, 31-year-old veteran rider Lorenzo Lanzi who replaced axed Jakub Smrz at the Nurburgring and Portimao rounds.
The team is said to be starting the season from the second round at Aragon on April 14th, although at the moment it is unclear whether Lanzi will competing in the entire championship or if the team will take part only in European rounds, and it seems that Liberty Racing will not be receiving their bike from BMW Italia, but will be rolling out a BMW S1000RR that was used during the 2012 Italian Superbike championship.
If Liberty Racing does return it could bring the grid number up to 18 or even 19 as HTM Racing’s Ivan Clementi is currently testing at Jerez with the other SBK teams - however the official 2013 entry list has yet to be confirmed.
If it was any other team announcing they won’t be taking part in the final round of the World Superbike season at Magny Cours this upcoming weekend, we’d probably be saying what a pity, that’s a shame, but since the rumor involves Effenbert Liberty Racing, it just seems a foregone conclusion that the team would finally fizzle out and fold, despite promises to finish the season.
After starting the 2012 championship fielding four riders, Sylvain Guintoli, Jakub Smrz, Maxime Berger and Brett McCormick, the Italo-Czech team started coming apart at the seams halfway through the season.
Sylvain Guintoli left - supposedly he hadn’t been been paid - and they turned around and accused him of poor results. They skipped the Moscow round to undergo a complete reorganization process which involved Smrz getting canned and replaced by Lorenzo Lanzi, but the Czech rider became of victim of ‘vicissitudes of contractual nature’. It was then Maxime Berger’s turn over ‘breach of contract’ and now poor Brett McCormick who suffered a terrible injury at Assen and at Portimao scored an excellent 5th place in Race 1 will not even get the chance to finish the season.
It looks like Effenbert Liberty Racing Team has gone and done it again, and just before the Nurburgring round. After Sylvain Guintoli quit the team at Brno, it now seems that Jakub Smrz will no longer riding for the Italian Czech team (it still has to be officially confirmed) and has been replaced by Lorenzo Lanzi, who is currently on track in the first free practice session.
The 30-year old Lanzi - whose last racing effort was at Assen for World Supersport team ProRace, where he won the wet race - left early this morning for Germany and via Twitter said he would be riding a twin cylinder machine. Effenbert Liberty has been suffering financial difficulties and skipped the Moscow round. and in a previous press release has stated that they would start a ‘constructive reorganisation of its human, technical and logistical resources,” but no one expected that Smrz would become part of the human resources reorganization.
Check back with us later to see if Liberty Racing issues one of their usual statements.
Effenbert Liberty has finally released a very brief and curt press release - a little late considering that Lanzi already finished the first free practice - stating the motive for dropping Smrz is’reorganisation.’ Weirdly enought this ‘reorganisation process’ took place yesterday evening with Smrz already at Nurburgring ready to start the weekend and Liberty’s pre-race press issue had confirnmed his partecipation, “On track to hold high the colors of the Effenbert team there will be: Kuba Smrz, third in Race 2 in Silverstone and author of the Superpole in Salt Lake City and Silverstone.”
“The Effenbert Liberty Racing Team goes on in its reorganisation of its human, technical and logistical resources for the next racing season. For this reason the Team would like to inform that for this Germany GP the Italian rider Lorenzo Lanzi replaces Kuba Smrž.”
Lanzi is a three-time World Superbike race winner having raced for Caracchi Ducati and then Ducati Xerox and in 2010 for DFX Corse where he took a second place podium at Imola. In 2011 he replaced injured James Toseland at BMW Italia for the Misano, Motorland Aragon and Brno rounds.
The Italian rider spent just a season in World Supersport, but it was back in 2004 on a Breil-liveried factory Ducati 749R where he finished 5th overall.
“I am delighted to begin this new adventure with Prorace,” said Lanzi. “I have known them for a few years and they offered me the ride. World Supersport is very competitive and it won’t be easy to stay with the guys at the front, but I’ve been training hard during the winter and I am in perfect shape. It’ll be strange for me to race a Honda in World Supersport. My only experience in this championship, of which I have great memories, was on a Ducati, so my riding style is set up for this type of bike.”
Lanzi 29, debuted in World Superbikes in 2005 and has three victories to his name, twice in 2005 and a third in 2008, all on Ducati’s for various teams, his last podium was a second place in 2010 in race 1 at Imola, riding for the now defunct DFX Corse team.
The Italian was unable to find a team this season, so his debut on Toseland’s BMW S1000RR will give him a chance to be seen again and maybe a shot of finding a team to ride for next year.
This afternoon’s QP1 at Magny-Cours saw privateer Lorenzo Lanzi on the DFX Corse Ducati take the top spot on the time charts. Lanzi fresh from last week’s podium in race 2 at Imola put in a best lap of 1′38.856 which put him in front of Michel Fabrizio on the factory Ducati.
Third went to World Champion Max Biaggi followed by an excellent Luca Scassa who lead most of the session with his Supersonic Ducati, finishing in fourth and making it an all Italian provisional front row in a very tight session.
Cal Crutchlow closed out the first qualifying session with a fifth place despite a crash. Noriyuki Haga, who also crashed, laid down the sixth best time, while newly confirmed Troy Corser (BMW) and Carlos Checa (Athea Ducati) were seventh and eighth respectively, with the Spaniard who won both races at Imola, making a decent jump forward from the earlier free practice.
As we wait to see whether Max Biaggi can steal a win off the Race 1 winner Carlos Checa in Race 2 at Imola today, the local Italian crowd has had the pleasure of seeing Michele Pirro win in the Supersport class with his Hannspree Honda bike. He managed to steal the win from the usual protagonists Kenan Sofuoglu and Eugene Laverty who messed up at the end of the race and handed Pirro the win.
It’s a nice victory at Imola as the Italians say goodbye to the last Superbike Ducati race on home soil. Race 1 saw an amazing triple Ducati show on the podium with Carlos Checa in first place, followed by Lorenzo Lanzi and Noriyuki Haga. What a way to bring it home, with Imola providing an exciting spectacle and Ducati proving that it can still compete. Perhaps it might change some minds in the echelons of the company as to just how precious the superbike is to product development and image, Valentino Rossi or not.
Max Biaggi and Leon Haslam both made mistakes, with Haslam finishing fifth behind Jakub Smrz while sixth place went to Tom Sykes who had the race well wrapped up for most of it. But on to Max Biaggi - is it pressure or nerves? The extremely experienced rider stuffed-up more than once and in Race 1 has had to content himself with 11th position. That’s a big disappointment for Aprilia but Race 2 is underway and all will be revealed soon. The 52 points still held between Biaggi and Haslam have left Aprilia hoping for a party on home ground after the second race.
DFX Corse has announced that due to force majeure they will be skipping the next two upcoming rounds of the World Superbike Championship that take place May 16th at Kyalami (South Africa ) and May 31st at Miller Motorsports Park (USA).
The team and Lorenzo Lanzi will be back for the European round at Misano Adriatico scheduled for June 27th.
According to rumors from yesterday’s races at Monza, DFX Corse will probably not be the only team that will miss the two overseas rounds.