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Round 1 of the Italian Speed Championship took place last weekend at the Misano World Circuit.

Among the protagonists of the Superbike category was Kevin Manfredi from Spezzino who, after the last October race on the Imola track, took to the track again astride the Suzuki gsxr1000 of Team Penta Motorsport without having carried out any tests during the winter break.

A very important weekend for Kevin and Team Penta, which we remember is a private team that does not enjoy the advantages offered by the support of the Hamamatsu manufacturer but which despite this managed, thanks to the help of the Spezzino rider, to bring Suzuki back to the positions of summit throughout the weekend, between Teams and official riders of the caliber of Michele Pirro, Ducati MotoGP test rider.

After some technical problems both in qualifying 1 on Friday and in qualifying 2 on Saturday which slowed down the progress of the Suzuki number 34, the Team and the technicians worked hard to resolve the problems before the start of Race 1.

Race 1 on Saturday afternoon begins with very uncertain weather conditions between rain and sun, leaving the Team and Drivers to await the race director's decision on the type of start that will be carried out.

It starts with a dry race but after a few laps the race is interrupted by a red flag, at the second restart it is a wet race, and it is precisely Kevin's experience in the Endurance World Championship with uncertain conditions and that of the Andreani Group which allowed the Team rider Penta Motorsport to escape immediately in the leading positions, with the passage on the first lap in second position.

A controlled, intelligent and risk-free race for Kevin, which finished with the conquest of the second step of the podium, the first podium for Spezzino in the Superbike class and first podium for the gsxr1000 after four years since the last time in the CIV SBK.

Performance not to be underestimated also that of Sunday with Kevin starting from ninth place on the grid and immediately arriving in the fight for 4th position, then closing the race in 5th place, the best result for Suzuki in CIV SBK in dry conditions from 2017 to today

Kevin Manfredi : “The goal was to start where we left off last year at Imola, instead we started off much better, a second and a fifth place with a private technical package and without any support from the parent company I'd say they're worth double! .

We knew we had another disadvantage besides that of engine capacity, given that some bikes in the race such as Aprilia and Ducati race with 1100cc, that of kilometres, as we, compared to others, have not carried out any tests before, but this weekend we worked trying to focus only on ourselves to give the best possible.

The podium in race 1 is for us the gratification of the many sacrifices made and of our commitment, having shown everyone that we are there, but even more so is the 5th place on Sunday just 6 seconds from the podium, this makes us hopefully in view of the next rounds, we would love to get on the podium even in the dry and we will certainly do our best to do so.

I'm thrilled to have brought Suzuki back on the podium and especially Team Penta Motorsport, who really deserved it because it's a fantastic team.

It's stimulating to start the season like this, with my first podium in the Sbk category, I will never forget it!”

Kevin Manfredi with his second and fifth place in Round 1 is currently fourth in the standings just 2 points from the Top3, also winning the warmth of all Suzuki fans who went wild on social media after this incredible result which also demonstrates the potential, the speed and professionalism of Kevin.

Now a week's break for La Spezia who will recharge his "batteries" in view of the first round of the MotoE World Championship on the Le Mans circuit.

Kevin thanks all the sponsors and technical partners of the 2023 season.



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