Roberto Tamburini will return to the WorldSBK Championship grid for this weekend’s round at Imola after stepping in to deputise for the injured Hafizh Syahrin at PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda.
The Italian made his WorldSBK debut in 2022 as part of the Motoxracing Yamaha team, competing in the European rounds before being replaced by BSB champion Bradley Ray for 2023.
Having since switched to the Endurance World Championship for this season, Tamburini - a front runner in the WorldSSP and Superstock 1000 ranks prior to his year in WorldSBK - is back on the grid for his home event at Imola as part of the Czech-based, Malaysian-backed MIE Honda squad.
He takes over from Syahrin, the ex-MotoGP rider having been diagnosed with a displaced C6 spinous process fracture with no neurological symptoms following a crash while testing for the upcoming Suzuka 8 Hours
"I’m very happy to have got the call from the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team to race at Imola, although of course I wish Hafizh all the best and a speedy recovery.
“I'm competing in the Endurance World Championship this year so I'm returning to World Superbike after one year with the goal of getting to know the team and quickly adapting to the bike. It would be nice to see progress over the weekend, so I hope to be able to improve with each session and have fun.
“It will be a challenge, because I will be riding the Honda for the first time, but I already know the Imola track and like it, which is good, so I will try to do my best without pressure.”
Tamburini was a regular point-scorer with Motoxracing Yamaha last season, scoring a best finish of tenth in Barcelona en route to 17th overall having contested only eight of the 12 rounds.
Former Tech 3 Yamaha and KTM MotoGP rider Syahrin, now in his second season of WorldSBK with PETRONAS MIE Honda, has shown a step forward in pace this season with six point-scoring finishes, already an improvement on his maiden campaign.