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Bernardi ready to challenge Pirro in CIV SBK: "I'm not under pressure"

"I'm pleased that people think of me as Michele's number one rival, but I hope first and foremost to do well. My debut in the EWC? It'll be all new, and I'm very curious, but I hope to return to the World Superbike Championship soon."

SBK: Bernardi ready to challenge Pirro in CIV SBK:

It promises to be an Aprilia versus Ducati fight in the new CIV Superbike season, which will officially start today, with the first round of timed tests in Misano. Many riders will be trying to put their wheels in front of those of the multi-champion, Michele Pirro, starting with Luca Bernardi, among the best in the tests held in March on the track in Romagna.

Riding the Revo-Nuova M2 Racing team's Aprilia RSV4 for the second year in a row, the San Marino native set the best reference during the second day, preceding his teammate, Samuele Cavalieri. A calling card that makes Luca the rider from Puglia's most credited rival in the fight for the title.

"I'm glad people think so. But, first and foremost, I hope to do well. I always do my best, and what comes will come," Bernardi told us on the eve of the weekend, talking about his expectations for the season. "I'm not under any pressure," he stressed. " The goal, both for this race and future ones, is to do the best I can, to work as well as I can with the team, and learn as much as I can. I expect to have a good weekend. Now we're working to get to the race as best as we can, and we've been working well since this Thursday. Today, when we ride with the transponders, we'll see how we compare to the others."

Beating Pirro won't be easy, but the 22-year-old is clear on what the key will be to succeed in challenging the Ducati test rider for the title. "It'll definitely take consistency. We'll have to work well and calmly, without making mistakes, and score as many points as possible during the season."

However, the Italian Speed Championship won't be the only front on which Bernardi will be busy in 2024. Almost two years after the end of his WorldSBK adventure with the Barni Racing team, the San Marino native is preparing to return to compete on the World Championship stage, making his debut in the EWC Superstock class with the official Aprilia line-up, which was formed by combining the skills of the Revo-Nuova M2 Racing team with the experience of the Aviobike team.

"I don't know how it feels to be back in a World ChampionshipIt's cool, really nice," he said, talking about the new challenge that awaits him. An entirely new adventure for Luca, who hasn't yet gotten the chance to ride the endurance bike. "Unfortunately, I haven't tried anything yet. We're going directly to the race. Everything will be new, and I'm curious about this new challenge."

Although his adventure in the World Superbike hasn't gone according to plan, the 22-year-old doesn't want to look back. He's instead aiming to use the experience he gained in the SBK premier class and in the last season, in order to experience a year as an absolute role player, which could help him return to a paddock that has experienced less than expected, as soon as possible.

"By now, what's done is done. Let's think about doing well this year," he said, philosophically. "I've definitely learned a lot in the SBK.The level is very high in the World Championship, and it's very nice to be there with the strongest and to go up against the best. It was a good experience, and I hope to return there soon."


Translated by Leila Myftija

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