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Race Two was stopped after three complete laps and restarted after a crash that left fluids on the track.
On a dry race, nobody claimed the 200mph (320kmh) prize offered by the circuit, but not for a lack of trying: Three riders managed a 319.2kmh.
Carlos Checa is good around Miller Motorsports Park. It suits his style and it suits his bike. Going into Superpole, he was a firm favourite to be on the front row, along with top qualifiers Jakub Smrz and Tom Sykes. With the morning qualifying starting off cold and damp and the afternoon practice being just as cold, if not as damp, it would be safe to assume that the faster riders in those sessions would do equally as well in Superpole.
A dry Superpole gave us three sessions.
Carlos Checa set the fastest lap of the weekend before crashing out while Jakub Smrz, out on a fast lap, also crashes before managing to top Checa. Jonathan Rea sets consistent quick laps early on, showing good race pace and Marco Melandri, the fastest bike in a straight line this weekend, also goes well, followed by Sylvain Guintoli.
Davide Giugliano and Sylvain Guintoli make the most of the fact this track is kind to Ducatis while Leon Camier shows his speed far too late to qualify for Superpole. Surprisingly, Sykes only managed 8th place, suggesting he was testing race settings for his 18 laps of free practice.
This session started slowly, with a damp, patchy track. Riders were able to post fast times in the first sector, but the conditions meant the remaining sectors slowed them down to longer times than yesterday. Only towards the end of the session did riders start to put in faster laps than in the first timed session.
It was important to get data for settings and a top 16 time more than it was to get the outright fastest lap, but even then, Jakub Smrz worked hard to keep the provisional pole, even though Carlos Checa tried really hard to take it off him. Two tenths separated the only two men in the 1'48s.
The losers today were Ayrton Badovini, Leon Camier and David Salom, who were both pushed from the top 16, and therefore Superpole, by a resurgent John Hopkins, finally showing form with a provisional second-row place, Niccolo Canepa and Lorenzo Zanetti.
Miller Motorsports Park in the US took the role of high altitude track off South Africa's Kyalami, providing racing against a backdrop of spectacular mountains with the thinner air sapping power off the bikes like no other track on the calendar.
The race is held on Monday, instead of the usual Sunday, to give the US fans three days of Memorial Day holiday weekend packed with AMA Pro and World Superbike races. The World Supersport championship doesn't race this weekend.
For the last three years, whoever did the double at Miller won the title, and last year that was Carlos Checa who has been quick throughout qualifying. Max Biaggi and Tom Sykes, the men leading the championship, did not fare as well today, with Biaggi only managing four laps in the morning's waterlogged free practice session and Sykes crashing halfway through the windy qualifying session in the afternoon. Jakub Smrz was fastest when it was wet and fastest again when it was dry, showing us, as he does almost every weekend, that the man can qualify. Biaggi did make up for his poor morning session with a decent fourth place, ahead of the Ducatis of Davide Giugliano and Sylvain Guintoli, but behind Marco Melandri's BMW.
Jakub Smrz just edged out last year's double winner Carlos Checa out of provisional pole while Marco Melandri and Max Biaggi took the remaining spots on the provisional front row
It was a dry session, but with a headwind down the start/finish straight that sapped the bikes of their top speed and stability.
In what continues to be a theme for 2012, another weekend's racing opens with wet weather. Jakub Smrz was consistently one of the faster men throughout the session and, on his last lap to the chequered flag, he was over two seconds faster than everyone else.
The first 30 minutes, most riders were lapping around 2'11 until the rain eased off a little, and at the end, everyone started putting in faster laps.
Donington Park is renowned for giving fans exciting races. 48,500 of them turned up over the weekend to brave the cold wind and watch the most exciting racing Superbike races of the year. Crashes, surprises, upsets and spills were the order of the day while history was made and old enmities revisited.
The weekend started on Thursday with a white water rafting experience at Holme Pierrepont watersports centre. Leon Haslam, Chaz Davies, Eugene Laverty and Sam Lowes all messed about in a dinghy while facing the artificial rapids. Every one of the racers fell in at some point and Sam Lowes may have ingested the local water and contracted food poisoning that ravaged his insides and threatened to ruin his weekend.
World Superbikes race two at Donington Park was a five-way dice that was settled in the last corner of the last lap in thrilling fashion.
A long fought battle with three riders fighting for the win.
25 years ago, Donington Park was host to the first ever World Superbike race weekend. A quarter of a century on, it still provides exciting racing and the opening World Superbike race was no exception.
A day of cold weather but clear skies and dry track gave us qualifying sessions that broke lap records and hinted at the promise of tomorrow's racing.