May 23rd, 2015
Qualifying for the races at Donington Park had a favourite turn up with cracked ribs, a team rivalry coming to boil, a handful of fast wild cards on 600s and the home race for almost every man who has stood on the Superbike podium this year. The short track, a fast and sweeping vintage racetrack leading to a chicane followed by a brace of hairpins, was the site of the first ever World Superbike and, after missing a few years due to a failed improvement, it is once more the regular UK round.
Press releases from the teams and series organizers after qualifying at Donington Park:
World Supersport qualifying took place in 16°C English weather and the session was peppered with a handful of crashes but no injuries.
Superpole One opened early in a typical English holiday weekend; overcast, cold and a little bit breezy.
Kenan Sofuoglu heads the session as wildcard Kyle Ryde goes second-quickest ahead of Lorenzo Zanetti and wildcard Luke Stapleford. Jules Cluzel was unable to beat his best time from yesterday, second quickest of the weekend, suffering from mechanical problems that held him back to fifth quickest. Third quickest wildcard Samuel Hornsey held off series regulars PJ Jacobsen and Kyle Smith with the sixth quickest time of the morning.
Just as the untimed session looked like it was going to be a Kawasaki affair, Leon Haslam posted the fastest lap of the weekend after the flag came out. Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea held off Davide Giugliano and Alex Lowes, with Chaz Davies behind, all within half a second of Haslam's time.
Press releases from the series organizers and World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the first day of practice at Donington Park:
Free Practice 3 once again took place on the Friday and Tom Sykes was quickest in the last timed session before Superpole, with the top thirteen all within a second of his time. The ten quickest all qualify for Superpole Two, while Imre Toth and Gabor Rizmayer miss out on Superpole one as Santiago Barragan's FP2 time was quick enough to get him past the Toth bikes.
Qualifying this close on a track this quick should ensure an entertaining Superpole.
Indonesia may finally get the MotoGP race it has long desired. Carmelo Ezpeleta and Javier Alonso met with senior Indonesian politicians and the management of the Sentul International circuit, to talk about the possibility of staging a MotoGP race in the country from 2017 onwards. Though the meeting produced no concrete agreement, the two sides expressed their commitment to working together to make an Indonesian round of MotoGP happen.
Dorna and the manufacturers have been eyeing Indonesia for some time now. The populous Southeast Asian country is one of the biggest markets for motorcycles in the world, sales consisting mostly of small capacity scooters. The numbers are mind boggling, in the tens of millions of units in total. So the factories are very keen to get their riders in front of Indonesian fans and help promote their brands. The fact that the Indonesian distributors of both Honda and Yamaha are sponsors to the factory teams speaks volumes in this respect.
With the benefit of a full session, Jules Cluzel posted a quicker lap his title rival Kenan Sofuoglu, although Sofuoglu's blistering time from this morning still stands as the fastest lap of the weekend. Luke Stapleford and Kyle Ryde continue to leverage their local knowledge, posting third and fourth quickest times ahead of PJ Jacobsen.
Once again, the top four were separated by a small amount, two tenths of a second in this case, only it was Tom Sykes that headed Davide Giugliano, Jonathan Rea and a surprisingly quick Ayrton Badovini. Chaz Davies and Leon Camier rounded out the fastest six, all under three tenths off Sykes's best time.
Kenan Sofuoglu opened the weekend in dominant style, leading the session by over a second, ahead of PJ Jacobsen, wildcard rider Kyle Ryde and Jules Cluzel. Wildcards Luke Stapleford and Samuel Hornsey were fifth and sixth with Andy Reid, replacing Film Wilairot, in tenth place.
The session had an early red flag for Niccolo Canepa's Kawasaki dumping oil on the track, but the marshals dealt with it quickly and the session was restarted with very little delay. Leon Camier was quickest with a 1'29.314, with Tom Sykes, Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies all within sixty-three thousandths of a second of his time.
Press release previews from the WSBK teams and series organizers ahead of this weekend's World Superbike round at Donington Park:
The 2015 MotoGP round at Brno is still not certain to go ahead as a result of a battle for control of the race. According to German-language website Speedweek, circuit owner Karel Abraham Sr. and South Moravian governor Michal Hasek have been arguing since August last year over who will organize the Czech round of MotoGP at the Masaryk circuit in Brno. Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta has given them an ultimatum, saying that if the situation is not resolved by the first week of June, the 2015 Brno MotoGP round will be canceled.