Press releases from some of the World Superbike teams who took part in the test at Misano:
In any other year, the approaching weekend at Barcelona would see speculation around MotoGP's Silly Season nearing its peak, with a spate of contracts signed in the weeks which follow. But this is not any other year. Going into the 2016 Gran Premi de Catalunya at the Montmeló circuit, eight of the twelve factory seats open for next season have already been filled, while a ninth is just a matter of days away. Of the remaining three, only the seat at Aprilia is truly up for grabs, the open seats at Suzuki and KTM already having riders penciled in. It is truly a bizarre year.
So where are we so far? The seats at the factory Ducati and Yamaha teams are all taken, with Andrea Dovizioso partnering Jorge Lorenzo at Ducati while Maverick Viñales joins Valentino Rossi at Movistar Yamaha. Repsol Honda is as good as complete: Dani Pedrosa has already signed on for two more years, while Marc Márquez acknowledged at the press launch for the Barcelona MotoGP race that he would "definitely continue with this bike." He will sign a contract with Honda again, but he wants it to be a "perfect" contract.
Suzuki, KTM and Aprilia all have one rider signed already. Sam Lowes' seat at Aprilia was settled already two years' ago, when he signed for Gresini to race in Moto2 in 2016, and MotoGP for 2017 and 2018. Bradley Smith was the next to slot into place, signing on for the first seat at KTM ahead of the first race of this year. And Andrea Iannone took over at ECSTAR Suzuki after Viñales announced he was leaving, and Ducati announced they were keeping Dovizioso.
Donington Park has become the personal playground of 2013 WorldSBK champion Tom Sykes. Sykes has now claimed an incredible eight wins in a row at his home circuit, and after Sunday's races he explained how much it meant and also what it means going forward. Marcel Duinker offers his insight into whether Sykes has an advantage at Donington Park due to his riding style.
For the majority of last year PJ Jacobsen was the sole American riding in the WorldSBK paddock but last weekend the numbers swelled to three with Cameron Beaubier joining series rookie Nicky Hayden on the Superbike starting grid. The MotoAmerica champion aquitted himself well and we will assess what it means for the domestic championship.
… a wild, crazy anachronism in an even wilder, crazier world
On Saturday afternoon when Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi, Marc Marquez and the rest are about to qualify for the Catalan GP, there’ll be another gang of racers hurtling their superbikes down leafy country lanes on a small island off the English coast.
Some fans of the Isle of Man TT have a habit of calling the world’s top MotoGP riders pampered prima donnas. They’re obviously not. They may be much better paid, but when the engines start up and the visors click down, they go out to risk it all.
Press releases from the organizers and teams after Sunday's races at Donington Park:
World Superbike championship standings after Race 2 at Donington Park:
World Supersport standings after Donington Park:
Donington Park had 35,058 visitors over the weekend, a vast improvement over last year, and the British fans did not lack for entertainment.
The World Supersport race was 20 laps on a cool 13°C day.
Report and results follow.
Press releases from the organizers and the teams after qualifying and race 1 at Donington Park:
World Superbike standings after the first race at Donington Park:
The first race of twenty three laps of Donington Park, there were finally crowds here on a Saturday.
Thirty five riders chased pole position for tomorrow's World Supersport race, twenty five taking part in the first Superpole session and hoping to be in the top two to advance to the second session.
Superpole opened under clear English skies, but Alex Lowes wouldn't be competing as he was declared unfit due to the collarbone injury he sustained at Sepang. Sheridan Morais, standing in for Josh Hook, was also declared unfit after a crash yesterday.
Report and results follow.