Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the races at Donington Park:
Sykes Wins Both Home Races At Donington!
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) scored his first career double at Donington and in doing so moved to within four points of the championship lead after five rounds.
Having set a new track best in Superpole on Saturday Sykes rode brilliantly and almost faultlessly in each 23-lap race at Donington to score not only his first double win, but take a new lap record in race two, a 1’28.074, set on lap four.
He was a start-to-finish leader on each lap each time around and after a small change to his front suspension settings for race two he went four seconds faster than in race one, despite a rise in track temperatures.
Tom now sits in second place on his own, only four points from the lead and with the third place rider 20 points behind after one third of the season has been completed.
Loris Baz (KRT) had a better first race than second and he achieved his target of a top five finish in the opener, then he went seventh in race two. Most importantly of all, he remains sixth in the championship.
Federico Sandi (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) finished 14th in race two, his team-mate Alex Lundh was 15th, giving each rider a points score on one race. Neither had finished race one, retiring in the pits.
Portimao, in Portugal, on June 9th in the venue for the next round.
Tom Sykes: “I have been in World Superbike for a few years now and I got the first double win on home soil is a fairy tale. One click on the front suspension between races made the difference and we could see that in the second race time, which was better than the first one. The Ninja ZX-10R is working well and it has been all weekend so I feel very motivated. We are racing in a World Championship and these guys are as fast as you like and very competitive, so it is not as easy at it looked. Kawasaki is a very close unit and we have worked hard and everybody has seen how much better we are in the races. I got the circuit record yesterday and I got the new lap record in race two so I have the full set. I really enjoyed the support from the crowd and I hope they enjoyed the show. No better place to do my first double than at Donington Park. A good weekend and we are closer in the championship, just four points from the top. We’re in a strong situation, we have a good base setting and now we are going to some fantastic circuits.”
Loris Baz: “I knew that I had good pace even yesterday. I just did not have a good Superpole qualifying session. But in race one today the good Loris was back! I did not have such a fast start but I wanted to go right to the front quickly but I ran straight on at one corner. I was coming back, coming back, and then overtook without any mistake and finished fifth. In race two I did not have the same feeling as in race one and that meant that I could not push, maybe more me than the bike, and the temperature was a bit different. I was not able to follow Chaz Davies and was waiting to get to the end of the race but I did my best. I am still sixth in the championship and I took some points advantage to Jonathan Rea so that is good.”
APRILIA ENDS THE DONINGTON WEEKEND IN GRAND STYLE WITH THREE RSV4s IN THE TOP FOUR PLACES.
DOUBLE PODIUM FOR SYLVAIN GUINTOLI WHO CONFIRMS HIS LEADERSHIP IN THE RIDER STANDINGS.
EUGENE LAVERTY FINISHES THIRD IN RACE 2 ON A DIFFICULT TRACK FOR HIM.
Donington, 26 May 2013 – The Aprilia Racing Team finished the weekend at Donington the best possible way, placing both riders on the podium in Race 2. With second place Sylvain Guintoli confirms his leadership in the rider standings, while Eugene Laverty's third place continues the Northern Irish rider's positive streak. The excellent performance put in by the brand from Noale was rounded out by Davide Giugliano's fourth place (Althea Racing), who is increasingly comfortable astride his RSV4.
In Race 1 Guintoli got off to a brilliant start from the second spot on the grid, with Sykes following close behind. However, the Kawasaki rider demonstrated his particular feeling with the track, relentlessly gaining ground, while a spectacular battle raged behind him between Guintoli, Melandri, Laverty and Rea. A few alarm bells forced Laverty to fall back, while Guintoli continued keeping pace with Melandri. A couple of problems with loss of grip then forced the Frenchman to pass under the chequered flag in third place.
As mentioned above, in the second race the Aprilia riders were in the fight from the first laps. Sylvain and Eugene set the pace in the pack behind Sykes, with the Frenchman solidly in second place and Laverty skilfully fighting off attacks first by Melandri (which he responded to with a textbook pass) and then by Giugliano who took fourth place with the Althea Racing Team RSV4.
Sylvain's double podium keeps him in lead of the rider standings with a four point advantage over Sykes and 24 in front of team mate Laverty. For Eugene the podium in Race 2 was the best result of his Superbike career at Donington. Aprilia stays solidly in the Manufacturer standings lead with a 28 point advantage in front of Kawasaki, 33 ahead of BMW, 112 over Honda, 126 above Suzuki and 143 in front of Ducati.
Sylvain Guintoli: “I'm quite pleased with the way Race 2 went, not only because of the result. I pushed hard and gave it my all for the entire race, but Sykes was just impossible to beat today. In the first race, on the other hand, I made a few too many mistakes which cost me second place, and considering the lap times I was putting without them I would have been able to close the gap more. In any case third and second are excellent results for the championship on a track where we are not able to take full advantage of the RSV4's potential. Now we are off for Portimao, a track which is very well suited for the characteristics of my Aprilia, where we will be able to do some good teamwork”.
Eugene Laverty: “At the end of Race 1 I was disappointed. I have always had trouble on this track, but I could have done better than seventh place. On the other hand Race 2 got off to a better start straight away. A few changes we made to my RSV4 between the two races immediately increased my feeling with it. In fact, I was able to defend third place against Melandri's attacks, and as I said at Monza, it's always nice to end the weekend with a podium. The performance in Race 2 is encouraging for the rest of the championship. It shows that even on shorter, more winding tracks we can keep up with the top riders. I like Portimao, I was strong there last year so I'm looking forward to the next round”.
Physical problems for Checa at Donington. Canepa finishes eighth in race 2.
Donington Park (UK), Sunday 26 May 2013: the fifth round of the World Superbike championship took place today at Donington Park but for Team SBK Ducati Alstare, on track with three riders this weekend, it was a somewhat difficult day; while Canepa brought his 1199 Panigale home in eighth and thirteenth place, Badovini finished race one in eleventh position and Checa, after suffering with severe pain in his shoulder during race one (in which he finished twelfth), decided not to participate in the second race.
Race 1 – Warm and sunny conditions for race 1 today with temperatures of 15˚C and a track temperature of 26˚C. Starting from ninth on the grid, Canepa was eighth at the end of lap one, followed by Checa and Badovini, placed eleventh and twelfth. Towards mid-race Niccolo’ made a small mistake, going long, which relegated him to thirteenth place, immediately behind his two team-mates. Lapping at a similar pace to each other during the second half of the race, Ducati Alstare's three flag bearers were unable to close the gap that had opened ahead of them meaning that they crossed the finish line in eleventh (Badovini), twelfth (Checa) and thirteenth (Canepa) position.
Race 2 – Due to severe pain in his left shoulder both during and after race 1, Checa decided against riding in race 2.
The track temperature had increased to roughly 40˚C for race 2. At the end of the opening lap Canepa was in eleventh place, ahead of Badovini, twelfth, and immediately behind Cluzel. On lap seven Badovini unfortunately made a mistake that caused him to lose several positions. From that point on he started to push to make up lost ground but as he entered turn 2 he lost the front which sadly brought his race to a premature end, although fortunately the Italian rider was not hurt in the crash. Canepa, lapping with the same pace as Cluzel immediately ahead of him, finally got past the French rider on lap seventeen, moving into eighth place as a result. He managed the final part of the race well, keeping his closest rival firmly behind him to cross the line in final eighth position.
Carlos Checa: “Seeing how the first race went, and the pain that I had in my shoulder both during and after the race, we decided that it was best not to force things by participating in the second. To tell the truth I thought things might be worse today, at what is one of the most physical tracks but, having said that, I need more time to recuperate and get my strength back as I’m suffering particularly in the changes of direction and when entering left-hand turns, where it’s important to have both arms at 100%. Of course it’s not an injury that affects me in my day to day life but at 300km/h it really hurts. Now we have two weeks, in which I’ll continue with the various treatments in preparation for Portimao where I hope to be stronger. From the next round I’d like to be able to focus more on the sporting side of things and less on health issues.”
Ayrton Badovini: “In the first race I lost too much ground in the opening laps and after that there was no way to reach those ahead of me. I felt we made a good step between race 1 and race 2 – in the second I had similar pace to the group ahead of me but unfortunately I lost the front entering turn 2. I didn’t hurt myself but it was a pity because I wasn't doing badly. Now I want to continue with our work to better understand what works and what works less well, in order to make less mistakes during the weekend and to be faster in the next races.”
Niccolò Canepa: “Considering that these were my first races I’d say that we are coming out of this weekend with a fairly positive outlook. We’ve worked well and if we’d had more time on track on Friday then I think we could have done better. We’re not far off I don’t think, with a bit more time to set the bike up for me and my riding style we could probably have done more. I’m just sorry for the mistake in race 1 but these things can happen in racing. I’d like to thank Francis Batta, Ernesto Marinelli and the team for giving me this opportunity and thanks also to Ducati’s development team who’ve worked so hard for me this weekend.”
BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team - WSBK - Donington - Races
At the fifth round of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship, the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team celebrated its seventh podium position of the season. Factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) finished second in race one at British track, “Donington Park” on his BMW S 1000 RR. In race two, the Italian crossed the line in fifth place. His team-mate and local hero Chaz Davies (GBR) finished eighth and sixth respectively. In the Riders’ Classification, Marco is fourth with 127 points, directly followed by Chaz who is fifth with 112 points. In the Manufacturers’ classification, BMW lies third with 175 points. From Donington, the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team heads directly to Spain, where it will conduct two days of testing at “Motorland Aragón” this week.
Coming from sixth place on the grid, Marco started his chase towards the front of the pack in race one on the seventh of the 23 lap race. He closed the gap to the front, waiting for opportunities and taking them by overtaking his competitors. On lap 17, he had improved to second place but leader Tom Sykes (GBR) had pulled away too far leaving no chance for Marco to catch him, so the Italian crossed the line in second, 2.3 seconds behind Sykes. Chaz had a tough first race from seventh on the grid. In the beginning, he was close behind Marco but the Welshman struggled with grip. He fought numerous battles to keep his position but had to settle with eighth. In the early stages of race two, both riders kept with the leading group but on lap six, Marco had a near highside. The Italian saved it and kept fifth position but lost a bit of time. In the following laps, Marco and Chaz started to steadily close the gap to the top four riders. In the second half of the race, Marco began his attack for the podium. On lap 16, he overtook Davide Giugliano (ITA) for fourth, then Eugene Laverty (IRL) and was in third. He kept this position until the penultimate lap but then fell back behind Laverty. When trying another attempt to regain the podium position on the final lap, Marco went wide onto the grass and slipped back to fifth. Chaz had quite a lonely second part of the race. He lost contact to the top five and had a big gap to the field behind. So his sixth position was not threatened but he was too far back to be involved in the battles in front of him. The winner of the second race was again Sykes.
Result Race 1: 2nd / Gap to 1st: 0:02.379 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:28.628 min (lap 3)
Result Race 2: 5th / Gap to 1st: 0:15.976 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:28.493 min (lap 2)
“It was a weekend of mixed emotions. Race one was really nice, but not easy. I had quite a good start, then I began pushing to gain positions. It was difficult to overtake Johnny and Sylvain and it took time. Then, when I had claimed second position, Tom was too far away and I didn’t have enough time to reach him, but I was happy with second place. In race two, my start was not as good but step by step I got closer to the front group. But when I was directly behind Laverty, I started to have some difficulties riding. On the final lap, I tried to overtake him in the chicane, but when entering the corner I could not brake properly so I went wide to avoid a crash. It was a pity as I had hoped to get more points. Now we have to continue working. This week we will go testing and try some new solutions.”
Result Race 1: 8th / Gap to 1st: 0:19.138 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:29.109 min (lap 6)
Result Race 2: 6th / Gap to 1st: 0:16.475 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:28.843 min (lap 4)
“It was not an easy day. The first race was tough as pretty much from the early laps onwards I nearly had no grip. After a few laps the tyres started to spin more than I was expecting. The spinning was upsetting the chassis and making the bike nervous, so it was a fight for 23 laps. I tried everything I could to make the bike more stable and to find more grip but I could not do anything. For race two we made quite a few changes and I had better grip for longer so I could stay with the front group for a while. But then grip started lacking again and I could not do anything more. Now we go testing in Aragón where we have a few things to try and I am looking forward to that.”
Andrea Buzzoni (General Manager BMW Motorrad WSBK):
“With determination and cleverness, Marco claimed second position in the first of today’s races. This was the best result he could get as Sykes was unbeatable. In race two, his start was not that good but he was able to close up to the front group quickly. In the second half of the race, he was racing at the limit – like all riders – and he was close to another podium. Unfortunately, although he rode bravely and tried all he could he was not able to reach it. Chaz had a difficult weekend, on a track which is not one of his favourite ones. But despite this, he collected important points.
We have completed the first third of the season and so far, we can draw a positive summary. The competitiveness in the series has raised a lot and we need to keep working in order to keep our performance level constantly high. In three days, we will start a two day test in Aragón. We have a packed schedule and many solutions to test. We need to keep very focused as the season is still so long.”
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“We claimed another podium and this is important for BMW. It was a very tough weekend because we lost the first day due to weather conditions and this did not help us in finding the perfect set-up. We know that the Superbike World Championship is very competitive and this was confirmed today. To fight for the win, every single detail needs to fit. We saw that our competitors have moved a step forward and now it is our goal to catch up to them and to further improve our bikes to the needs of our riders. One thing we need to work on is our qualifying performance as it is tough to start from the second and third row but also in race trim we had some issues. Marco had difficulties when braking into the corners, while Chaz was lacking rear grip this weekend and could not turn the bike as he would have liked. In race one today, Marco was able to catch up. In race two he struggled and made a mistake because he was riding over the limit of the bike. Our target is to move the limit as our competitors have done. We have a test planned next week in which we will evaluate different settings and updated parts in order to improve in the areas where we are struggling.”
Rea fourth in Donington opener
Jonathan Rea took fourth place in the first of today’s two fifth-round World Superbike championship races at Donington Park in the UK, but there was not much else for his Pata Honda team to celebrate this weekend.
Today’s two 23-lap races were won by British rider Tom Sykes, but neither featured Rea’s Pata Honda team-mate Leon Haslam, who was withdrawn following morning warm-up after consultation with the team's management and medical staff.
Haslam broke his leg badly in a practice crash at Assen in The Netherlands four weeks ago and had undergone intensive therapy to compete at Donington, which is his home round. However, despite qualifying on the fifth row of the grid, his discomfort during warm-up prompted the team’s decision.
Rea had shown potential during yesterday’s practice session, qualifying in fourth place on the grid, which is where he finished race one. However, an electronics sensor failure just before race two, which restricted him to eleventh place at the flag after 23 difficult laps of the 4.023km Donington circuit.
Jonathan Rea – 4th and 11th
I was pretty happy with my pace at the start of race one but, as soon as my tyre started to go, off the electronics were cutting too severely and I lost a lot of pace. I even struggled to compete with Laverty and Guintoli as they came past. Race two was a complete disaster. Already, on the sighting lap, I told the guys that we had a sensor problem on the traction control. They said there wasn’t enough time to fix it so I went out on a bike that I was really unsure of. In reality it was cutting way, way too much power and I even tried to turn the traction control off, but it wouldn’t turn completely off. It was the worst 23 laps I’ve ever ridden. I’m really frustrated after all the work we’ve done – we struggled for dry time at the start of the weekend but made some inroads during warm-up this morning and I felt good in race one. I feel like we should have been on the podium twice today.
Leon Haslam - DNS
Looking at the guys ride around Donington and knowing what I’ve done here in the past makes it kind of frustrating to sit and watch the races in the motorhome. Jonathan proved in race one that the bike was capable of fighting for the podium and I feel I might have been up there. There are a lot of ifs and buts, but I think it was the right decision not to ride. Even though I haven’t been riding today, the leg is still quite sore so I’ll get bit more physio, have a few days off, and see how we get on. The surgeon who operated on me says the best thing would be a few days on a warm beach so I’m going to look at an early flight out to Portimao and continue the work out there.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
Jonathan got a really good start in race one and moved into second behind Tom Sykes. He could keep in touch with Tom for almost half the race, which was very good, but in the end he dropped off a little and finished just off the podium in fourth. We were getting ready for that podium finish in race two when we got a problem with the sensor on the grid. We thought we had solved the problem by bypassing the sensor but it didn’t work out and that was the end of his race. Jonathan did not have a bike to compete with at all and I’m very sorry this happened because I think it robbed him of podium finish. Both he and the bike showed potential again this weekend so we’ll look forward to Portimao, when we’ll get Leon back on the bike as well.
ROOKIE CLUZEL TOP-9 AT DONINGTON WSB
Team Suzuki Press Office - May 26.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki had an afternoon of solid performances and misfortune during today's two races in the fifth round of the 2013 eni FIM Superbike World Championship that was staged at Donington Park in England.
Jules Cluzel continued with his impressive rookie season in the Superbike class by taking two ninth places in today's double-header. Cluzel's two races were almost a mirror image of each other, as the Frenchman got a good start from 11th on the grid and made up two places on the first lap in both events. In race one he got involved in various battles with other riders before settling into a smooth rhythm for the remainder of the race. He was pursued for much of the 23-lap race by former World Champion Carlos Checa, but the FIXI Crescent Suzuki rider kept a consistent pace and managed to hold off the Spaniard. In race two Cluzel pushed harder as the race wore on and learnt a lot more of how the Yoshimura-powered GSX-R performs at the end of a race on used tyres. He was pleased with the result and believes he can use the data he gathered in the second race to make improvements in the next events.
Leon Camier had an afternoon he would like to forget. He started from fifth on the grid, but a mistake on lap-one in the first race saw him run off the track and get relegated to 15th place. He immediately set about chasing the pack down so that the lead group wouldn't get away, but his eagerness proved his undoing as he crashed heavily on the last corner on lap three and saw any hope disappear as the bike cartwheeled away from him. Camier picked himself up unhurt and made his way back to the FIXI Crescent Suzuki garage on foot. In race two he got a better start and was running in contention with the leaders, but he again hit the deck in the last corner and slid onto the grass. This time, he was able to remount and continue his chase. He was 10-seconds behind the next rider in the field when he rejoined the race, but the Englishman caught and passed a number of riders to move up to 13th place at the chequered flag.
Today's races were held in beautiful sunshine with track temperatures reaching 40°C and the home crowd were treated to victories for British riders in both the Superbike and Supersport classes as Tom Sykes took both victories in the Superbike class and Sam Lowes secured victory in the 600cc category.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki will now return to base in Verwood before heading to Portugal for the next round of the championship at Portimao on Sunday June 9th.
"I am happy with the second race because we finished in the top-10 and I felt some things that we can use which will help us improve at the next couple of races. At the end of the race I was able to push a bit harder and this is good for me. If I push too hard in the first few laps I make mistakes, so I am now trying to ride like I did in Aragon and wait a bit and build up my performance. When I feel I am ready to start pushing from the first lap I will do that, but at this moment I need to wait a bit. I was happy that I ended the race with my lap-time quite close to my best lap and I feel that we can now do some good things soon."
"I had a bad start and was a bit too aggressive in the first race, even though I felt ok on the bike. I was trying to get past Canepa, but in the slower corners I was struggling a bit to get the bike pulled-up. I knew this, but I was desperate to get past him because I could see the front group going away, so it was my mistake and I ran off. Then I was pushing really hard to come back through the field and crashed. I was frustrated in race two because I felt like I didn't have the best grip and the BMWs got past me, so I pushed hard but got caught out at Goddards. The front went from underneath me, I don't really know why it happened, but I couldn't do much about it. I picked the bike up and tried my hardest to come back, but the main pack was too far away to catch them. I will now have to put this behind me and try and do my best at Portimao in a couple of week's time."
Paul Denning - Team Manager:
"I think Jules did a very solid job today and Donington is one of the most difficult tracks to tame a Superbike and get the best out of it, but Jules rode two very measured races and fought with some high-quality riders to secure his two ninth place finishes. He's not missing a lot of lap-time to get into the next group and as the team and Jules gain more experience together of what he needs to go fast, I'm sure the next races will allow us to take a step forward in performance.
"I feel bad for Leon today, but to be honest I feel worse for the team and all our partners that joined us here today. Starting from the middle of the second row, and with the race-pace Leon has had all weekend, should have seen us fighting for the podium in both races, but we didn't come anywhere near that potential. It is unusual for Leon to over-ride to get to where he wants to be, but unfortunately that was the case in the first race and we are just relieved it didn't result in an injury. The second race was a typical 'Goddards - don't know why that happened - crash' and I was pleased he could pick the bike up and run strong lap-times for the rest of the race to get back into the points.
"Overall race-day hasn't delivered what FIXI Crescent Suzuki wanted here at Donington, but we will be drawing the positives from the weekend in terms of performance potential and making sure we get the details right in Portugal."
The Althea Racing Team scores solid results in today’s Superbike races at Donington
The fifth round of the World Superbike Championship took place today at Donington Park, on a dry track with mild temperatures. In the practices and qualifying sessions Davide Giugliano secured some great results which allowed him to line up in eighth place on the third row of today’s race grid.
In race one Althea Racing’s rider started well and gave chase to the riders immediately ahead of him, fighting in a group of four. Towards mid-race he made a small mistake which took him off track and caused him to lose ground but Davide then worked hard to catch up, making up positions. After a great battle with Laverty he was able to bring his privateer Aprilia home in sixth place.
In race 2 Davide Giugliano obtained his best result of the season so far. After a positive start the Althea rider was at the front of the field, where he fought it out with the factory Aprilias and BMWs, to finish in a fantastic fourth place. Davide thus closed his weekend in the best way possible, earning himself 23 championship points and confirming both his and his bike’s competitiveness.
Genesio Bevilacqua: “It was a positive weekend for us. Today we finally saw Davide fighting on an equal level with the factory riders. We have seen that our rider can fight in every race for the positions that count. I hope that from now on Davide will combine consistency with his great talent. Our bike is performing as well as the factory bike, although we are still lacking a little experience, because the RSV4 is a new bike for us, and we are continuing to get to know it better, race after race. Our technicians are doing a great job and it’s also thanks to them that we are close to obtaining the results that we want to obtain.”
Davide Giugliano: “In race one I had trouble finding a good rhythm. I also made a mistake but then I was able to catch up to sixth place. I wasn’t totally satisfied with the race but it helped me understand many things that I then used to my advantage in race two. The second race went much better. We did what we expected to do although I must say it is difficult to battle with the factory riders. But we’re not far off being able to fight regularly with them. We were the first privateers in the midst of all the factory bikes and this gives us confidence for the future. I dedicate this result to my team and to our sponsors.”
Technical Problems Ends Davies Donington Race
PTR Honda’s Matt Davies retired from the 5th round of the World Supersport championship after an electrical problem halted is charge towards the top 20.
Having struggled on day one, the young Aussie recovered well yesterday and after a decent start was running ahead of his qualifying position.
Matt tried to continue for a couple of laps but in the end he was forced to admit defeat. Nevertheless the PTR Honda team have once again worked well and are looking forward to the next race in Portugal in a fortnight.
Matt Davies – PTR Honda - “I got an ok start and the race was good until the bike developed a problem in the first half of the race which meant I couldn’t continue. We have worked hard again this weekend and I am looking forward to the next race in Portimao.”
Baldolini Grabs Points Finish On Suzuki Debut
Suriano Suzuki grabbed the last world championship point at Donington Park this afternoon after pulling off a last corner move that saw him finish in a very encouraging 15th position.
Baldolini rejoined his former team this weekend and looks set to remain with them for the duration of 2013.
Having used the weekend as an extended test everyone involved is looking forward to the next race in Portimao, Portugal in a fortnight.
Alex Baldolini – 15th position: “It was a satisfying result this weekend. It was tough because everything was new but the whole team have worked very hard. In the last corner it was do or die, there was a gap and I went for it. We can move on positive to Portimao now.”
Best WSS Result For Kennedy & Rivamoto At Donington
Rivamoto Honda and Jack Kennedy produced their best World Supersport championship result with a determined ride to 6th position in the 5th round of the championship at Donington Park this afternoon.
The result is all the more satisfying after the whole team worked flat out to solve a small fuelling problem which was uncovered in the morning warm up.
After battling hard for the podium in the early stages, Kennedys’ charge forwarded was hampered slightly by arm pump which prevented a last lap attack. Nevertheless Jack has once again shown his speed and both he and the team are delighted to have secured today’s result, their career best to date.
The team’s other rider Edik Blokhin retired from the race when he overheated the clutch at the start but is looking forward to the next race in Portugal in a fortnight.
Jack Kennedy – 6th position: “It was a good battle throughout the race. I’m really happy to get our best result in World Supersport here at Donington. I gave it my all and the Rivamoto Honda worked brilliantly. Arm pump towards the last couple of laps kind of stopped me from trying something at the end but it’s a great result and I want to thank the whole team. Roll on Portimao.”
Jeremy McWilliams – Team Manager: “We are all delighted with the result. We were up against it after the problem in the warm up but the whole team worked hard to give us the best chance. It was nerve wracking so close to the race as we needed to test Jack’s bike just before lining up on the grid. It’s not ideal riding with no morning warm up session to check changes and tyres, but once again Jack did a great job. In light of everything, I am really happy to get today’s result which is the best for team Rivamoto in World Supersport. Jack barely puts a foot wrong which is all we can ask for.”
Today’s result maintains Jack’s 9th position overall in the World Championship standings after 5 races.
Warm Up Crash, But Schacht Rescues 23rd At Donington
Denmark’s Alex Schacht brought his Racing Team Toth Honda home in a respectable 23rd position in today’s World Supersport championship race at Donington Park after a morning warm up incident almost prevented him from taking part.
It has certainly been a difficult weekend for the former European Superstock rider who also suffered a crash in yesterday’s final qualifying but with typical Schacht determination, Alex rode maturely to bring his far from perfect Honda home in one piece.
The result was even more impressive given the fact that Alex had to ride with limit electronics.
Round 6 of the World Supersport championship takes place in Portugal at the Portimao circuit in two weeks time.
Nemeth 22nd In Donington WSS Race
Balazs Nemeth battled hard aboard his Complus SMS Honda to salvage 22nd at the flag in today’s 5th round of the World Supersport championship at Donington Park.
Starting from nearer the back of the grid than was hoped for, the hard charging likeable Hungarian rode aggressively to fend of Denmark’s Alex Schacht at the flag.
It has been a mixed weekend for Nemeth who fell victim to someone else’s accident in qualifying but as we have come to expect Balazs digs deep when it counts.
The team now look forward to Portimao for round six in a fortnight where they are hopeful of scoring their first points of the season.
Sheridan in the podium fight at Donington
PTR HONDA'S Sheridan Morais enjoyed a race long battle for the podium at the fifth round of the World Supersport Championship at Donington Park in the UK, eventually ending seventh in immense pain from his recent shoulder injury.
Sheridan said: "My PTR Honda was absolutely mint and can challenge for race wins and podiums, we have proved that today. It was my shoulder that let me down; I was in so much pain at the end that all I could do was hang on. This is very positive for us, we have the bike and speed and now I have two more weeks to heal in time for the next round."
Luca Marconi suffered a poor start and lost touch with the group fighting for points. He improved as the race progressed but 18th was a disappointing result for the Italian. Nacho Calero struggled with a quick shifter problem from mid-race distance but showed determination to climb up to 22nd before retiring on the last lap.
David Linortner had raced into 15th and was running top four lap times carving his way through the field when he made a mistake and slid out on a slow corner. He takes great heart from his raw pace and is already looking forward to racing again.
Young Aussie Matt Davies was forced to retire with a technical problem but remains upbeat after learning a lot more about his bike at this round. The next race is at Portimao in Portugal on June 9th.
Simon Buckmaster, PTR Honda Team Manager, said: "It is great to see PTR running at the front and competing for the podium again with Sheridan. I am sure without his shoulder injury he would have secured a top three position and this gives us great encouragement moving forward.
"Luca got a poor start and never got with the group so it is not the result any of us wanted, but overall he is happy with his PTR Honda and we will expect him back in the points next time.
"David showed impressive pace before crashing out - the sort of speed that we always knew he had. He was running lap times similar to those inside the top 10 and his confidence continues to build. There is a lot more to come from him.
"Nacho and Matt both had technical issues but gave it their all and are learning at every event. We remain focused on getting them both in the points as soon as possible."
Donington Park: MV Agusta comes back to the podium after 37 years
Historic day for ParkinGO MV Agusta Corse, on the podium 37 years after the success from Giacomo Agostini in 500 at Nurburgring. Roberto Rolfo, 16th on the grid due to grip problems during qualifying, has done an incredible comeback, even putting pressure on the last laps to the world champion.
With an incredible performance, the rider from Torino has kept his promises done the day before, when getting all the responsibility from qualifying, ensured his team an aggressive race and a big comeback.
The first podium for a still new bike and seventh place for Rolfo in the general classification. A historic result on the day of the Memorial Castiglioni 2013, that took place today on the MV factory in Schiranna.
Unfortunately on the same day the bad luck has hit Christian Iddon, very fast with all weather conditions from the beginning of the weekend. Iddon could only do 5 laps before he was hit by another rider making him crash when he was in fourth position. The British rider wanting to do a good performance on his home track, was no responsible of a crash considered part of racing.
Roberto Rolfo (3rd)
I am very satisfied of my bike, perfect, and the team job, impeccable.
I am really sorry about yesterday’s qualifying result due to lack of grip. If I would have started the race in a better position maybe I wouldn’t have the chance anyway of chasing the leader but for sure it would have been easier and maybe with a possibility to do another step up on the podium. Yesterday I promised a big comeback but I wasn’t expecting this result. This is thanks to the great job of the team. Without them we wouldn’t have this level already in such short time.
Christian Iddon (nc)
I am very disappointed and I am sorry for everything that has happened. Ok, it hasn’t been my fault, but between all three riders who crashed was me.
Is true that this is racing, but I would have loved to do a better result at my home track. I did such a good start that I felt I could do an excellent result.
All the weekend has been almost perfect up until the crash you have seen. Anyway there’s no problem, I am ready for the next one. I am going to fight my bad luck.
Filippo Burgatti (Chief Mechanic Rolfo)
If I look at the qualifying from yesterday, I have to say that I am a bit disappointed of Roberto’s position.
If I look at today’s race, I would eat all my words. I was expecting a comeback but not in that level. On warm up we have solved a little problem we had, as promised; the whole race has been with exciting overpasses and maneuvers leaving no gap for the other riders. I want to thank Roberto Rolfo, all the team and MV Agusta. We have worked very hard but the starting point is excellent. I am pretty confident that this is only the first of many great results to come.
Giuliano Rovelli (Team Owner)
We have been working on the F3 project for a short time with total dedication and concentration, that’s why I would like to thank my team for this great historic result. We offer this podium to Claudio and Giovanni Castiglioni and everybody collaborating in this ambitious project!!
Top Ten For Richards At Donington World Supersport
Reigning Motorpoint British Supersport Champion Glen Richards gave the Smiths Racing Triumph Team another great top ten finish in a World Supersport Championship race when he took a hard fought tenth place at Donington Park today.
The 39-year-old Australian was having his first wild card appearance of the season in the World Championship and after qualifying in a brilliant third place on the Triumph Daytona 675R, Richards crashed out and was run over by another competitor, sustaining a minor arm injury in the process.
Despite being stiff, he took his place on the grid and was running inside the top eight for the first half of the race. Part of an eight-rider battle for third place, the Adelaide rider was handily placed at mid-race distance only for French rider Florian Marino to push him wide at the Esses and force him onto the grass.
By the time he'd rejoined the track, he was down in 15th place but he fought back to claim tenth place for the Gloucester-based team at the end of the 22 laps, just two seconds adrift of eighth, claiming six World Championship points in the process.
Fellow Australian and team-mate Billy McConnell was also in action and after qualifying in 15th after a crash also, 'Skippy' took a solid 19th place in today's race after a couple of overshoots, gaining valuable track time and making further progress with the development of the all-new Triumph machine.
Glen Richards: "I'm a little bit disappointed with the result as we were in with a podium chance for a while. I had a bit of an issue with the brakes to begin with but once they settled down I felt strong and was right in the mix for third place. Sadly, Marino put in a really poor manoeuvre, basically taking my front wheel away from me so how I didn't hit him I don't know. I had no option but take to the grass but I fought back and got into the top ten so managed to salvage a decent result. The good bit though is that this weekend will kick-start our British Championship challenge as the bike's feeling really good now and I'm feeling really comfortable on it. We've made big inroads, the confidence is back and I'm confident the results will now come."
Billy McConnell: "It's always a great privilege to race in a World Championship round but it's a shame I couldn't get the result the team and all our supporters deserved. It's never easy riding with riders you're not used to dicing with and I made a few mistakes in both qualifying and in the race, running on in a few corners. I had a moment in the first turn when my boot got ripped open and I just struggled to get into a decent rhythm so it was a bit of a scrappy race. We've had plenty of track time though and made big strides forward with the bike so I'm confident when we get to the next British Championship round, we'll reap the rewards."
Rebecca Smith, Team Manager: "It wasn't really the race we'd hoped for after qualifying, particularly for Glen who did brilliantly to place third. We were confident Billy would be able to move forward as well and get both of the bikes inside the top ten but it turned out to be a frustrating race. Our pace has been good all weekend though and we've had good fun, gathered lots of data and pretty much achieved what we wanted. The weather and support from the crowd were both great and all the development work we've been doing with the bike has been seen so we've made excellent progress. It's testament to the whole team's hard work and we're now feeling extremely confident that when we get to the next British Championship round at Knockhill, we'll be back at the front."
Zanetti maintains form with fourth at Donington
Lorenzo Zanetti continued his recent good form in today’s fifth round World Supersport race at Donington Park in the UK, following up his podium at Monza two weeks ago with a spirited ride to fourth place.
While Zanetti continues to impress in his debut World Supersport season, today’s race was won by series leader and local rider, Sam Lowes, who extended his lead at the top of the championship table. Zanetti moved up to fourth, leapfrogging his Pata Honda team-mate Michael van der Mark, who endured a difficult Donington weekend.
After breaking his foot at Monza, van der Mark has been rehabilitating with Superbike colleague Leon Haslam but a technical problem in qualifying restricted the 20-year-old Dutch rider to 20th place on the grid.
Van der Mark got a good start and had climbed seven places before crashing unhurt at Donington’s Melbourne Hairpin, remounting to claim 20th place after 22 hard laps of the 4.023km circuit.
Lorenzo Zanetti – 4th
Fourth position was not so bad today and it was good to continue the recent improvement and the points were good for the championship. I spent more than half the race in third position so I thought the podium was possible but Rolfo arrived with an incredible rhythm. I tried to fight him but I lost the rear a few times and lost a lot of time. On the first two or three laps I lost some time trying to pass Marino and when I passed him, Kenan [Sofuoglu] had two or three seconds on me. We have continued to make progress here and it is important to continue this in Portimao.
Michael van der Mark – 20th
It was a little bit frustrating today because I made up seven positions and got up to 13th place and I was trying to catch the group in front because it was quite a big group. I closed the gap a little bit but braked a little bit too hard and lost the front at the hairpin. It’s a shame because we had some problems all weekend and we wanted to get some points. I hope in Portimao we can have a better weekend than this.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
Unfortunately, Michael had to come from a long way back but made up some places at the start. In trying to close the gap more to the front he had a little front-end crash. He wasn’t able to get into the points, which is a shame, so we hope for better luck at the next race. Lorenzo did exactly what we had hoped for which was running for the podium. It wasn’t quite possible but fourth place took him past Michael in the championship, so well done to him. He has definitely made a breakthrough with the bike and we’re looking forward to Portimao with both of the guys.
Tom Sykes accomplishes total domination at Donington Park
The 28.546 spectators attending Round 5 had a lot to cheer on today as Great Britain had a key-role in today’s races at Donington Park. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) scored an outstanding double-win, his maiden in eni FIM Superbike World Championship, that was icing on the cake of an unbelievable performance by the home rider, who led every single session from Friday’s Qualifying 1 on.
Thanks to his 8th race victory, Sykes lies now 2nd in the championship, only 4 points away from Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team), still Championship leader after today’s two podium finishes. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) made his way to 2nd place in Race 1, while Eugene Laverty scored his first ever top-3 finish on the Leicestershire track in Race 2.
The perfect Sunday for UK fans was completed by Sam Lowes’ World Supesport win, the third consecutive for the local boy in 2013. As for Sykes, the Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha rider has been absolutely unstoppable on his favourite circuit.
Tom Sykes was the winner of Race 1 at Donington Park. The Brit rode a perfect race up front for all the 23 laps, displaying pure class and outstanding race craft, avoiding any risk and at the same time not allowing the following riders to close the gap. Despite a challenging first half of the race, Marco Melandri clawed his way back to 2nd following a successful overtake manoeuvre at the last turn, on lap 16, over third place Sylvain Guintoli.
Following a competitive first part of the race Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike), couldn't keep up the pace with Sykes and was forced to ride defensively to a final fourth position. The Ulsterman finished ahead Frenchman Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) - who had an up and down performance in Race 1 - and Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team). The works Aprilia rider had a hard time after running off-track during lap 7 at "Fogarty Esses", and continued to struggle as the race went by.
Same type of performance for Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK), able to stay with team mate Melandri in the early stages but finding difficult to push hard later on in the race. An early end of the race for Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki), following a crash at "Goddards" on lap 3, while team mate Jules Cluzel ended up 9th in a battle up to the finish line ahead of Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) and Team Ducati Alstare trio of Ayrton Badovini, Carlos Checa and Niccolò Canepa.
After doing his best to line-up his CBR 1000 RR on the grid, Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) was forced to withdraw the race due to his fitness conditions.
Race 1 results: 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 23 Laps/92.529 km in 34'10.881 average 162.420 kph; 2. Melandri (BMW) 2.379; 3. Guintoli (Aprilia) 3.808; 4. Rea (Honda) 6.760; 5. Baz (Kawasaki) 13.649; 6. Giugliano (Aprilia) 15.551; 7. Laverty (Aprilia) 17.453; 8. Davies (BMW) 19.138; 9. Cluzel (Suzuki) 27.738; 10. Fabrizio (Aprilia) 30.817; 11. Badovini (Ducati) 31.611; 12. Checa (Ducati) 31.816; 13. Canepa (Ducati) 31.930; 14. Neukirchner (Ducati) 43.025; 15. Iannuzzo (BMW) 4 Laps; RT. Sandi (Kawasaki); RT. Lundh (Kawasaki); RT. Camier (Suzuki).
Tom Sykes' maiden double-win in the series comes after a total domination in Race 2 for the home rider, who continues his charge to the top now just 4 points away - waiting for the final decision by the FIM International Disciplinary Court on Monza Race 2 results. The last time a Kawasaki rider was able to secure both race victories dated back to 2000.
Tom Sykes: “I have been in World Superbike for a few years now and I got the first double win on home soil is a fairy tale. One click on the front suspension between races made the difference and we could see that in the second race time, which was better than the first one. I got the new Best Lap yesterday and I got the new lap record in race two so I have the full set. I really enjoyed the support from the crowd and I hope they enjoyed the show. No better place to do my first double than at Donington Park. We’re in a strong situation, we have a good base setting and now we are going to some fantastic circuits.”
Sykes pulled away from the chasing pack in the early stages and managed a seven seconds lead up to the chequered flag, finishing ahead of works Aprilia duo of Sylvain Guintoli - still Championship leader - and Eugene Laverty. The 26 year old Irishman, at his first rostrum finish on the Leicester track, had to defend his position from a late charge by Marco Melandri, who ran off track at "Fogarty Esses" following a final attempt of edging out the opponent from 3rd place.
Eugene Laverty: “At the end of Race 1 I was disappointed. I have always had some hard time on this track, but I could have done better than seventh place. On the other hand Race 2 got off to a better start straight away. A few changes we made to my RSV4 between the two races immediately increased my feeling with it. In fact, I was able to defend third place against Melandri's attacks, and as I said at Monza, it's always nice to end the weekend with a podium. The performance in Race 2 is encouraging for the rest of the championship. It shows that even on shorter, more winding tracks we can keep up with the top riders.”
Melandri quickly rejoined to end up 5th behind the competitive Davide Giugliano, who looked at times in the position to have a shot at the top-3 he's missing from June 2012. Slight improvement for official BMW rider Chaz Davies, 6th at the flag ahead of Frenchman Loris Baz.
A 4-way battle for 7th saw Niccolò Canepa having the better of Jules Cluzel, Michel Fabrizio and Jonathan Rea. The One Event rider for the round waved Team Ducati Alstare's flag high after Checa's withdrawal from Race 2 (left shoulder issues) and Ayrton Badovini's crash at Turn 2 on lap 19. The "nightmare weekend" of Leon Camier was completed by another low-speed crash at Turn 12, with the Englishman able to get back on track for a final 13th place.
Race 2 results: 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 23 Laps/92.529 km in 34'06.921 average 162.734 kph; 2. Guintoli (Aprilia) 8.035; 3. Laverty (Aprilia) 10.738; 4. Giugliano (Aprilia) 12.257; 5. Melandri (BMW) 15.976; 6. Davies (BMW) 16.475; 7. Baz (Kawasaki) 27.524; 8. Canepa (Ducati) 30.186; 9. Cluzel (Suzuki) 30.501; 10. Fabrizio (Aprilia) 30.885; 11. Rea (Honda) 31.529; 12. Neukirchner (Ducati) 46.782; 13. Camier (Suzuki) 54.509; 14. Sandi (Kawasaki) 1'05.789; 15. Lundh (Kawasaki) 1'20.431; 16. Iannuzzo (BMW) 1'20.719; RT. Badovini (Ducati).
Standings - provisional (round 5 of 15)*: 1. Guintoli 173; 2. Sykes 169; 3. Laverty 149; 4. Melandri 127; 5. Davies 112; 6. Baz 95; 7. Rea 89; 8. Fabrizio 86; 9. Giugliano 72; 10. Cluzel 55; 11. Camier 49; 12. Neukirchner 45; 13. Badovini 37; 14. Checa 33; 15. Haslam 29; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Aprilia 208; 2. Kawasaki 180; 3. BMW 175; 4. Honda 96; 5. Suzuki 82; 6. Ducati 65.
* Possible updated results could be defined by the International Disciplinary Court which is dealing with the appeal lodged by Aprilia Racing Team and rider Sylvain Guintoli, following the decision taken by the FIM Stewards in Monza (Italian Round, last 12 May) to cancel the drop of position sanction (from third to fourth place in race 2) imposed by the Race Direction on rider Tom Sykes.
World Supersport - Sam Lowes wins in perfect fashion
An uncatchable Sam Lowes has won by domination the World Supersport race today at Donington Park. The local rider has put up a supreme performance to finish with an 11 seconds margin over 2nd place Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) and delighted the crowd with a spectacular wheelie over the finish line.
Lowes lapped consistently within the 1'31 seconds bracket throughout all the 23 laps - except the final one. Sofuoglu, meanwhile, had to face some tough challenge to get in 2nd place but once he did, the defending Champion could easily pull away for a lonely ride to the chequered flag. The Turkish rider was also involved in a collision with Christian Iddon early in the race at "Melbourne" hairpin (Lap 2) that forced him to run wide and lose some ground.
Roberto Rolfo (Parkingo MV Agusta Corse) scored a sensational 3rd for the Italian brand, that was last seen on a World Championship podium in 1976: at that time Giacomo Agostini was the winner of the 500cc race at Nurburgring. Rolfo put up an outstanding recover from th 15th slot on the grid to give Giuliano Rovelli's squad the first rostrum finish in Supersport since Portimao 2011.
Fourth place for Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport) ahead of fellow Italian Luca Scassa (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki). The two riders battled out in the final lap with the Honda rider able to overtake the former Italian Superbike Champion at the chicane to eventually defend his position up to the flag, despite a fantastic last-turn attempt by Scassa.
The rider from Tuscay had, earlier in the race, a collision at the exit of "Goddards" with team mate Florian Marino, after which the Frenchman crashed out finishing on a bad note a promising race. 6th place for Jack Kennedy (Rivamoto Honda), ahead of Sheridan Morais (PTR Honda) and Andrea Antonelli (Team Goeleven Kawasaki).
Race results: 1. Lowes (Yamaha) 22 Laps/88.506 km in 33'37.767 average 157.908 kph; 2. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 11.105; 3. Rolfo (MV Agusta) 14.528; 4. Zanetti (Honda) 19.999; 5. Scassa (Kawasaki) 20.120; 6. Kennedy (Honda) 20.385; 7. Morais (Honda) 24.324; 8. Antonelli (Kawasaki) 27.395; 9. Foret (Kawasaki) 28.153; 10. Richards (Triumph) 28.264; 11. Ivanov (Kawasaki) 28.487; 12. Talmacsi (Honda) 29.041; 13. De Rosa (Honda) 29.648; 14. Russo (Kawasaki) 32.602; 15. Baldolini (Suzuki) 38.965; etc.
Standings (round 5 of 14): 1. Lowes 95; 2. Sofuoglu 65; 3. Foret 61; 4. Zanetti 53; 5. Vd Mark 49; 6. Scassa 45; 7. Rolfo 38; 8. Antonelli 37; 9. Kennedy 34; 10. Marino 31; 11. Russo 28; 12. Coghlan 22; 13. Leonov 21; 14. Morais 19; 15. Ivanov 18. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 110; 2. Yamaha 103; 3. Honda 78; 4. MV Agusta 38; 5. Suzuki 9; 6. Triumph 6.