Press releases from the organizers and teams after Sunday's races at Donington Park:
Donington: Day 3
A Tale of Two Kawasakis
KRT duo duel it out at Donington
An incredible start for the Kawasaki Racing Team pairing of Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea saw the two Brits escape at the front of the race, beginning a more than twenty lap tussle that eventually saw Sykes earn an eighth victory at the Derbyshire track. Reigning Champion Rea crossed the line in P2 to take another podium and keep his incredible haul of points for the title increasing, and Ducati’s Chaz Davies found redemption after a tricky Race 1 in which the Welshman suffered two crashes, completing the podium in third.
Sykes was the pacesetter throughout the weekend and the Yorskhireman’s Kawasaki wasn’t beaten into Turn 1 in Race 2, but teammate Jonathan Rea got an incredible start from the second row to set off in Sykes’ wake around Donington Park. Staying with his teammate, Rea made some moves to take the lead but a small mistake at the final turn saw Sykes regain the lead and then find the legs to pull away to cross the line 2 seconds clear.
Aruba.it rider Chaz Davies made amends for his Race 1 after a difficult Friday with technical problems and locked out the podium in P3, with teammate Davide Giugliano having some issues and unable to repeat his podium from Saturday. The Italian Ducati rider came home in P7.
Lorenzo Savadori had another impressive performance onboard the IodaRacing Aprilia and converted his front row start into a repeat of the rookie Italian’s best ever P4 finish claimed earlier in the season, ahead of MV Agusta rider Leon Camier, riding at home, who put in a sterling ride to bring the Italian marque home in illustrious company in the top 5.
Honda’s Nicky Hayden had a good start and hunted down Giugliano and Savadori in the initial stages, before encountering a drop in pace and eventually succumbing to Camier in the closing stages and coming home in P6. Teammate Michael van der Mark dueled with Milwaukee BMW rider Josh Brookes and beat the Australian over the line to take P8.
Brookes, who has a lot of experience at Donington, moved up through the field to finish in P9 and top BMW at the Milwaukee team’s home race. The top ten was completed by stand in rider Cameron Beaubier riding for Pata Yamaha in place of injured Sylvain Guintoli, with the American putting in a calm and solid performance to gain some good points for the team.
After a history-making weekend at Donington, Round 8 sees WorldSBK back on track at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on the Riviera di Rimini from 17th – 19th June as Ducati race at home once again.
#UKWorldSBK at Donington: Race 2
1. Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team
2. Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team +2.017
3. Chaz Davies Aruba.it Racing - Ducati +4.437
Sykes Doubles Up At Home With Rea Second
The remarkable winning record of Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) and the Ninja ZX-10R at Donington Park continued today as Sykes won his second WorldSBK race in as many days, and his fourth of the year. Fellow KRT rider Jonathan Rea was a close second for much of the 23-lap second race, continuing his 100% podium finishing record in 2016 at the end and maintaining a strong championship lead. He now leads his own team-mate in a KRT 1-2, as Sykes went second in the overall standings after his race two victory.
After the official Kawasaki riders shot into an early lead - Sykes from pole and Rea from the second row - there were only two riders competing for the win and each was on the new model Ninja ZX-10R. Rea set a new lap record of 1’27.605 to get himself back into the slipstream of a fleeing Sykes on lap two, as the race settled into a high speed game of cat and mouse between the KRT team-mates.
With a handful of laps to go Rea made a pass on Sykes but in finding a false neutral into Goddards he lost ground that he would never quite make up as Sykes maintained a high and consistent pace right to the end. Feeling the effects of arm pump close to the end of the intense 23-lap race Rea eased up in the final few laps, with third place finisher Chaz Davies safely over two seconds behind him, and 4.437 seconds behind Sykes.
Sykes’ celebration over the finish line was obvious for all to see as he continued what has become a legendary run of race wins at Donington – eight in a row. A Superpole success and then a double race win made Donington yet another almost perfect race weekend for Tom, topped off by regaining second place in the championship.
Tom is now 56 points behind Jonathan, who has 293 points to Tom’s 237. Rea has five race wins this year, Sykes now four, with Davies and Nicky Hayden the only other race winners so far.
In the Manufacturers’ Standings Kawasaki has a commanding 53-point lead thanks to the exploits of the new model Ninja ZX-10R and the official KRT pairing of Rea and Sykes. The next round of the championship will take place at Misano, between 17 and 19 June.
Tom Sykes stated: “Eight in a row at Donington feels fantastic and I am over the moon. I had a good start to race two and had good pace. For sure it was not perfect and for sure that is why we had a lot of pressure. We did a very good job and had to fight again, so it is more rewarding when you win like this. I am grateful to Kawasaki, Marcel, Danilo and all the boys in the garage because we have won three of the last four races, which is quite promising. We have won on some difficult circuits this year, physically and from a point of view of the types of tracks. Thailand, Sepang and two-times here – which is a circuit of two halves. Consistently, I think we are getting better. I am going to bed tonight thinking we have had a perfect weekend.”
Jonathan Rea stated: “I got another neutral going into the final hairpin corner, just as I had made my pass, so I was a little bit frustrated with that. In the end of the race I did not have much for Tom. I feel my bike was working really good, so I want to thank my team, especially as we have been working close with Kawasaki and all the crew to get the bike suited to me. It seems we are getting there now. In the last few races we have defined the engine character that I really like, so now it is the balance of the bike that seems to be working. To be so close to Tom, in a circuit that he is so strong at, is good because he is riding really strongly now. I am happy for that and happy to come here and make a big margin in my championship lead as well. That is the priority - but it would have been really nice to cap it off with a win in race two. My bike was feeling really good but near the end I just suffered a little bit with arm pump in my right arm.”
Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, stated: “It was another great day for KRT and we were especially pleased to be joined at Donington Park by Mr Horiuchi, the General Manager of the Technology Division of the Motorcycle & Engine Company at KHI. For him to be with Tom and Jonathan on the podium was a fitting end to another successful weekend.”
Anthony West (Pedercini racing Kawasaki) was 12th in race two, Roman Ramos (Go Eleven Team Kawasaki) 13th and Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) placed 18th. Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Racing Team Kawasaki) was a non-finisher.
Third place for Chaz Davies in Race 2 at Donington, Giugliano 7th
After taking second position with Davide Giugliano in Race 1, the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team stepped on the podium once again in Donington (U.K.) with Chaz Davies, who finished Race 2 in third position. A result that partially comforts the Welsh rider and shows his resilience after the difficulties encountered on Friday and Saturday. Giugliano, on the other hand, faced an opposite fate and, after barely missing the victory in Race 1, was unfortunately forced to play defense due to some unexpected grip issues, whose cause is yet to be determined.
Taking second and fourth position respectively after a positive start, Davies and Giugliano fought from the early phases of the race to match the pace of the leading couple composed by Sykes and Rea. The Welshman showed significant progress compared with the previous days, managing to set his pace in the low 1:28 mark and holding third position until the checkered flag. Giugliano was hindered by some unforeseen problems instead, mostly under braking, which prevented him from showing his previous competitiveness and caused him to struggle and finish in seventh position.
After seven rounds, Davies (231 points) and Giugliano (147 points) occupy third and fourth position in the championship respectively, while Ducati is second in the Manufacturers standings with 268 points. The WorldSBK championship will resume action the weekend of July 17-19 in Misano for the eighth round, in preparation of which the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will have a two-day test on the Italian track next Tuesday and Wednesday.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 3rd
“It’s definitely good to step back on the podium after the difficulties we’ve encountered here in Donington. Most of all, it was important to score a positive result after not being able to finish the race yesterday. I think it all began with our problems on Friday, and yesterday I probably pushed a bit too hard, but we’re here to win races and you have to give it a try when you’re in the lead. We know we can do better, there are certainly a few aspects under which we can improve, but it was difficult to beat the Kawasakis on this track. Today, we’ve made some good progress also thanks to the data we gathered yesterday during the race, and the goal is to get to Misano in a different position. We’ll prepare the next round with two days of tests next week, and the first objective will be to improve our results from 2015.”
Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #34) – 7th
“This weekend left a bittersweet taste in our mouth. After a strong race yesterday, we were hoping to make another step forward to be competitive until the very end of the race. Instead, we had some problems under braking and in corner entry, still to be clarified, which were detrimental to our performance. Here in Donington there are 3 or 4 hard-braking corners where it’s possible to make the difference, and we lost a lot of time each lap there. Still, yesterday’s second place can’t be taken away from us, and now we need to work harder to make sure we don’t run into similar stumbling blocks in the future and keep improving. I can’t wait to race in front of our fans in Misano, a track where we’ve been usually quite competitive.”
Serafino Foti, Team Manager
“Despite some difficulties faced throughout the weekend, we were able to take two more podiums with Davide and Chaz, even though we would have liked to do more. The gap in the championship increased, but we’ve shown once again we can be competitive on any track. We need to look forward and keep believing in our goals, always, as the season is just half-way and there are still 300 points up for grabs.”
Donington Round Race2, Stunning fourth place for Savadori, De Angelis scores a point
Donington, May 29, 2016 - The second race of the seventh round of the Superbike 2016 has ended with a stunning fourth place finish by Lorenzo Savadori riding the Aprilia RSV4RF of Iodaracing Team, while Alex De Angelis has finished in the points in fifteenth position.
Lorenzo Salvadori, who started from the front row with the third fastest time achieved in SP2, has managed to stay with the front group after the lights went out starting his battle with Nicky Hayden and Davide Giugliano for fourth place. After passing the Ducati rider on lap three, Savadori tried to maintain contact with Hayden, managing eleventh lap to pass the former world champion of MotoGP to get in the hull on the hunt for Chaz Davies, and the third position. Chase Savadori toward Davies lasted throughout the second half of the race, in which the Iodaracing rider lapped consistently stronger than the first step in 1.28.3. Arrived about a second off Ducati Davies, Savadori crossed the line in fourth place, demonstrating its maturation process in the Superbike race in a tirade and not easy.
The second race of the British Round is not entirely satisfactory for Alex De Angelis. The San Marino rider has had some difficulty riding his Aprilia RSV4RF because of a different set up than in Race 1. De Angelis struggled to the fifteenth position with the German rider Reiterberger throughout the race, managing to close in points.
After the Donington round, which is the halfway point of the season 2016, the World SBK Championship Standings sees Lorenzo Savadori in ninth place with 89 points and Alex De Angelis in fifteenth with 42 points.
The Team will Iodaracing with its riders will test at Misano next June 1 to prepare the race to be held in two weeks on the Marco Simoncelli circuit.
LORENZO SAVADORI # 32 - Donington ROUND Race2 - 4th - "I am very happy about this weekend because we were able to do two good races and a good qualifying, but I still have a little 'bitter taste in the mouth as far as today's race . There was threaten to throw away all the work done these days if I had tried to attack Davies, that's why in the end I did not try to attack, it did not make sense. I preferred to bring home a fourth place which for me is still good . This time, the second half of the race went well, but we have to try to be a little more effective at the beginning because this time I finished the tires searching to reach the way to Davies. At the start, however, it made no sense for me to go ahead because I had need to see what others riders were doing to process my race strategy. It was a very positive race even if in the end I settled, but as he started the weekend the boys Iodaracing Team and Aprilia have all done an excellent I work and I want to thank them. "
ALEX DE ANGELIS #15 - Donington ROUND Race2 - 15th - "We tried a set different set up in compare of yesterday's one but it was not effective to me off because I was never able to replicate my best times during this weekend. I could not even make the same trajectories and the bike became very nervous. the only two times I've tried to take the group in front of me the bike was impossible to control on the straight. So I had to hold on to take home this World Championship point which we needed after the yesterday zero. I hope that in the test at Misano we really can find what's missing me to remain stable on the bike. "
Hayden and van der Mark battle hard in race two at Donington
Round 7 – UK
Donington Park, United Kingdom
Round seven of the 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship has come to an end with the second race of the weekend at Donington Park, which saw the Honda WorldSBK duo of Nicky Hayden and Michael van der Mark finishing in sixth and eighth positions, respectively.
Nicky did not enjoy the best of starts from seventh place on the grid but was able to make up places using the outside line at turn one. By the end of the opening lap, the American rider was running in fifth place and setting his sights on fourth, which he took from Giugliano on lap four with a perfect pass at Coppice 1.
Hayden brilliantly defended his position from a competitive Lorenzo Savadori, who was right in his slipstream for almost the entire first half of the encounter. When he eventually dropped back to fifth behind the Aprilia rider, he started to experience a loss of grip, which made it difficult for him to keep a consistent pace around the 4.023 Km English track. He eventually had to give away one more position at the end of the penultimate lap of 23 and had nothing to fight back with before the chequered flag was deployed.
Michael van der Mark’s race was once again affected by his twelfth-place grid position; the Dutchman found himself battling for eighth place with Joshua Brookes and Cameron Beaubier, eventually getting the better of both opponents. In the final stages of the encounter, van der Mark’s pace was not too far from the front-runners, although he was not able to close on Giugliano for seventh.
World Superbike will now enjoy a three-week break before round eight, which will take place at the Misano World Circuit in Italy on June 17-19. The team will also perform a single-day test this Wednesday at the same track, in preparation for the Italian event.
Nicky Hayden 69
Of course, I cannot be happy with sixth place but I have no excuses; the team did a great job with the bike and we switched to a harder front tyre, which gave me better stability under braking in the downhill corners. I did my fastest lap of the weekend, including qualifying, today. My pace was much quicker than yesterday but I simply wasn’t fast enough, especially after halfway when I started experiencing a little technical problem that hurt our performance a bit. I also struggled in changing direction, especially when lifting the bike and I had a couple of big moments at the Esses. Too bad, because for a while I thought I could close the gap to Chaz Davies and fight for the podium. As I said thanks to the team because the bike was better today and now we just need to come up with something to improve it a bit more.
Michael van der Mark 60
It has been another difficult race for me, in all ways similar to the one I had yesterday. I was able to make a couple of places at the start but I got stuck again in the battle for eighth with Josh Brookes and Cameron Beaubier. I was eventually able to pass them and stay ahead, but it definitely wasn’t easy. Our starting position surely didn’t help, but we wouldn’t have had the pace anyway to battle for the top 5. There’s still a lot of work to do and we will start with Misano. Hopefully next week’s test there will help us find the solution to the problems I have been experiencing lately.
Nicky had a great first half of the race and it was clear that he had a good feeling with the bike. Unfortunately he couldn’t keep the same pace until the end and we are working hard to find out what happened. Sixth is not a bad result but surely we were looking for more today. On the positive side of things, we were able to improve the bike a lot during the weekend and that’s great news for the upcoming races. We tried the new suspension linkage on Michael’s bike that we used on Nicky’s yesterday and that, along with some changes to the electronics, helped him finding a better feeling. Unfortunately, this didn’t translate to a better result; he also had a small problem on the last lap, which we are sorry for. Hopefully on Wednesday at a one-day test in Misano we will be able to come up with a good set-up for both bikes in order to be ready for next round.
A tough SBK race for the Althea BMW Racing Team at Donington, while De Rosa scores a stunning Stock1000 win
Donington Park (UK), Sunday 29 May 2016
The seventh round of the Superbike World Championship concluded today at the Donington Park circuit in the UK. In the SBK race, the Althea BMW Racing team finished eleventh with Jordi Torres and sixteenth with Markus Reiterberger at the end of a rather difficult weekend.
Great satisfaction in the Stock1000 on the other hand, where team Althea BMW and rider Raffaele De Rosa ran away with the victory, scoring their second win of the season and consolidating their lead in the championship classification.
Superstock 1000 – Race – starting from pole, De Rosa defended himself well though the first turn to take an early lead. The Althea BMW rider then put together the perfect race, in which he continued to build his advantage lap after lap, thanks to an impressively fast pace. Raffaele set the fastest lap of the race, a 1’29.800, in the early stages and had built a 3 second lead by mid-race. With none of his rivals able to come close, De Rosa crossed the line in first place, with a comfortable 3.3 second lead over Mercado, second.
Thanks to today’s result, De Rosa consolidates his lead in the championship standings with 82 points to Mercado’s 77.
Superbike - Race 2 – a rather uneventful race for Torres and Reiterberger today. Placing 11th and 16th respectively through the first corners, the Althea BMW riders each made up a position in the opening stages. The Spaniard lost a little ground when he ran off track on lap 12, after which, holding the same positions throughout the second half of the race, the pair crossed the line in final eleventh (Torres) and sixteenth (Reiterberger) place.
Now mid-way through the 2016 Superbike World Championship, Jordi Torres lies seventh in the general standings with 117 points, while Reiterberger is in thirteenth place with 58 points. BMW is fourth in the manufacturer's classification with 127 points, and Althea BMW also lies fourth in the team rankings (175 points).
“Today didn’t go well. Several riders passed me at the start and after this, I tried to maintain a good pace, behind VD Mark, but at a certain point I made a mistake shifting down and ran off track, losing ground. The rest of the race I spent lapping alone, without any problems, but I took the opportunity to try to modify my riding to see if I could improve the problems we’ve been having with the bike moving around. I think I’ve learned something that could be useful in the next races. Now I can’t wait to get to Misano, where we need to do better.”
“Another bad race for us. We tried something new to give me more feeling with the bike today but the results didn’t improve. I don’t feel comfortable on the bike, and have had the same problems right from the start of the weekend. I feel bad because everyone’s working so hard and I’m really trying my best. I’m disappointed but hope we can improve in the next races.”
Raffaele De Rosa
“I’m very happy, also because we’ve been fast, in first place, in all of the weekend’s sessions, something that I don’t think I’ve ever done before. We made a small change in warm-up that helped me in the race. The key point was the first corner; I managed to hold my position there, after which I worked to build a gap. I knew we had the pace and that we could fight for the win here, and everything went to plan. I thank my team for their great work here. It was important to win this weekend, at this point of the championship, and now we want to continue in the same vein at Misano, another home round for us.”
“It’s been a difficult Superbike weekend. Both our riders have had trouble adapting to the track, citing various problems already from Friday, and as a result we’ve worked to try and resolve those issues. We qualified on the second row with Torres, who put together a slightly better race, while Reiterberger continued to have various problems, particularly with the chassis. I hope we can make up for this very soon, at Misano perhaps, because we need to score the kind of result that the team and BMW deserves.
A very different situation for De Rosa however, who set out with determination and dominated every session, setting the track record, pole position and winning the race with authority, showing great maturity in terms of his progress with the BMW. He is a rider who is paving the way to what will surely be an important future, giving us significant results.”
Top Ten Finish for Beaubier on his Donington Debut
Cameron Beaubier concluded his debut weekend with the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team at Donington Park in the UK today, securing a top ten finish in the 23-lap contest. With just under three hours of track time aboard the YZF-R1 under his belt, the young American put on a standout performance at the British track to the delight of his team and its supportive home crowd.
A more conservative but less aggressive start to Sunday's race saw Beaubier immediately consolidate his grid position, running ninth for the opening three laps before advancing to eighth from lap four. Holding position until the halfway stage he lost out in a three rider battle on lap 13 to sit tenth and while his pace improved for the closing stages, he concluded the race rounding out the top-ten and collecting his first set of six championship points.
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team now look towards the Misano World Circuit - Marco Simoncelli as the championship moves back to Italy for round eight, commencing on Friday 17th June.
Race: 10th / +26.955 / 23 laps. Championship: 21st / 6 points
"I struggled for the opening third of the race just because, honestly, crashing on the opening lap yesterday hurt me more than I originally realised just with the lack of track time and losing all that experience. The second half of the race I felt a lot better on the bike, two guys came past me and I thought they were going to leave me but slowly I started to chip away and claw my way back to them, which felt good. It is one of those things, I feel that if today was yesterday and we could start on a new day tomorrow after the race we've just had, that we would have been able to put myself in a much better position. I'm not really happy with tenth, obviously I want to be a bit higher up than that, but I'm happy with how I felt towards the end of the race. I wanted to try to pass one of them on the last lap but I ran out time!
"Most importantly I just want to thank Pata Yamaha for giving me this opportunity and for Yamaha US for letting me come to do this. It was a really fun weekend, I learnt a lot and I hope to do it again someday."
Paul Denning - Team Principal
"Of course, a tough weekend without Alex and Sylvain being able to ride, but thanks to them both for attending today and spending time with our sponsors and guests.
"Cameron has done a great job - the depth of talent in WorldSBK is significant and it's never easy jumping on a new bike, with a new team and on tyres you've never ridden before. He has summed it up perfectly - 23 laps yesterday in Race 1 would have set us up much better for today. Even so, a hard fought top-ten in your first WorldSBK race is nothing to be sniffed at, so thanks to Cameron for his efforts and to Keith McCarty and the team at Yamaha US for loaning us their talented rider."
Pawel Szkopek closing in on the World Superbike leaders at Donington Park
Pawel Szkopek finished the World Superbike Championship races at Donington Park in the UK in 16th and 19th respectably, with the smallest distance to the leaders so far this year. His attention now switches to the second round of the Polish Superbike Championship which will take place at the Pannonia-Ring in Hungary this upcoming weekend.
The reigning Polish Superbike Champion managed to close in on the leaders during his fourth World Superbike weekend of the season after receiving some technical updates for his Yamaha R1. In the first race Szkopek managed to charge through from 22th on the grid to 16th at the flag, finishing just outside the points scoring group. On Sunday, the Team Toth rider was 19th, reducing his gap to the winner by a full six seconds. This time the margin was his lowest of the season.
The next World Superbike round will take place in two weeks time in Misano but this weekend Szkopek will be back on his Wojcik FHP Racing Team Yamaha R1 for the second round of the Polish Superbike Championship. Having recently won both races of the opening round in Poznan, the reigning Champion aims for another double on his fourth consecutive race weekend as he’s closing in on the tenth national title.
“We made good progress at Donington Park and could close in on the leading group. Of course I won’t be satisfied until I’m battling for points on a regular basis but we’re heading in the right direction and improving the bike. My Sunday’s race was much faster than the day before. My fastest lap was a second faster and the overall time was 15 seconds faster, which is really good. It was also an incredible weekend thanks to the massive support I got from the Polish fans. I’d like to thank them all as it was really encouraging. I can’t wait for Misano where we should receive more updates and improve our pace further. In the meantime I’ll be working on my budget to be able to finish the World Superbike season well. Next weekend I’ll be back in the Polish Championship. It will be my fourth consecutive race weekend but I’m in a good shape and after the double in the opening round I’m aiming for more victories and want to get closer to that tenth title.”
WorldSSP: Supersport Perfection for Sofuoglu at Donington
Reigning Champion puts on a masterclass at #UKWorldSBK
The most successful World Supersport rider of all time – Kenan Sofuoglu – has taken another win in 2016 in a supreme display at Donington Park in the UK. The Turk lost the lead off the line before hunting down Honda rider PJ Jacobsen to retake P1 and subsequently pulling away from the chasing pack. American Jacobsen crossed the line in P2 for another podium finish, and second Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider Randy Krummenacher completed the podium in third in another impressive ride in his rookie year in WorldSSP.
A battle of the Brits raged just behind the podium finishers as front row starter Luke Stapleford battled Friday’s fastest Gino Rea, before GRT rider Rea managed to pull away and bring his MV Agusta home in P4, just ahead of the Triumph of Stapleford on home turf. Lorini rider Ayrton Badovini, after an amazing duel to the finish in Sepang, dueled once again at Donington but this time with ATK 25 rider Alex Baldolini. The duo were then joined in the fight by local rider Kyle Smith.
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda rider Smith, who won the race in Assen, got past Badovini with only a handful of laps remaining, then setting his sights on next Italian Baldolini. The Brit managed to fight off both to cross the line in P6 for another good haul of points, with Baldolini just behind him and a last minute move from MV Agusta Reparto Corse rider Jules Cluzel seeing the Frenchman take P8 from Badovini on the final lap. Cluzel had a difficult qualifying and is suffering effects from his crash in Jerez in 2015, with the result proving an impressive comeback ride for the Frenchman to finish in the top ten.
Lorenzo Zanetti, after a duel with his MV Agusta teammate Cluzel, completed the top ten for the Italian marque. The top FIM Europe Supersport Cup rider at Donington Park was once again Alessandro Zaccone for San Carlo Team Italia, with the young Italian impressing in his debut WorldSSP outings.
Round 8 will see WorldSSP back out to battle at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on the Riviera di Rimini in June, as Sofuoglu sets his sights on the ever-closer fifth WorldSSP crown.
#UKWorldSBK at Donington: WorldSSP Race
1. Kenan Sofuoglu Kawasaki Puccetti Racing
2. PJ Jacobsen Honda World Supersport Team +1.569
3. Randy Krummenacher Kawasaki Puccetti Racing +3.775
Sofuoglu Wins Again As Krummenacher Takes Third Place
The seventh race of the FIM Supersport World Championship season was won by championship leader Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), after 20 front-running laps of the 4.023km Donington circuit. Kenan’s team-mate Randy Krummenacher moved up from fifth in qualifying to third place in the race, his third podium in what is his first ever WorldSSP season.
Starting from pole position Sofuoglu had PJ Jacobsen pass in front of him as he entered the first corner but he soon got by his American rival and led across the start/finish line every lap from then on.
Kenan’s pace eased off in the final part of the race, allowing the advancing Jacobsen to draw closer for a time. Despite a well-used rear tyre Kenan upped his pace at the vital time and held on for a clear margin of victory of 1.569 seconds. This was Kenan’s third race win of the year.
In his first ride at Donington Park for some years, and his first on a Supersport machine at the English venue, Krummenacher found most of the pace he had just missed out on in qualifying. He ended raceday in third place, just 3.775 seconds from his team-mate Sofuoglu.
In the championship itself Sofuoglu extended his lead to 26 points over Krummenacher, with Kenan now on 121 points and Randy on 95. Randy is 19 points ahead of overall third place rider PJ Jacobsen, who was second in the Donington race today. Kawasaki leads the Manufacturers’ Standings by 25 points.
The next round will take place at Misano in Italy, with raceday on June 19th.
Kenan Sofuoglu stated: “Today was a good day and everything worked very well, except for the cooler conditions. I immediately took the lead because PJ was slow in font of me. I passed him and tried to pull a gap and the plan worked very well. With the last five or six laps to go I started to slow down a little bit because the left side of the tyre was worn. I saw that PJ was coming closer so I started to push again and it worked out well. I am very happy to win again. I think PJ had less of a problem than me with the tyres because he was spinning a lot and when you spin you heat the tyre. My riding style is too smooth to heat the tyre but I am very happy because we took a Superpole win, a winning race and 25 points. You cannot ask for more so a big thanks to my Puccetti team as they did a really great job without any mistakes and we won.”
Randy Krummenacher stated: “I am happy to be back on the podium because the last time was in Motorland Aragon, which feels like a long time ago. It was good to be back up there after Imola and Malaysia which were not that good, and so I can be really pleased with a third place. At the end of the race I missed a step to find Kenan and he was really strong, especially at the beginning of the race. I was pushing hard and at the end I also tried to stay with PJ and attack him but he was so strong at the end. I said, ‘Ok, let’s take the third and bring it home.’ This is a good result and I have more confidence for Misano. I know this track in Italy a bit better. Here, I have to say my riding is not at its best. Some racing lines I could do better but I gave my best. On other tracks I can be faster.”
The next best Kawasaki riders were both part time ESS riders, who only race at the European-based rounds. Alessandro Zaccone (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) was 12th while Illia Mikhalchik (DS Junior Team Kawasaki) was 13th. Another ESS rider, Axel Bassani (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki), was 17th, just out of the points.
Jacobsen takes second at Donington to claim best result of the season
Round 7 – UK
Donington Park, United Kingdom
PJ Jacobsen has completed the seventh round of the 2016 FIM Supersport Race with a second place finish in the 20-lap race that took place at Donington Park in the UK. This is the best race result for Jacobsen so far in 2016, with the Honda WorldSSP rider now third in the Championship standings with five races still left to be contested in the season.
Jacobsen had a good start from second place on the grid and, after leading the race for half of the opening lap, he was overtaken by current series leader Sofuoglu, who was able to pull away and put a two-second gap between himself and last year’s Vice Champion. PJ was able to hold on to second place from a determined Randy Krummenacher, who tried without success to get past the American.
As the race entered its final quarter, Jacobsen was constantly the quickest rider on track; he was able to consolidate second place in the late stages, while trying at the same time to have one last push victory. The young American was able to narrow the gap to the lead to 1.2s at the start of the penultimate lap, but despite the effort, he ran out of time to complete the comeback.
Patrick Jacobsen 2
At the beginning of the race I let Sofuoglu get away a bit too much, because honestly I thought that tyre wear would have been higher than it turned out to be in the end. With seven laps to go I started pushing to try and bridge the gap to Kenan but two laps afterwards I almost had a big highside and that told me I was on the tyre limit already. I did all I could but obviously it didn’t pay off, but I want to thank the guys for their amazing effort, because we’re getting there and we’re back in the game. I believe that from now on we’ll have the chance to be at the sharp end of the field at every track.
PJ did a good job in keeping calm despite seeing Sofuoglu pulling away and Krummenacher getting closer. In the final stages he did his best to get back near the lead, but it was simply a bit too late. He rode a solid race and that’s his best result of the season so far, which put him back to third in the standings. We’re pretty happy with our weekend and we are now looking forward to some more of the same at Misano. It’s good to be back on the podium but we must keep the momentum going and be up there on regular basis.
Supersport - New victory of San Carlo Team Italia in the FIM Europe Cup
At Donigton Park Alessandro Zaccone got his third success out of four races in FIM Europe Supersport Cup, Axel Bassani is third in the category.
San Carlo Team Italia continues the positive trend in FIM Europe Supersport Cup. At Donington Park, halfway point of the 2016 season, Alessandro Zaccone reaches his third victory in four races and finishes 12th overall, his teammate Axel Bassani is instead 17th in World Championship, third in the category.
After a weekend of constant improvement, Zaccone has completed the race, proving his maturity and being confident of his means, which is not always common for a seventeen-year-old rider. Fighting for the victory of the ESS, at the fifth lap out of a total of twenty, he passed his main rival in the class, Ilya Mikhalchik, being able to manage the race and to conquer the victory of the European Cup.
With the 4 points of today, the rider from Rimini strengthens the leadership in ESS, with a total of 26 points, 6 more than his teammate Axel Bassani, 17th on the finish line and who is already thinking of the next round on the agenda, from 17th to 19th June, at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, fifth round out of eight races of the 2016 FIM Europe Supersport Cup.
Alessandro Zaccone (San Carlo Team Italia - Kawasaki ZX-6R #61)
1st FIM Europe Supersport Cup & 12th FIM Supersport World Championship
"The race went very well, but it could have gone even better! Unfortunately in the first laps I lost the contact with the riders of World Championship, because of a setback, but during the race I was able to recover. The pace was good, constantly on 1'31'' and this allowed me to get the victory of the European Cup and to increase my advantage in the standings. The team is fantastic, works very well and we completed the weekend, reaching our goal. Now we are focused on the next round in Misano, my home race, where I will do my best to get an important result in European Cup but also in the World Championship."
Axel Bassani (San Carlo Team Italia - Kawasaki ZX-6R #47)
3rd FIM Europe Supersport Cup & 17th FIM Supersport World Championship
"From the start, I battled with a group of riders and I was able to ride in competitive times. Starting from the end of the grid is never easy, but I didn't give up and I was protagonist of several overtakes. Unfortunately at the end of the hairpin turn, the gear shifted into neutral and I lost 3 seconds and the opportunity to reach the points. We'll try to do better in Misano, a track that I know and where I will do my best to get a remarkable result."
"We finish this weekend with a great result of Zaccone. He did a wonderful race, winning the European category with competitive times on 1'31'', in line with many protagonists of the World Championship. At the halfway of the season, we have a good advantage in the standings and, as a team, we are satisfied with the result of today and the position in the championship. Of course, we will keep focusing on our goal and we are confident for Misano, the home race for us, especially for Alessandro."
"The start of Axel was quite good, but starting from behind, he lost the contact with the riders ahead him. Anyway he was able to reach good times and he proved once again his potential, it's a pity that the final result doesn't represent his worth. At the end he lost three seconds in the hairpin turn, the gear shifted into neutral in the braking point and he wasn't able to recover positions in the standings. We leave behind this weekend, taking advantage of the experience of this weekend and motivated to do well in Misano, a track that Axel knows very well and where he can reach high levels."
Donington Day 3:
P1 - Tom Sykes @TheRealTomSykes
Kawasaki Racing Team @KRT_WorldSBK
"Great weekend. We worked hard for it, we worked hard in Sepang and I’m very happy. We have won three of the last four races which is what we come here to do. Strange because I have had some issues in both races and that took my eye off the ball a little bit, so I was a bit disappointed because of that as it gave Jonathan more of a chance. It looks like he had the better package so I’m sure he’s disappointed with himself. Overall I’m happy."
P2 - Jonathan Rea @jonathanrea
Kawasaki Racing Team @KRT_WorldSBK
"Congratulations to Tom. I really want to thank all my team because they gave me an incredible bike. I feel like I let them down a bit today because on the last two or three laps, when I wanted to make a pass my right arm cramped up, with arm pump. All my movements were then more aggressive, grabbing the brake too aggressively and opening the gas. I’ve been suffering for many years now at this circuit and at Assen and the devil came out today! I’m happy though to get good points over the weekend."
P3 - Chaz Davies @ChazDavies
Aruba.it Racing - Ducati @ArubaRacing
"That was about as good as we could have expected today, I hoped to get away out in front like yesterday and try to control the race from the front by myself but I just didn’t have the pace. I knew that it would be the case, that if Tom was to lead through the first corner that his pace on the second and third lap and Jonny’s pace were just ridiculous. No way I could have hung there. After the difficult times on Friday, missing all the track time, we have got to be reasonably happy to be on the podium at our home race."
WorldSSP: Supersport Perfection for Sofuoglu
P1 - Kenan Sofuoglu @kenan_sofuoglu
Kawasaki Puccetti Racing
"I knew I could be very strong in the race and we won the Superpole yesterday. This morning we had a good pace and in the race I pulled a gap, then with five laps to go I could see Jacobsen getting closer. I had a lot of spinning on the left side of the tyre, but I managed to keep the distance with Jacobsen. Of course I am very happy, because it was quite important to get these 25 points for the Championship ."
P4 - Gino Rea @GinoRea
GRT Racing Team
"It’s been a very positive weekend and fourth is a very strong race result. When you look at the data and our pace at mid-race, we were matching the times of my competitors who achieved the podium positions. I couldn’t quite close the gap to them unfortunately, but we have to be pleased with the result because of our pace. We’re all still learning, as we haven’t had a dry race for a while, since Thailand I think. I would really have liked a podium at home, but I was the top Brit anyway. Thanks to my team for their great work all through the race weekend. We will take the positives from this weekend and now we’ll look ahead to Misano, where we hope we can continue our progress and taste