Press releases from the organizers and some of the teams after the races at Donington Park:
#UKWorldSBK Day 3 - Double Dutch delight for van der Mark
Flying Dutchman rounds off amazing weekend ahead of surprising Razgatlioglu
It's like waiting for a bus.... two come along at once as Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) takes the double victory
The floodgates were opened on Saturday, and now there’s no stopping Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team). The Dutchman closed an extraordinary weekend at Donington for the Pata Yamaha team with the second win of his MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship career, a win against oll-odds in another fascinating race at the Prosecco DOC UK Round. A first double for van der Mark, and a first podium for Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), beating none other than Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in the closing stages.
A poor start from Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) saw him gobbled up in the mix at the first turn, ceding two places to Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) and Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing). The Yamaha managed to pick both off in short order however, Haslam at the Fogarty Esses (before the wildcard crashed at Melbourne), and the Italian in lap 2. Meanwhile, the two KRTs held a surprisingly aggressive battle, while the other Yamaha quietly made it through to the leading group from ninth on the grid.
Quickly, one third in, the battle for the race turned into a three-way fight, with Lowes sticking strong but Rea taking ghost shots around Craner and Melbourne. Meanwhile, van der Mark, much like he did on Saturday, stalked the front two, biding his time. At the back, Razgatlioglu and Savadori fought nail and tooth for fourth, a few seconds back on the leading group.
After two perfect thirds to the race, it all came apart for Lowes at the end. On lap 17, Rea found a spot at the Melbourne loop, where so many moves have been made this weekend, and pushed in front from the inside of Lowes, with van der Mark picking off the scraps at Redgate and moving to second. And just like yesterday, one lap later, van der Mark made his race-winning move at that same turn 11. The Ductchman shot off from there, giving his pursuers no option to take away his incredible double.
There was one more surprise left at Donington, however. Amidst the front group bickering, Razgatlioglu found himself with the gap now non-existent. Showing an impressive late-race pace, the Turkish rider picked off Lowes with ease, before setting his sights on the three-time WorldSBK champion. And with one lap to go, he moved up to second. A fitting epilogue to Kenan Sofuoglu’s retirement in the last Round: Turkey has a new hero for years to come.
With Rea finally in third, his worst result since the Thai Round, and Alex Lowes repeating his Saturday performance in fourth, there was another comeback behind. Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) found his way all the way back to twelfth at the start, but a neat ride from the Welshman pushed him back to fifth, ahead of Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), who couldn’t continue his incredible Donington streak and leaves with his first finish outside the podium since 2011.
Savadori made it to the checkered flag in seventh, just ahead of Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team), who pipped Jordi Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) to eighth at the final turns, and leaves the UK Round with two top-ten finishes on his return. Closing the top ten was Loris Baz (GULF Althea BMW Racing Team), with Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) ending a weekend to forget down in eleventh.
P1 - Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
"It just incredible, I can't believe it, I had quite a good race, I struggled a bit but I didn't feel as good as yesterday. So I followed Alex and Jonny, just used my head and in the last few laps they had a battle and I managed to pull away. To take the first win yesterday and now the double, its just incredible."
P2 - Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)
"Today is my team bosses birthday, so a big happy birthday to him! But this position is very good, I am really happy: It's my first podium so I am really happy, thank you!"
P3 - Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
"It was a huge battle, I really enjoyed it and it was quiet close, I hope everyone out in the crowd and at home enjoyed it. But unfortunately I am disappointed with myself, I ran into arm pump issues which meant I found it hard to change direction and, I had to back off. Third was all we could manage, I'm sorry to my team as they gave me a bike that could win but that as all I could do."
#UKWorldSBK at Donington Park: Race 2
1. Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +2.328
3. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +2.614
Van Der Mark Storms to Sensational Yamaha Donington Double
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team's Michael van der Mark wrote history by taking his maiden victory on Saturday at Round 6 of the 2018 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship at Donington Park, and the flying Dutchman produced an encore performance on Sunday by pulling off a simply incredible ride from ninth on the grid in Race 2 to “do the double” and claim his second race win of the weekend. His teammate Alex Lowes rode an aggressive first lap from pole position and led for the majority of the race, before battling hard to secure his second fourth-placed finish of the weekend. Wildcard Niccolò Canepa has not had the easiest of weekends, as the team's official Test Rider struggled to find a good rhythm, but despite this, he charged from 24th on the grid to cross the line in 18th place.
Van der Mark's historic Race 1 victory saw him become the first Dutch rider to win a WorldSBK race and meant he recorded the first win for Yamaha since their return to WorldSBK in 2016, but it also meant he would start Sunday's Race 2 from ninth on the grid. A track temperature of 37˚C, cloudy skies, and some drops of rain was the order of the day at Donington Park on Sunday and when the lights went out the 25-year-old remained calm and skilfully picked his way past a number of riders amidst a chaotic first few laps. Up to fifth at the end of the first lap, he was showing superb pace and consistency and had fought his way to third by lap 2. He kept on pushing on his Pata Yamaha R1 and by the fourth lap he was into second place and had set his sights on closing down the 1.5s gap to his teammate Lowes in the lead.
Staying patient, the 2014 WorldSSP Champion's pace continued to improve as the race went on and by lap 9 he was right on his teammate's back wheel. The fight for victory became a three-way battle as Jonathan Rea joined the two Pata Yamaha R1s and, in one of the most sensational races seen in WorldSBK for a while, an incredible game of cat and mouse ensued over the next few laps. Rea made his move on lap 12 for second place but van der Mark just took stock and bided his time, knowing that his pace was good enough to fight for victory in the latter stages. On lap 18, he blasted past Rea and Lowes to take the lead for the first time and with a clear track in front of him, he never looked back, setting his fastest lap of the race on lap 21 and opening up a gap over his rivals. Continuing to push right until the line, he went on to record his second WorldSBK victory by 2.328s, less than 24 hours after the first. In the process, he secured a historic Donington double and the 50 points he collected this weekend now sees van der Mark move up to third in the championship standings with 163 points, just 18 behind Chaz Davies in second.
Lowes was determined to fight for victory at his and the team's home round from pole position in Race 2 after his superb ride to fourth on Saturday. Not getting the best of starts, the 27-year-old Brit was forced wide at the first corner and dropped down to fifth. Mounting a sensational recovery, he was up to second by the end of the first lap and had taken the lead on lap 2. He rode superbly in the tricky conditions as drops of rain appeared in every sector, opening up a gap to the rest of the field and leading across the line for 15 laps. He pushed to the absolute limit, despite struggling with his grip levels on corner exit as the race progressed, only relinquishing his lead on Lap 17 after a stunning duel with Rea. Losing out to his teammate on the next lap, Lowes regrouped and continued to give it his all, battling hard with Razgatlioglu and Rea in the last few laps before crossing the line in fourth-place, just 2.894s behind his teammate to match his result from Race1. Having collected 26 points over the course of his home round, Lowes is seventh in the championship standings with 118 points and is confident that he can challenge for victory once again at Brno after a positive test at the circuit.
Wildcard Canepa did not have the easiest of weekends in the UK, as the Pata Yamaha official Test Rider evaluated some new components on his development R1, struggling to find his usual good feeling with the bike. After finishing Race 1 in 20th, he lined up in 24th on the grid on Sunday and despite some excellent work by his team, during the race, he did still not have the feeling he was expecting with his R1. Despite this, he fought valiantly and went on a charge towards the end of the race, overtaking a number of riders to secure 18th place at the chequered flag.
Fresh from a historic Donington double, the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team head to Brno for Round 7 of the 2018 WorldSBK Championship on the 8th-10th of June looking to repeat their success following an extremely positive two-day test at the circuit recently.
Michael van der Mark:
"That was incredible – an amazing race! They always say that after the first victory, it gets easier but I really never expected to win today. We made some minor changes on the bike, I was still losing out in some areas to the other guys, but overall my R1 felt really good and I could push to the maximum. I had to start from ninth and stay calm in the first few laps that were a bit chaotic. I made my way to the front and followed Alex for a long time. Jonny passed me and I kept calm and used my head, at the end, I managed to pass him and pull away! It was incredible to take my first victory but I am genuinely lost for words about the double this weekend. The Yamaha is working so well and we had a really good test at Brno, so I am really looking to riding there. For sure, this weekend has given us a big boost and we now know that we can go there with a target to win!"
"It was a tough race, despite leading for so long. I was hoping to fix the issues we had had at the end of Race 1 because I knew I could be quite strong. It was a little better than yesterday but I still had the same restriction where I simply could not maximise my performance at the end. What is frustrating for me, is that historically my strongest part of the race is the last part, at the minute that is not the case. This is really frustrating but, apart from this, I did my best and I rode well. Well done to Michael and all of his team. It is nice to see that we are at the front and it's great for everyone involved. Now we need to focus on Brno and try and do a bit better."
"To be honest, this has been one of the worst weekends of my career. Anyway, this can happen in racing and we tried our hardest to figure out what happened all weekend but I have not been comfortable on the R1 since the first practice session. In the wet FP1, I was P6 but something didn't feel right with the bike. The team have done everything possible to try and understand this issue but we could not solve it. I know I can be a lot faster than this and I know that the bike can be a lot faster than this so, for sure, we will solve the problem and we will do some testing to find out what the issue was. This can happen when you are a test rider, we had a few items to assess and maybe something was not working in the best direction. Anyway, as the team's Test Rider I am really happy for Michael's double victory because that means we are doing a good job in developing it and the bike is improving race and race and this is a great result for the team, for Michael, and for everyone. It has been a great weekend for Yamaha and the team!"
"An incredible result for Michael, for Yamaha, for the team, and for everyone involved in the project. Yesterday, the way in which the victory was achieved was outstanding and today was even more impressive. As soon as Michael had a clear track in front of him, he was on another level to his competitors. The feeling is less emotional and more one of relief to win, but also honestly of surprise at the way in which Michael was able to dominate. Massive congratulations to him, to his crew, and to all involved.
Alex rode an outstanding race as well, leading for 15 laps and making superb passes early in the race to recover from fifth to first. There are a couple of areas of the bike that doesn't allow him to ride it as naturally as Michael but to fight so hard for the podium and to come in fourth, less than 3 seconds off the win is another step forward and in Brno I expect that progress from Alex and his team to continue. His sportsmanship and teamwork at Donington was also fantastic – when Alex wins, it will also be fully deserved.
Nico, honestly, has had a really tough weekend. Things haven't worked for him. He is a World Champion and an extremely fast rider and for whatever reason, the development package just wasn't working for him here at Donington Park. He is a vital part of the project and we are looking forward to him bouncing back from this disappointment and continuing his excellent development work with the R1."
Second Race Podium For Rea And Razgatlioglu
Jonathan Rea (KRT) scored a second podium during his home race weekend after finishing third in Sunday’s 23-lap WorldSBK race, with his team-mate Tom Sykes sixth
A thrilling finish to the second WorldSBK race at Donington Park saw Jonathan Rea just lose out on his chance of finishing second, being displaced by young Kawasaki privateer Toprak Razgatlioglu. It was a thrilling battle for the spectators, but with most of his main championship rivals behind him, he extended his championship lead once again.
Sykes had a tough second raceday after his podium performance on day one, finishing sixth and unable to compete in the way he expected to. On the same standard rear tyre choice as day one he felt that the larger development rear may have been a better race two choice, despite winning a man-to-man battle in the closing laps with Lorenzo Savadori.
In a dry race, the flags came out at one stage to warn of rain falling in all sectors but it came to very little and the pace was unaffected at the front. In a race that had four leaders, including Rea, there were several aggressive early passes and some thrilling overtakes, in a classic WorldSBK event in the UK.
In the championship, Rea leads by a strong 64 points after 12 races. Sykes is now fourth, albeit on the same points total as third place rider, and double Donington race winner, Michael van der Mark.
The astounding podium finish of second for Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was his own first top three and the first podium for any Turkish rider. He was tenth on lap one and moved forward at great pace in what was only his 12th WorldSBK race start.
Local wildcard Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) made a superb start and was in podium contention until he fell on lap two, and was unable to restart. Leandro Mercado (Orelac VerdNatura Kawasaki) was 12th today, while stand-in rider Luke Mossey was 14th for Team Pedercini Kawasaki.
The next round of the championship will take place at Brno, in the Czech Republic, which is a circuit the team has tested at recently. Racedays will be the 9th and tenth of June.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “It was a difficult race because in the beginning it was very aggressive from all riders. Guys who are not usually near the front were super-aggressive. When I got a track position I could be really smooth and do my own thing. Michael passed me, made a good attack and was able to stretch that gap a little bit. I wasted a lot of tyre and energy trying to get back to him. I also ran into some arm pump under braking at the end so it was hard to start thinking about attacking Michael. I could see Toprak was coming from my pit board but there was nothing I could do about him at that point, as he had better pace at the end. The target here at Donington was to exit the weekend with more than 50 points of advantage in the championship and we exceeded that, so for me it was a positive weekend.”
Tom Sykes, stated: “It looks like we missed out with our tyre choice today. We continued on the standard rear tyre and we really suffered with traction. The guys in front obviously used the bigger tyre. So I was disappointed with that. I felt we had good speed to be a lot closer but we were battling with Savadori, and the lap times were not great at that stage. I also suffered with the strong winds at the top of Hollywood. I know where to be fast at Donington and I could not hold the throttle like I could in the past, so we need to adjust the bike setup. It was a bit of a mixed bag today and not what I was expecting. Onwards and upwards and we have lots of good tracks coming up.”
Davies mounts a strong comeback to finish 5th in Race 2 at Donington with the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team, Melandri 11th
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team, in action at Donington (United Kingdom) for the sixth round of the WorldSBK Championship, finished Race 2 with Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri in 5th and 11th position respectively.
The Welshman and the Italian, starting from second and fourth row respectively, fought as hard as ever. Melandri, who enjoyed a blistering start, managed to get close to the top five early on but was eventually forced to drop the pace due to some riding issues. Davies, on the other hand, mounted a furious comeback after getting penalized in the traffic at the start, climbing back from 12th to 5th position with a spectacular series of overtaking maneuvers.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi, with the Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team, wasn't able to start due to a technical problem that forced him to retire on the grid. After six rounds, Davies (181 points) and Melandri (136 points) are respectively second and fifth in the championship, while Rinaldi (43 points) is 13th. The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team and the Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team will resume action in Brno (Czech Republic) for Round 7 of the WorldSBK Championship, scheduled for June 8-10, 2018.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 5th
"Today was definitely an improvement since Race 1, though our goal is to finish higher. I felt like I rode a good race overall. When the first drops of rain started to fall, I was fully committed to keep it wide open but there wasn't enough rain to worry the guys in front of us. I did everything that I could to close the gap from the front, and to some extent I did, but we've been struggling a bit too much here. I had to use a little bit of tire to bridge the gap and we couldn't do better today. Hopefully we can build on what we've done here and learn important lessons to apply in Brno."
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33) – 11th
"I was hoping to be able to keep yesterday's rhythm, which would have allowed us to get close to the top five, but unfortunately the changes made didn't yield the expected results and today the bike was quite nervous and physical to ride, which affected our performance. I simply tried not to make mistakes and take home as many points as possible. Let's look ahead, to Brno, where we were quite competitive during the tests even though we still need to make a few steps forward to fight at the top once again."
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team #21) – DNF
"We achieved the best possible result in Race 1, and today during WUP we had made another step forward, but unfortunately a technical problem forced us to retire, finishing a difficult weekend ahead of time. It's a pity because we've been constantly improving so far, but we must make the most of the difficulties too in order to improve, so I'm confident ahead of Brno."
Serafino Foti, Team Manager
"Chaz and Marco rode with great resilience all weekend, and their speed and talent has never been under discussion, but unfortunately we couldn't reap the fruits of their hard work and that of the team. We'll run a detailed analysis and regroup to come back to our levels as soon as possible. Brno is close and we're keen to bounce back."
Savadori scores points for Milwaukee Aprilia in Race 2 as Laverty retires
Donington Park 27 / 05 / 2018
Race Two Report #UKWorldSBK
Milwaukee Aprilia scored more points in Race 2 at Donington Park on Sunday, with Lorenzo Savadori finishing P7 after a hard-fought battle at the front. Teammate Eugene Laverty was forced to retire on Lap 16 with electronics issues.
Starting P2 and P3 after their season-best finish in Race 1 the riders both made quick getaways, Lorenzo trying a move up the inside of Lowes for the lead. As Van der Mark closed Lorenzo was still pushing hard, but was passed on Lap 3 and moved to third. As he struggled with grip he faced challenges from Rea and Razgatlioglu, and moved down to P5 by Lap 16. Davies closed the gap and passed Lorenzo on Lap 17, and he lost another place to Sykes on the final lap to finish P7 with 9 points.
Eugene had a difficult start, initially making a fast getaway but had a big moment on his bike exiting Turn 7 on the first lap and dropped to P14. From there he hung on to the pack and chased Torres, but a sticking throttle error on Lap 13 caused him to lose places and drop to P17. Concerned that the issue would risk danger to himself and to other riders, he pitted on Lap 15 and retired from the race.
Though not the result the team hoped for in Race 2 they still have positives to take away from Race 1, and have shown a strong step forward in performance that bodes well for the fast and flowing Brno circuit next month
Round 7 of the WorldSBK championship takes place at the Brno circuit in Czech Republic, 8-10 June.
Shaun Muir - Team Principal
"After the high of yesterday both riders are certainly disappointed with today's result, especially Lorenzo who was frustrated not to improve.
Eugene had an electrical issue from the start of the race and was never going to be able to advance. He was out of the seat three times as a result and he took the sensible decision not to push it and to retire the bike.
Overall we've made some positive steps forward this weekend, Saturday's result was obviously the highlight and I think we have a lot to look forward to at Brno. The circuit's fast, flowing style should suit the Aprilia and we can hopefully stay in the top 6 group."
Lorenzo Savadori #32 - Aprilia RSV4-RF
Race 2 grid: P2 - Row 1
Race 2 result: P7 - 9 points
Total weekend points: 21 points
"We tried something different today which did not work perfectly in the race. The first part of the race was quite strong, but when the fuel level went down I struggled a lot to push. The rear tyre also looked strange after and I felt some unusual feelings in the race.
I'm quite happy with the results at Donington, we all worked very hard together and the bike felt good. In general we had a good weekend and P5 yesterday was a really good result that we deserved.
I am looking forward to Brno now and the Aprilia should be quick there. There is still work to do on the bike to be faster, but all the guys in SMR and Aprilia worked very hard this weekend and I think we can do well next time."
Eugene Laverty #50 - Aprilia RSV4-RF
Race 2 grid: P3 - Row 1
Race 2 result: DNF
Total weekend points: 10 points
"I had a problem on Lap 1 where the rear wheel locked after Turn 7. I thought I had oil in the tyre but there was some bug issue with the bike. I tried to stay in the race and at least salvage some points, but the throttle stuck open about halfway which scared me. I lost a few more places trying to make sure I didn't collide with another rider, and then it happened again and nearly put me in the wall. After that it wasn't worth the risk so I boxed.
I'm not happy with how the weekend went overall, we were quick in the warm up today but then had an electronics issue at the end, and then again in the race we had a problem which was a disaster.
The bike should work well in Brno, anywhere with long corners suits us. The other guys have tested there this year so they have a slight head start, but I'm confident we can put on a good performance there."
Camier and Gagne charge to double points finish in Donington Race 2
Donington Park, United Kingdom
The Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team capped off their weekend at Donington Park with a double points finish as both Leon Camier and Jake Gagne charged their way through the field in a great comeback performance.
After a frustrating qualifying session on Saturday, Camier and Gagne again lined up in P13 and P21 on the grid for Race 2 but were able to effectively tap the potential of their CBR1000RR SP2 machines to make up many positions in the race and secure a double points finish for their team.
From the fifth row of the grid, Camier got out of the blocks quickly, moving into ninth place on the first lap and in another determined effort, was able to set a quick pace throughout the 23-lap event. Keeping within the top ten throughout the race, Camier picked off the Ducati of Marco Melandri and BMW’s Loris Baz in the final stages to claim eighth place and seal a successful comeback from injury.
Meanwhile, Gagne was equally impressive in his ability to carve through the field as the rookie systematically passed his rivals throughout the race after starting from the seventh row. After just missing out on scoring points in Race 1 with a P16 finish, Gagne made amends in today’s contest by coming home in thirteenth place to score three valuable championship points.
After six rounds in the 2018 FIM World Superbike Championship Camier is eleventh in the riders standings with 56 points, while Gagne moves up into seventeenth overall with 20 points. The duo will next be in action in round seven of WorldSBK which takes place at the Automotodrom Brno in the Czech Republic from June 8-10.
Leon Camier 2
I was really happy with the result today, we weren't really sure whether I could finish both races so to finish in the top ten yesterday and today was a big bonus. In today's race I didn't attack too hard from the start, I just tried to get into a rhythm and see on what parts of the track I could push more. I had a good battle with Loris and Marco, changing positions a few times so given my condition it was great to be able to fight. Results aside, me and the team worked hard this weekend on developing our electronic settings and we made a lot of progress so that's another positive to take away this weekend. Things are heading in the right direction with the bike so I'll now look to rest up and continue my recovery ahead of Brno.
- Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team
Jake Gagne 45
We made some good progress with the bike this morning, particularly on the chassis side so in Warm Up we went faster than we did all weekend which gave me a good feeling ahead of the race. The first few laps of the race were tough; my start was OK but starting so far back meant there was a lot of traffic to deal with, but from the halfway point of the race onwards it was a lot better. My Fireblade was working well and I could attack in quite a few parts of the track which helped me make up some places and it was good to finish in the points today. The result today was a good way to end the race weekend and I think we're going to be in really good shape for Brno.
- Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team
Today's double points finish was a good result after our recent trials and it was a big boost to all of the team here at Donington. Leon made another great effort today, he's in pain but managed his physical condition better day by day which not only meant he could get a good result, it really helped us continue with our bike development, we learned a lot this weekend. Jake did a really good job after yesterday's race to work with the team before Warm Up to make the changes he needed and the result was he was much quicker in the race today and finished in thirteenth place and score some good points for the team. Although our results on paper this weekend were nothing spectacular, it was an important step in getting ourselves back on track so that we can start to build momentum for the rest of the season.
Top ten for Baz and Gulf Althea BMW at Donington
Castle Donington (UK), Sunday 27 May 2018
Round 6 of the Superbike World Championship has drawn to a close at Donington Park today, race 2 proving to be a tough one for the Gulf Althea BMW Racing Team and rider Loris Baz, who crossed the line tenth. In the Superstock 1000 category, young Italian rider Alessandro Delbianco unfortunately suffered a crash on the very first lap of the race.
Superbike - Race 2 – Baz, fourth on today’s grid, got away well and was able to retain his position through lap one. Unfortunately though, under pressure from the two factory Kawasakis behind him, he dropped back a few places through the opening laps, finding himself eighth on lap seven. A different tyre choice with respect to race 1 as well as difficulties with chattering at the front of his bike meant that the Frenchman struggled to get into a good rhythm today, losing ground through the central phase to finally cross the line in tenth place.
STK1000 - Race – from third on the grid, Delbianco was lying fourth through the first corners but unfortunately a crash at the Melbourne hairpin ruled him out of the hunt on the very first lap. A disappointing end to what had a been a very positive weekend up until that point; the rider was fortunately uninjured in the incident.
Round six having concluded, Baz now lies ninth in the SBK general standings with 67 points. Delbianco places twelfth in the Stock1000 championship, with 15 points.
"A very tough day. We tried a different tyre in warm-up, but we’d need to work more on the bike set-up in order to be able to use that tyre in the race. So, I started today’s race with a different tyre again, but unfortunately I had no feeling with the front, too much chattering which didn’t allow me to enter the turns quickly. I tried my best to be consistent anyway, and score as many points as possible, but tenth was all we could do. It’s a pity we finished the weekend this way after such a positive Friday and Saturday. We’ve definitely taken a step forward this weekend though and I hope we can continue in this vein in Brno.”
"I’m really sorry about the crash, we could have run a great race today, from third on the grid. It’s all experience I guess and now all I can do is focus on the next race, taking everything we’ve learned here and doing my best to make up for this as soon as possible, repaying the team for all their great work.”
Triple M Honda continue progress at Donington
Donington Park, United Kingdom
After a Donington Park WorldSBK weekend that featured different track and weather conditions across the three days the Triple M Honda World Superbike went away with another point on the board, and more lessons learned for the rookie team in overall machine set-up on their CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2.
American PJ Jacobsen was on strong form on the first day in the early wet sessions, and was 17th after the final dry session on Friday, one place behind the rider who is currently second in the championship.
In Superpole 1 PJ was 19th, ahead of six other riders, including Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team rider and compatriot Jake Gagne.
In Race One, PJ was 18th on lap one, but worked his way to 16th and then 15th on the 23rd and final lap, scoring a championship point. At the end of the second race PJ was to finish 16th, but had been running in 14th place for several laps. He eventually missed out on a second race point score by a fraction of a second.
Jacobsen is ranked 18th overall in the championship table after the sixth round of 13, with a current total of 18 points and the next points scoring opportunity will take place at the Brno circuit in the Czech republic, a returning venue to the WorldSBK calendar in 2018 after not featuring for a few years.
The Triple M Honda World Superbike Team tested at Brno after the Assen round and that should help their combined efforts for the next round itself, which will be held between 8th and 10th June.
PJ Jacobsen 99
In the wet on Friday we were pretty strong, top ten in the full wet conditions. That was pretty positive and the bike was working quite well. In the dry we were just missing a few things. Even riding and trying to stay with Camier was a bit different with the grip levels. I believe that if I can get the same grip and braking as the other Honda riders have I would be close to doing the same job as him. I rode BSB Superbike here at Donington in the past but it was a bit difficult to manage the package this weekend. We just need to step up the game a little bit.
- Triple M Honda World Superbike Team
If we look at Saturday’s race we can be happy about the result and we were also confident today because the rhythm was better in the Warm Up session. In Race Two we finished the race four seconds closer to the leader than in Race One, but at the end of the race the grip was not the best and PJ struggled a bit and also some drops of rain upset his rhythm a bit. The gap is still big to the front but every race we complete, we are making a small step.
Cortese blows open WorldSSP title race with stunning UK win
Kallio Racing rider and Cluzel new WorldSSP top-2 after action-packed Donington race
Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing) dominates to take his second victory of the season
Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing) took the second win of his FIM Supersport World Championship career with a cool, controlled ride in his first venture to Donington Park in nine years. The German shot up to second at the start, and after taking the lead one third into the race managed to defend his lead professionally to the checkered flag in a three-way battle with Jules Cluzel (NRT) and Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag), second and third.
The race start saw Cluzel shoot off into the lead from pole, building a 0.7 gap with Cortese by lap 1. Defending champion Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) fell to fourth, with De Rosa making the best of the inside line and climbing to third.
After Hiraki Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) crashed out 5 laps in, two packs of three led the race action. Cortese found the moment to attack in lap 8, his one aggressive move through all 20 laps. The German found a gap at Coppice Corner with Cluzel going wide, and sliced in like a hot knife through butter, taking the inside line and rubbing shoulders with the NRT rider. Pushing forward, there was no stopping Cortese with an open track ahead.
De Rosa took advantage of the pair’s squabbles, closing the small gap and setting up a thrilling second half of the race. His moment to push came with five laps to go, pushing up to second over Cluzel after a mistake from the Frenchman. But with one to go, Cluzel struck back, taking another 20 points and confirming that he’s a hot favourite for the title. De Rosa, meanwhile, scores his third consecutive third-place finish, an astonishing feat for the MV Agusta in a Yamaha-heavy top end.
The two WorldSSP leaders up to this point led another stunning battle, but not quite as high up the field as they might have preferred. Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) won this duel the hard way, passing Mahias first at the Old Hairpin, falling back 10 laps later after a huge, race-threatening wobble, before pushing behind the Frenchman again with a lap to go. Fourth and fifth for the pair, respectively, who now fall to third and fourth in the championship, behind the Donington top-2.
Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) struggled to keep up with the leading pace from a seventh position start, and with his sixth place at Donington falls behind in the championship standings.
Ayrton Badovini (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) was the best of the rest at the UK Round, meeting the flag in seventh position, with Thomas Gradinger (NRT) in eighth. Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), returning to racing action at Donington, also made it into the top-ten in ninth, with Andrew Irwin (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) the first of the home riders here at Donington, in tenth.
P1 - Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing)
"It was a really rough and hard race, its so physically hard at this track. But from the beginning onwards I felt quote good and the pace was very high from Jules. After five laps I thought I had to overtake and get my pace because in the last few races I waited and missed my chance. After I overtook Jules and it took some laps but i got my rhythm and I felt great, so a big thanks to my team after the changes we made over night, its a great feeling."
#UKWorldSBK WorldSSP at Donington Park - Race
1. Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing)
2. Jules Cluzel (NRT) +1.377
3. Rafaelle de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag) +2.676
GRT Yamaha Battle Hard During Race in WorldSSP at Donington
It was not the easiest of Sunday's for the GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team at Round 6 of the 2018 FIM Supersport World Championship at Donington Park. Lucas Mahias had shown superb pace all weekend and he fought valiantly in the race despite not having the best feeling with his R6 in the warmer conditions on Sunday. He pushed all the way to cross the line in fifth whilst his teammate Federico Caricasulo suffered from similar issues but in a similar fashion, he maximised his potential on the day to finish in sixth. European Supersport Cup rider Alfonso Coppola once again showed superb progress and enjoyed a promising race to meet the chequered flag in 19th-place and finish second in the ESC.
Mahias arrived at Donington Park second in the championship and trailing rival Randy Krummenacher by just one point. After ending Friday in P2 overall, he qualified in second for Sunday's race but with the track temperature rising to 32˚C as the lights went out, he immediately appeared to be struggling to match the pace of the leaders. Showing great patience and maturity, despite being frustrated at the unexplained drop in pace, he battled hard to cross the line in fifth and secure 11 championship points. This result sees Mahias now fourth in the championship standings with 90 points, 12 behind leader Sandro Cortese.
Federico Caricasulo had been the man to beat on Friday after he topped the combined timesheets. Qualifying in seventh on Saturday, in Sunday's race he did not have the best of starts but managed to work his way through the field as the race progressed. Suffering from a similar lack of pace to his teammate, he could not fight for the victory as expected, but limited the damage to his championship aspirations superbly by crossing the line in sixth. Disappointed to miss out on the podium, the 22-year-old Italian collected ten championship points and is now fifth in the overall standings with 79 points, trailing his teammate Mahias by 11 points.
For European Supersport Cup rider Alfonso Coppola, each lap he completes on track is a chance to gain more experience as he continues his excellent progress in adapting to the WorldSSP Championship. The 20-year-old Italian rode hard during the race from 22nd on the grid but made a couple of small mistakes that saw him run wide and lose valuable time. Battling back hard, he finished the race in 19th place and finished second in the ESC. Determined to learn from his mistakes, Coppola is looking forward to riding in Brno where his aim will be to finish as the leading ESC rider as he continues his mission to score his first championship points.
The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team will look to mount a fightback when they return to action for Round 7 of the 2018 WorldSSP Championship on the 8th-10th of June.
"I am not very happy because we suffered from a similar issue as we have done in the last few races. I am not sure why I do not have a great feeling with my R6 when the temperature rises but we will keep working to find a solution. For sure, I am disappointed because myself and Federico had excellent pace all weekend but, as everyone could see, we suffered in the hotter temperatures during the race. The last few races have been tough for me and also for the championship because I have gone from leading to now being fourth and 12 points from the top. We must try and find a solution before Brno, which is a very different circuit than Donington because if we are not careful we could struggle there due to the big elevation changes. We will go away, look at the data and work hard to come back stronger!"
"Today it was impossible for us to do any better. It was tough for me and Lucas as we just could not match the pace of the other Yamaha's. This is the first race where we have struggled like this, it seems the others have improved and we need to make another step or it will continue to be tough. I am looking forward to Brno, I was quick in the recent test we did there but we need to find a solution to the issues and we will focus on bouncing back in Brno."
"The race was good, as every lap I do is more experience but I made three little mistakes during the race and ran wide after hitting bumps and sliding. You cannot make three errors in a WorldSSP race. I finished 2nd in the European Supersport Cup today, less than 5 seconds behind Emil Lahti, and my mistakes cost me five seconds. This is an important lesson for me, to make sure that in Brno I do not make any errors and my mission will be to finish as the first ESC rider!"
"It has not been the perfect weekend we were expecting here at Donington but in moments like these, it is important to learn to make sure that we can avoid a situation like this in the future. Lucas and Federico rode to their absolute maximum but could simply not match the pace of the riders in front due to not feeling great on their bikes. We seem to struggle when the temperature becomes hotter and we have to go through the data to allow us to make a step to get back into the kind of position where the riders and team deserve to be. Both riders and their crews did great jobs considering and we will now try and close the gap again to our rivals. Alfonso showed great pace during the race and if it wasn't for some small errors, he would have been in an even better position and we have found a good base for him to work from. I would like to thank the whole team and Yamaha for all of their hard work this weekend and we are determined to fight back in Brno!"
KRUMMMENACHER CLOSES ROUND SIX IN FOURTH PLACE, THIRD IN THE GENERAL STANDINGS
Donington Park (UK) 27 May 2018
The curtain comes down on round 6 of the Supersport world championship, taking place at the historic Donington Park circuit in the UK. At 11.30am local time, in dry conditions, the lights went out and the 20-lap race got underway. Krummenacher, fourth on the grid, lost a few positions off the line but quickly made up the lost ground to reach the leading group. The Swiss rider, competing with the Bardahl Evan Bros. team, soon caught French rider Mahias, passing him and making up precious time. A few laps from the end, Krummenacher made an incredible save, having almost crashing due to a lack of rear grip. Mahias caught up to him but the Swiss rider was able to close the race ahead of the Frenchman. Fourth place in the race, and third in the championship standings, just one point from second and eight laps from first. The title fight is still wide open and the goal still attainable with a little more work and, more importantly, once Krummenacher is back to full fitness.
#RK21: "A tough race. As I've said, I feel better than I did at Imola but I'm still not in great shape. I started fourth with a set-up more suited to distance than attacking. So I couldn't give it my all off the line, but I made up some important positions and brought home good points needed for the title fight. Unfortunately I had a rear grip issue a few laps from the end, and this cost me time, otherwise I could have finished with an even better result. It's ok anyway, I'm third in the standings but we're all really close so my title fight continues. Now we look ahead and hope that I'll be 100% fit in time for the next round at Brno, in the Czech Republic on 10 June."
Top ten for Irwin as Vickers crashes out
Posted on 27th May 2018
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda rider Andrew Irwin took the first top ten finish of his FIM Supersport World Championship career with a sensible controlled race at Donington Park today. The Ulsterman made a strong start from the fourth row of the grid and was rewarded with tenth position and highest placed Brit at the finish of his home race.
Irwin said: “This weekend has been good, it’s another step in the right direction. I think it’s the same thing I say every time, we keep taking steps and as long as we keep taking steps forwards and not backwards that’s the main thing. I’m happy to get my first top ten, I know how competitive this class is and a top ten isn’t easy. It just shows you, in Thailand I was just about in the top twenty and Aragon twentieth and we just went forward from there so we are definitely going the right way. I think I am working well with my crew chief Kor and mechanic Matia. The team is working hard to help me progress and I like the feeling that they want me to keep going forward as much as I want to move forward and that’s nice. I’m really looking forward to Brno now.”
World Supersport hopeful, youngster Ryan Vickers’ debut ended in bitter disappointment with a crash at turn 7 on only the second lap of the 20-lap race.
The 19 year old from Thetford in Norfolk said: “It’s been a good weekend really, unfortunately I crashed very early on in the race. I was trying to overtake a rider, I was in the slipstream, pulled out and I was going a lot faster than I anticipated. I missed the braking marker and couldn’t stop for the corner. Unfortunately I took the other rider with me but big thanks to the team they have put a great bike underneath me this weekend and I’m very sorry to have crashed out of the race.”
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “Andrew cracked the top ten, he made a good strong start as always and he rode a good race. It’s his first time in the top ten so it’s another step forward for him. It’s good news for him and for the whole team, not just his crew because it’s a team effort we are a small unit and everybody plays their part. Congratulations to the whole team for Andrew cracking the top ten. Now we move on to Brno, that’s a new track for him but he proved at Imola that he is capable of learning tracks and getting a good result. It’s a more flowing track, a long lap but let’s see what we can do there’”
“It was always going to be hard for Ryan he just got behind another rider, drafted him up towards McCleans and basically arrived there too hot, outbraked himself and crashed. It’s been a tough weekend for him but it’s a huge step up, we always knew that but it was a chance to give a young British rider an opportunity at our home round so I hope he enjoyed himself. We will be announcing our permanent rider for the rest of the season very soon.”
Ninth For Morais At Donington
Warm and dry conditions appeared at Donington Park in time for the WorldSSP race, with Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) finishing ninth and scoring valuable championship points. A competitive early ride for Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) ended in a crash on lap five.
After finding similar problems in hard braking areas that he had experienced in practice and qualifying, Morais found it tough to pass other riders from his tenth place staring position. Running wide and losing places as a result in the early laps, Morais mode up several places as the race progressed, making his ninth place finish a strong performance.
Okubo’s race was shaping up nicely as he was fifth on lap one and lap two, and then slowly dropped back before his fall at Coppice Corner. It appears he drifted onto the kerb, as Hikari could find no other reason why he fell.
In the championship Morais in 15th and Okubo 19th, with the top Kawasaki rider being Anthony West in overall ninth position.
The next round will be held at Brno, in the Czech republic, with raceday on Sunday the 10th of June.
Hikari Okubo, stated: “My start was good and for the first few laps I was inside the top group, which is very important. I do not really know why I crashed. The front moved a lot and I could not control the front and I think that is why it crashed. I was very shocked and I am very sorry to have fallen again, so I am not happy about that. I will try to have a good race next time.”
Sheridan Morais stated: “I am happy with the progress we have made with the bike. But the problem we have had this weekend is stopping the bike. It was a problem at the start when I was trying to pass and make up positions. I kept running wide and was losing way more positions. This was the only issue and we started to make up positions after that, and I had to make passes in the fast corners. I also struggled a bit with arm pump because I had to use so much brake pressure. But I believe this was a really hard track for the bike because the stopping power was so difficult. I am happy with the bike but I am disappointed only to come home with a top ten finish.”
Anthony West (EAB antwest Racing Kawasaki) was just outside the top 10, his 11th place being his fourth points scoring result of the season.
Wayne Tessels (Chromeburner Wayne’s Racingteam MTM) was 20th in the race, Michael Canducci (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) 21st, and Javier Ezequiel Iturrioz (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) 22nd.
Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was not able to start the race at the last minute, and Rob Hartog (Team Hartog Against Cancer) crashed out, but still leads the FIM Europe Supersport Cup (ESS) championship by 15 points.
Carrasco flies to UK WorldSSP300 victory
Strong start from championship leader gives no option to chasing group
Ana Carrasco (DS Junior Team) dominates the race and championship in 2018
Ana Carrasco (DS Junior Team) held and extended her lead in the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship with a dominant display at Donington Park. The Spaniard was unstoppable at the Prosecco DOC UK Round, taking the first-ever Grand Slam in WorldSSP300 – pole, win, fastest lap and all laps led. Behind, another frantic last lap dash saw her teammate Dorren Loureiro (DS Junior Team) taking his first podium finish in WorldSSP300.
Carrasco knew that, just as at Imola, her pace with an open track ahead was nearly unbeatable. All she needed was a good start, which Carrasco nailed down, shooting ahead while Koen Meuffels (KTM Fortron Junior Team) and Mika Pérez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) got caught up in the podium tussle.
With the Murcian, who now leads the championship by 22 points, racing off into the distance, a thrilling battle for second emerged into the final lap. Scott Deroue (Motoport Kawasaki) had managed to open a gap and controlled his return to the podium midway through the race, but late mistakes, including a last-lap journey through the Fogarty Esses, meant that he dropped all the way back to sixth.
With Deroue out of contention, it was finally Loureiro edging ahead at the flag, with Borja Sánchez (ETG Racing) scoring a second successive podium in third. Enzo De La Vega (GP Project Team) managed his best result of the season in fourth, with Meuffels in fifth.
Jan-Ole Jahnig (Freudenberg KTM Junior Team) made his way to the flag in seventh, with Pérez down to eighth, Galang Hendra Pratama (BIBLION YAMAHA MOTOXRACING) in ninth, and Luca Grunwald (Freudenberg KTM WorldSSP Team), still second in the championship, finishing his Donington weekend in tenth.
P1 - Ana Carrasco (DS Junior Team)
"Its incredible for us, we did a really good job this weekend. The race was difficult, it was a bit more windy than yesterday and I could not make the lap times so easily. It's really good for us and for the championship, I want to say thanks to my team, and everyone who supports me."
#UKWorldSBK WorldSSP300 at Donington Park - Race
1. Ana Carrasco (DS Junior Team)
2. Dorren Loureiro (DS Junior Team) 4.602
3. Borja Sanchez (ETG Racing) +4.965
Carrasco Wins Again And Deroue Sixth
Spanish rider Ana Carrasco (DS Junior Team Kawasaki) continued her amazing run of recent form on the Ninja400 by scoring her second win of the year - and her second in succession - at Donington today. Scott Deroue (Motoport Kawasaki) was in the running for the podium place but overcooked it into the final entry of Foggy’s Chicane and ran off the track, dropping places and finally finishing sixth.
The exciting WorldSSP300 class delivered astounding entertainment and close racing once again, but for the second race in succession the main pack of riders was chasing Ana Carrasco’s shadow.
The first woman to ever win a full FIM World Championship road race event, she has now won three in her career, one last year two this season.
Carrasco took a clear lead and then a win by over 4.602 seconds from her own team-mate, Dorren Loureiro, from South Africa. Carrasco had also taken the Superpole award on Saturday, earning a pole position start for today’s 13-lap race.
There were four Kawasaki Ninja 400s in the top four places today, and five in the top six after Dutch rider Deroue’s luck ran out on him in the final quarter of the race, after some had passing and close quarter riding.
Borja Sanchez was the third Kawasaki rider on the podium on his ETG Racing Ninja, with Enzo De La Vega fourth on his GR Project Kawasaki.
Mika Perez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) was eighth for the second weekend in succession and Tom Edwards (Nutec - Benjan Kawasaki) placed 15th today, making him the final points scorer. Edwards’ team-mate Walid Khan crashed out of contention on lap one.
Carrasco now leads the championship by an extended margin of 22 points, from Luca Grunwald, 73-51. Deroue is still third in the title hunt with 46 points in all, with Sanchez and Loureiro ranked fourth and fifth, and just four points behind, with 42 points each.
Brno in the Czech Republic will host the next round with raceday on Sunday the 10th of June.
Ana Carrasco, stated: “I am super-happy because the weekend was not easy but we were calm and worked really well. A second victory in a row is incredible for us and also for the championship it is really good. It was a difficult race because there was more wind than yesterday and I could not make lap times so easy. I have to say thank you to everyone around me because everyone is pushing for me, and everybody watching at home.”
Dorren Loureiro, stated: “That race was definitely so stressful and very, very crazy, especially going into the last lap. We had to catch everyone in the race because were a little bit too far back but I am happy to do it and get my first podium finish.”
Scott Deroue, stated: “I’m so disappointed after a good race, a big moment and a technical problem in the last lap resulting in a P6 finish. Also disappointed that being fastest in the corners doesn’t mean you win the race in WSS300. Next stop Brno and hopefully the luck is on our side.”