Latest World Superbike Results
World Superbike race two would also be mercifully dry, letting the racing take place without interruption.
World Supersport was held over twenty dry laps and did not disappoint.
As the weather threatened to make things the wrong kind of interesting, the riders lined up for 23 laps around the historic British circuit.
Qualifying for the races at Donington Park had a favourite turn up with cracked ribs, a team rivalry coming to boil, a handful of fast wild cards on 600s and the home race for almost every man who has stood on the Superbike podium this year. The short track, a fast and sweeping vintage racetrack leading to a chicane followed by a brace of hairpins, was the site of the first ever World Superbike and, after missing a few years due to a failed improvement, it is once more the regular UK round.
World Supersport qualifying took place in 16°C English weather and the session was peppered with a handful of crashes but no injuries.
Superpole One opened early in a typical English holiday weekend; overcast, cold and a little bit breezy.
Kenan Sofuoglu heads the session as wildcard Kyle Ryde goes second-quickest ahead of Lorenzo Zanetti and wildcard Luke Stapleford. Jules Cluzel was unable to beat his best time from yesterday, second quickest of the weekend, suffering from mechanical problems that held him back to fifth quickest. Third quickest wildcard Samuel Hornsey held off series regulars PJ Jacobsen and Kyle Smith with the sixth quickest time of the morning.
Just as the untimed session looked like it was going to be a Kawasaki affair, Leon Haslam posted the fastest lap of the weekend after the flag came out. Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea held off Davide Giugliano and Alex Lowes, with Chaz Davies behind, all within half a second of Haslam's time.
Free Practice 3 once again took place on the Friday and Tom Sykes was quickest in the last timed session before Superpole, with the top thirteen all within a second of his time. The ten quickest all qualify for Superpole Two, while Imre Toth and Gabor Rizmayer miss out on Superpole one as Santiago Barragan's FP2 time was quick enough to get him past the Toth bikes.
Qualifying this close on a track this quick should ensure an entertaining Superpole.
With the benefit of a full session, Jules Cluzel posted a quicker lap his title rival Kenan Sofuoglu, although Sofuoglu's blistering time from this morning still stands as the fastest lap of the weekend. Luke Stapleford and Kyle Ryde continue to leverage their local knowledge, posting third and fourth quickest times ahead of PJ Jacobsen.
Once again, the top four were separated by a small amount, two tenths of a second in this case, only it was Tom Sykes that headed Davide Giugliano, Jonathan Rea and a surprisingly quick Ayrton Badovini. Chaz Davies and Leon Camier rounded out the fastest six, all under three tenths off Sykes's best time.
Kenan Sofuoglu opened the weekend in dominant style, leading the session by over a second, ahead of PJ Jacobsen, wildcard rider Kyle Ryde and Jules Cluzel. Wildcards Luke Stapleford and Samuel Hornsey were fifth and sixth with Andy Reid, replacing Film Wilairot, in tenth place.
The session had an early red flag for Niccolo Canepa's Kawasaki dumping oil on the track, but the marshals dealt with it quickly and the session was restarted with very little delay. Leon Camier was quickest with a 1'29.314, with Tom Sykes, Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies all within sixty-three thousandths of a second of his time.
World Superbike race two would start with only twenty riders, Canepa not qualifying and Salom out with an injured wrist and elbow from his crash in race one. It would finish with far fewer.