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May 26, 2013

eni FIM Superbike World Championship Race Two Results From Donington Park (Updated)

Donington Park.
eni FIM Superbike World Championship
Donington Park, England
May 26, 2013
Race Two Results (all on Pirelli tires):

1. Tom SYKES, UK (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 23 laps, 34:06.921
2. Sylvain GUINTOLI, France (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), -8.035 seconds
3. Eugene LAVERTY, Ireland (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), -10.738
4. Davide GIUGLIANO, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), -12.257
5. Marco MELANDRI, Italy (BMW S1000RR), -15.976, ran off track
6. Chaz DAVIES, UK (BMW S1000RR), -16.475
7. Loris BAZ, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), -27.524
8. Niccolo CANEPA, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), -30.186
9. Jules CLUZEL, France (Suzuki GSX-R1000), -30.501
10. Michel FABRIZIO, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), -30.885
11. Jonathan REA, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), -31.529, ran off track
12. Max NEUKIRCHNER, Germany (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), -46.782
13. Leon CAMIER, UK (Suzuki GSX-R1000), -54.509, crash
14. Federico SANDI, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), -65.789
15. Alexander LUNDH, Sweden (Kawasaki ZX-10R), -80.431
16. Vittorio IANNUZZO, Italy (BMW S1000RR), -80.719
17. Ayrton BADOVINI, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), -5 laps, DNF, crash
18. Carlos CHECA, Spain (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), DNS
19. Leon Haslam, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), DNS

World Championship Point Standings (after 10 of 30 races):

1. Guintoli, 153 points
2. Sykes, 144
3. Laverty, 133
4. Melandri, 116
5. Davies, 102
6. Baz, 86
7. Rea, 84
8. Fabrizio, 80
9. Giugliano, 59
10. Cluzel, 48
11. Camier, 46
12. Neukirchner, 41
13. Badovini, 37
14. Checa, 33
15. Haslam, 29
16. Ivan Clementi, 14
17. Sandi, 12
18. Fabrizio Lai, 8
19. TIE, Iannuzzo/Lundh, 7

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Sykes Wins Both Home Races At Donington!

WSBK, Donington, Europe, 26 May 2013

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) scored his first career double at Donington and in doing so moved to within four points of the championship lead after five rounds.

Having set a new track best in Superpole on Saturday Sykes rode brilliantly and almost faultlessly in each 23-lap race at Donington to score not only his first double win, but take a new lap record in race two, a 1’28.074, set on lap four.

He was a start-to-finish leader on each lap each time around and after a small change to his front suspension settings for race two he went four seconds faster than in race one, despite a rise in track temperatures.

Tom now sits in second place on his own, only four points from the lead and with the third place rider 20 points behind after one third of the season has been completed.

Loris Baz (KRT) had a better first race than second and he achieved his target of a top five finish in the opener, then he went seventh in race two. Most importantly of all, he remains sixth in the championship.

Federico Sandi (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) finished 14th in race two, his team-mate Alex Lundh was 15th, giving each rider a points score on one race. Neither had finished race one, retiring in the pits.

Portimao, in Portugal, on June 9th in the venue for the next round.

Tom Sykes: “I have been in World Superbike for a few years now and I got the first double win on home soil is a fairy tale. One click on the front suspension between races made the difference and we could see that in the second race time, which was better than the first one. The Ninja ZX-10R is working well and it has been all weekend so I feel very motivated. We are racing in a World Championship and these guys are as fast as you like and very competitive, so it is not as easy at it looked. Kawasaki is a very close unit and we have worked hard and everybody has seen how much better we are in the races. I got the circuit record yesterday and I got the new lap record in race two so I have the full set. I really enjoyed the support from the crowd and I hope they enjoyed the show. No better place to do my first double than at Donington Park. A good weekend and we are closer in the championship, just four points from the top. We’re in a strong situation, we have a good base setting and now we are going to some fantastic circuits.”

Loris Baz: “I knew that I had good pace even yesterday. I just did not have a good Superpole qualifying session. But in race one today the good Loris was back! I did not have such a fast start but I wanted to go right to the front quickly but I ran straight on at one corner. I was coming back, coming back, and then overtook without any mistake and finished fifth. In race two I did not have the same feeling as in race one and that meant that I could not push, maybe more me than the bike, and the temperature was a bit different. I was not able to follow Chaz Davies and was waiting to get to the end of the race but I did my best. I am still sixth in the championship and I took some points advantage to Jonathan Rea so that is good.”

More, from a press release issued by Althea Racing:

The Althea Racing Team scores solid results in today’s Superbike races at Donington

The fifth round of the World Superbike Championship took place today at Donington Park, on a dry track with mild temperatures. In the practices and qualifying sessions Davide Giugliano secured some great results which allowed him to line up in eighth place on the third row of today’s race grid.

In race one Althea Racing’s rider started well and gave chase to the riders immediately ahead of him, fighting in a group of four. Towards mid-race he made a small mistake which took him off track and caused him to lose ground but Davide then worked hard to catch up, making up positions. After a great battle with Laverty he was able to bring his privateer Aprilia home in sixth place.

In race 2 Davide Giugliano obtained his best result of the season so far. After a positive start the Althea rider was at the front of the field, where he fought it out with the factory Aprilias and BMWs, to finish in a fantastic fourth place. Davide thus closed his weekend in the best way possible, earning himself 23 championship points and confirming both his and his bike’s competitiveness.

Genesio Bevilacqua: “It was a positive weekend for us. Today we finally saw Davide fighting on an equal level with the factory riders. We have seen that our rider can fight in every race for the positions that count. I hope that from now on Davide will combine consistency with his great talent. Our bike is performing as well as the factory bike, although we are still lacking a little experience, because the RSV4 is a new bike for us, and we are continuing to get to know it better, race after race. Our technicians are doing a great job and it’s also thanks to them that we are close to obtaining the results that we want to obtain.”

Davide Giugliano: “In race one I had trouble finding a good rhythm. I also made a mistake but then I was able to catch up to sixth place. I wasn’t totally satisfied with the race but it helped me understand many things that I then used to my advantage in race two. The second race went much better. We did what we expected to do although I must say it is difficult to battle with the factory riders. But we’re not far off being able to fight regularly with them. We were the first privateers in the midst of all the factory bikes and this gives us confidence for the future. I dedicate this result to my team and to our sponsors.”

More, from a press release issued by Aprilia:




Donington, 26 May 2013 – The Aprilia Racing Team finished the weekend at Donington the best possible way, placing both riders on the podium in Race 2. With second place Sylvain Guintoli confirms his leadership in the rider standings, while Eugene Laverty's third place continues the Northern Irish rider's positive streak. The excellent performance put in by the brand from Noale was rounded out by Davide Giugliano's fourth place (Althea Racing), who is increasingly comfortable astride his RSV4.

In Race 1 Guintoli got off to a brilliant start from the second spot on the grid, with Sykes following close behind. However, the Kawasaki rider demonstrated his particular feeling with the track, relentlessly gaining ground, while a spectacular battle raged behind him between Guintoli, Melandri, Laverty and Rea. A few alarm bells forced Laverty to fall back, while Guintoli continued keeping pace with Melandri. A couple of problems with loss of grip then forced the Frenchman to pass under the chequered flag in third place.

As mentioned above, in the second race the Aprilia riders were in the fight from the first laps. Sylvain and Eugene set the pace in the pack behind Sykes, with the Frenchman solidly in second place and Laverty skilfully fighting off attacks first by Melandri (which he responded to with a textbook pass) and then by Giugliano who took fourth place with the Althea Racing Team RSV4.

Sylvain's double podium keeps him in lead of the rider standings with a four point advantage over Sykes and 24 in front of team mate Laverty. For Eugene the podium in Race 2 was the best result of his Superbike career at Donington. Aprilia stays solidly in the Manufacturer standings lead with a 28 point advantage in front of Kawasaki, 33 ahead of BMW, 112 over Honda, 126 above Suzuki and 143 in front of Ducati.

Sylvain Guintoli: “I'm quite pleased with the way Race 2 went, not only because of the result. I pushed hard and gave it my all for the entire race, but Sykes was just impossible to beat today. In the first race, on the other hand, I made a few too many mistakes which cost me second place, and considering the lap times I was putting without them I would have been able to close the gap more. In any case third and second are excellent results for the championship on a track where we are not able to take full advantage of the RSV4's potential. Now we are off for Portimao, a track which is very well suited for the characteristics of my Aprilia, where we will be able to do some good teamwork”.

Eugene Laverty: “At the end of Race 1 I was disappointed. I have always had trouble on this track, but I could have done better than seventh place. On the other hand Race 2 got off to a better start straight away. A few changes we made to my RSV4 between the two races immediately increased my feeling with it. In fact, I was able to defend third place against Melandri's attacks, and as I said at Monza, it's always nice to end the weekend with a podium. The performance in Race 2 is encouraging for the rest of the championship. It shows that even on shorter, more winding tracks we can keep up with the top riders. I like Portimao, I was strong there last year so I'm looking forward to the next round”.

More, from a press release issued by Pirelli:

The new Pirelli standard Diablo Superbike tyre in soft compound was the star of the English weekend

Thanks to pleasant temperature and the progress made by the Milan based tyre manufacturer, on the English circuit all the Superbike riders successfully used the standard SC0 on the rear, confirming the forecast for the weekend and the performance demonstrated at Monza

Donington Park (England), 26 May 2013 – As predicted in the days leading up to the race weekend, the new 17 inch Diablo Superbike tyre in SC0 compound, the softest in the range, was the star tyre of the English Superbike races. Donington was almost a début for the standard SC0 compound which, until now, had only been brought to Monza this year, but in a development version with the central section of the tyre in reinforced compound. On the other hand, the Superbike riders on the starting grid opted for the standard product for the track in the Western Midlands, in other words, the version that is available for purchase on the market by any biker from local tyre distributors everywhere.

As for the results of the eni FIM World Superbike Championship round five, the brilliant double win scored by Tom Sykes had the English and Japanese national anthems being played during both podium ceremonies. Coming in behind the Kawasaki Racing Team Englishman were Marco Melandri on his BMW and Sylvain Guintoli on his Aprilia in Race 1, who also took second place in Race 2 in front of team mate Eugene Laverty, third across the finish line. The rider from Ravenna had to settle for a fifth place finish instead in the second race of the day after running straight on in the last lap. This means that the French Aprilia Racing Team rider has managed to hold onto his lead in the overall standings with 173 points, trailed closely by Sykes, only 4 points behind at 169 points. With 149 and 127 points respectively, Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri remain solidly in the game for the title of World Champion.

At Donington Pirelli once again confirmed the excellent progress made from the beginning of the season with the new 17 inch Diablo Superbike tyres. Tom Sykes lowered his Superpole time from last year, stopping the clock at 1’27.378, a time which was actually put on the boards during the second lap, proving the excellent performance also guaranteed by the super soft qualifying tyre. But the true revelation of the weekend was the new soft compound standard tyre for the rear: despite the fact that the temperatures, although pleasant, were in any case at the limits for using an SC0 tyre, it performed quite well, allowing the riders to use the tyre with the best performance in terms of grip of those available without it showing signs of deterioration or problems due to the low temperatures. Not only this, but the new SC0 (R1261) also showed an improvement in Race 2 by almost a second per lap compared to last year's times.

In Supersport Sam Lowes on his team Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha, winning here at Donington as well, took his third victory in a row this year, moving to 95 points, followed by the MAHI Racing Team India team mates Kenan Sofuoglu, second across the finish line today, and Fabien Foret, ninth today. The performance put in by Roberto Rolfo is worth a mention, riding his team ParkinGo MV Agusta Corse MV Agusta F3 to the podium for the first time.

The Pirelli solutions chosen by the riders:
All the Superbike riders on the starting grid opted for the new standard SC0 rear tyre (R1261), which reconfirms the excellent quality of this tyre, already glimpsed at Monza. In particular, the risk of using a soft compound at Donington stemmed not so much from the asphalt or the layout of the track as from the temperatures which were not exactly suitable because they were too cool. Thanks to the work done by the Pirelli engineers, now the Superbike riders have a soft compound available to them with a wider range of use compared to what they had in the past. This tyre is also able to perform not just with high temperatures, but also with lower temperatures where, until last year, the intermediate SC1 solution would have been the only choice. For the front the riders were almost equally divided between the standard SC1 solution (R426) and the SC1 development solution (S41), the latter being chosen by all the riders on the front row of the grid.
In the Supersport class the R1442, a new development solution that falls midway between the SC0 and the SC1 in terms of compound hardness, providing mileage similar to that of the SC1 but with greater grip, as well as being better protected against the cold than the SC0, was chosen by almost all the riders for the rear.

Pirelli Best Lap Award:
The awards that the tyre company presents to the riders who have put in the fastest lap in Superbike race 1 and race 2 and in the Supersport race at Donington were all won by riders from the United Kingdom: Jonathan Rea, Tom Sykes and Sam Lowes. The winning riders in Superbike accepted the reward from Racing Director Giorgio Barbier in the Paddock Show during the press conference at the end of race 1 and race 2 for the Superbike class. The Superbike and Supersport rider who has earned the most “Pirelli Best Lap Award” titles at the end of the season will be elected “Best Lap Winner: fastest rider of the year” and awarded in the usual end of year ceremony. At the moment the Superbike rankings are led by Tom Sykes with 4 fastest laps and Supersport is led by Sam Lowes with 2.

Here are the Pirelli Best Lap Award winning riders at Donington Park from the fifth round of the season:

WSB Race 1 – Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike), 1'28.469 (3rd lap)
WSB Race 2 – Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), 1'28.074 (4 th lap)
WSS – Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport): 1’30.927 (4thlap)

The overall standings after the first five rounds are as follows:

WSB: Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team): 4; Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team): 2; Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma): 1; Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK): 1; Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK): 1; Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) : 1

WSS: Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport): 2; Kenan Sofuoglu (MAHI Racing Team India): 1; Fabien Foret (MAHI Racing Team India): 1; Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport): 1

Comment from Giorgio Barbier, Pirelli Moto Racing Director:

“I must confess that we are particularly pleased and a bit surprised by the excellent performance the new soft tyre demonstrated. As everyone knows, there are 3 solutions in our range: an SC0, an SC1 and an SC2, the use of which is closely, but not exclusively, tied to the asphalt temperature. The SC0, the softest, is generally suitable in cases of high temperature, the harder SC2 in cases of low temperatures and the SC1 is the midway solution. Every tyre manufacturer's dream is to obtain a tyre capable of performing the same way in any temperatures, but this is particularly difficult to achieve, at least in the immediate future. However, we have made significant improvements in this area, notably widening the range of use both of the SC0 and SC1 solutions. If it would have been unthinkable to use a soft compound like the SC0 in the temperatures at Donington without problems last year, this year the same compound is able to perform even at cooler temperatures. The work done on the SC1 compound was similar, now often able to substitute for the SC2 when the temperatures are particularly cool without suffering from cold tearing. Leaving the technical issues to the side, I would like to extend my compliments to Tom Sykes who put in his first double win, and to the entire Kawasaki team for the excellent work they did this weekend, as well as to Sam Lowes and Roberto Rolfo who rode the MV Agusta to the podium for the first time. I would also like to wish all the best to Carlos Checa who was unable to ride in Race 2 because of pain in his shoulder. We hope to see him back in form and competing soon!”

The 2013 Pirelli statistics for the Donington Park round:

• Total number of tyres Pirelli brought: 3768

• Number of solutions (dry, intermediate and wet) for the Superbike class: 5 front and 7 rear

• Number of solutions for the Supersport class (dry, intermediate and wet): 4 front and 5 rear

Number of tyres available for each Superbike rider: 36 front and 40 rear

• Number of tyres available for each Supersport rider: 25 front and 27 rear

• Temperature in Race 1: air 15° C, asphalt 26° C

• Temperature in Race 2: air 17° C, asphalt 40° C

• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli Diablo Superbike tyres: 271.6 km/h, in Race 1 by Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) at 3rd lap and Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) at 15th lap.

• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa tyres in Supersport: 246.2 km/h, Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport), 2nd lap.

More, from a press release issued by Ducati Alstare:

Physical problems for Checa at Donington. Canepa finishes eighth in race 2.

Donington Park (UK), Sunday 26 May 2013: the fifth round of the World Superbike championship took place today at Donington Park but for Team SBK Ducati Alstare, on track with three riders this weekend, it was a somewhat difficult day; while Canepa brought his 1199 Panigale home in eighth and thirteenth place, Badovini finished race one in eleventh position and Checa, after suffering with severe pain in his shoulder during race one (in which he finished twelfth), decided not to participate in the second race.

Race 1 – Warm and sunny conditions for race 1 today with temperatures of 15°C and a track temperature of 26°C. Starting from ninth on the grid, Canepa was eighth at the end of lap one, followed by Checa and Badovini, placed eleventh and twelfth. Towards mid-race Niccolo’ made a small mistake, going long, which relegated him to thirteenth place, immediately behind his two team-mates. Lapping at a similar pace to each other during the second half of the race, Ducati Alstare's three flag bearers were unable to close the gap that had opened ahead of them meaning that they crossed the finish line in eleventh (Badovini), twelfth (Checa) and thirteenth (Canepa) position.

Race 2 – Due to severe pain in his left shoulder both during and after race 1, Checa decided against riding in race 2.
The track temperature had increased to roughly 40°C for race 2. At the end of the opening lap Canepa was in eleventh place, ahead of Badovini, twelfth, and immediately behind Cluzel. On lap seven Badovini unfortunately made a mistake that caused him to lose several positions. From that point on he started to push to make up lost ground but as he entered turn 2 he lost the front which sadly brought his race to a premature end, although fortunately the Italian rider was not hurt in the crash. Canepa, lapping with the same pace as Cluzel immediately ahead of him, finally got past the French rider on lap seventeen, moving into eighth place as a result. He managed the final part of the race well, keeping his closest rival firmly behind him to cross the line in final eighth position.

Carlos Checa: “Seeing how the first race went, and the pain that I had in my shoulder both during and after the race, we decided that it was best not to force things by participating in the second. To tell the truth I thought things might be worse today, at what is one of the most physical tracks but, having said that, I need more time to recuperate and get my strength back as I’m suffering particularly in the changes of direction and when entering left-hand turns, where it’s important to have both arms at 100%. Of course it’s not an injury that affects me in my day to day life but at 300km/h it really hurts. Now we have two weeks, in which I’ll continue with the various treatments in preparation for Portimao where I hope to be stronger. From the next round I’d like to be able to focus more on the sporting side of things and less on health issues.”

Ayrton Badovini: “In the first race I lost too much ground in the opening laps and after that there was no way to reach those ahead of me. I felt we made a good step between race 1 and race 2 – in the second I had similar pace to the group ahead of me but unfortunately I lost the front entering turn 2. I didn’t hurt myself but it was a pity because I wasn't doing badly. Now I want to continue with our work to better understand what works and what works less well, in order to make less mistakes during the weekend and to be faster in the next races.”

Niccolò Canepa: “Considering that these were my first races I’d say that we are coming out of this weekend with a fairly positive outlook. We’ve worked well and if we’d had more time on track on Friday then I think we could have done better. We’re not far off I don’t think, with a bit more time to set the bike up for me and my riding style we could probably have done more. I’m just sorry for the mistake in race 1 but these things can happen in racing. I’d like to thank Francis Batta, Ernesto Marinelli and the team for giving me this opportunity and thanks also to Ducati’s development team who’ve worked so hard for me this weekend.”

More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad Motorsport:

Donington – Races.
Sunday, 26th May 2013.

Weather conditions: Sunny.
Temperature: Air: 15 – 17 °C, Track: 26 – 40 °C
Number of riders participating: 18/17 from 11 teams
Fastest lap Race 1: Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) 1:28.469 min (lap 3)
Fastest lap Race 2: Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) 1:28.074 min (lap 4)

At the fifth round of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship, the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team celebrated its seventh podium position of the season. Factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) finished second in race one at British track, “Donington Park” on his BMW S 1000 RR. In race two, the Italian crossed the line in fifth place. His team-mate and local hero Chaz Davies (GBR) finished eighth and sixth respectively. In the Riders’ Classification, Marco is fourth with 127 points, directly followed by Chaz who is fifth with 112 points. In the Manufacturers’ classification, BMW lies third with 175 points. From Donington, the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team heads directly to Spain, where it will conduct two days of testing at “Motorland Aragón” this week.

Coming from sixth place on the grid, Marco started his chase towards the front of the pack in race one on the seventh of the 23 lap race. He closed the gap to the front, waiting for opportunities and taking them by overtaking his competitors. On lap 17, he had improved to second place but leader Tom Sykes (GBR) had pulled away too far leaving no chance for Marco to catch him, so the Italian crossed the line in second, 2.3 seconds behind Sykes. Chaz had a tough first race from seventh on the grid. In the beginning, he was close behind Marco but the Welshman struggled with grip. He fought numerous battles to keep his position but had to settle with eighth. In the early stages of race two, both riders kept with the leading group but on lap six, Marco had a near highside. The Italian saved it and kept fifth position but lost a bit of time. In the following laps, Marco and Chaz started to steadily close the gap to the top four riders. In the second half of the race, Marco began his attack for the podium. On lap 16, he overtook Davide Giugliano (ITA) for fourth, then Eugene Laverty (IRL) and was in third. He kept this position until the penultimate lap but then fell back behind Laverty. When trying another attempt to regain the podium position on the final lap, Marco went wide onto the grass and slipped back to fifth. Chaz had quite a lonely second part of the race. He lost contact to the top five and had a big gap to the field behind. So his sixth position was not threatened but he was too far back to be involved in the battles in front of him. The winner of the second race was again Sykes.

Marco Melandri:
Result Race 1: 2nd / Gap to 1st: 0:02.379 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:28.628 min (lap 3)
Result Race 2: 5th / Gap to 1st: 0:15.976 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:28.493 min (lap 2)
“It was a weekend of mixed emotions. Race one was really nice, but not easy. I had quite a good start, then I began pushing to gain positions. It was difficult to overtake Johnny and Sylvain and it took time. Then, when I had claimed second position, Tom was too far away and I didn’t have enough time to reach him, but I was happy with second place. In race two, my start was not as good but step by step I got closer to the front group. But when I was directly behind Laverty, I started to have some difficulties riding. On the final lap, I tried to overtake him in the chicane, but when entering the corner I could not brake properly so I went wide to avoid a crash. It was a pity as I had hoped to get more points. Now we have to continue working. This week we will go testing and try some new solutions.”

Chaz Davies:
Result Race 1: 8th / Gap to 1st: 0:19.138 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:29.109 min (lap 6)
Result Race 2: 6th / Gap to 1st: 0:16.475 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:28.843 min (lap 4)
“It was not an easy day. The first race was tough as pretty much from the early laps onwards I nearly had no grip. After a few laps the tyres started to spin more than I was expecting. The spinning was upsetting the chassis and making the bike nervous, so it was a fight for 23 laps. I tried everything I could to make the bike more stable and to find more grip but I could not do anything. For race two we made quite a few changes and I had better grip for longer so I could stay with the front group for a while. But then grip started lacking again and I could not do anything more. Now we go testing in Aragón where we have a few things to try and I am looking forward to that.”

Andrea Buzzoni (General Manager BMW Motorrad WSBK):
“With determination and cleverness, Marco claimed second position in the first of today’s races. This was the best result he could get as Sykes was unbeatable. In race two, his start was not that good but he was able to close up to the front group quickly. In the second half of the race, he was racing at the limit – like all riders – and he was close to another podium. Unfortunately, although he rode bravely and tried all he could he was not able to reach it. Chaz had a difficult weekend, on a track which is not one of his favourite ones. But despite this, he collected important points.

We have completed the first third of the season and so far, we can draw a positive summary. The competitiveness in the series has raised a lot and we need to keep working in order to keep our performance level constantly high. In three days, we will start a two day test in Aragón. We have a packed schedule and many solutions to test. We need to keep very focused as the season is still so long.”

Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“We claimed another podium and this is important for BMW. It was a very tough weekend because we lost the first day due to weather conditions and this did not help us in finding the perfect set-up. We know that the Superbike World Championship is very competitive and this was confirmed today. To fight for the win, every single detail needs to fit. We saw that our competitors have moved a step forward and now it is our goal to catch up to them and to further improve our bikes to the needs of our riders. One thing we need to work on is our qualifying performance as it is tough to start from the second and third row but also in race trim we had some issues. Marco had difficulties when braking into the corners, while Chaz was lacking rear grip this weekend and could not turn the bike as he would have liked. In race one today, Marco was able to catch up. In race two he struggled and made a mistake because he was riding over the limit of the bike. Our target is to move the limit as our competitors have done. We have a test planned next week in which we will evaluate different settings and updated parts in order to improve in the areas where we are struggling.”

More, from a press release issued by Pata Honda Superbike Team:

Jonathan Rea took fourth place in the first of today’s two fifth-round World Superbike championship races at Donington Park in the UK, but there was not much else for his Pata Honda team to celebrate this weekend.

Today’s two 23-lap races were won by British rider Tom Sykes, but neither featured Rea’s Pata Honda team-mate Leon Haslam, who was withdrawn following morning warm-up after consultation with the team's management and medical staff.

Haslam broke his leg badly in a practice crash at Assen in The Netherlands four weeks ago and had undergone intensive therapy to compete at Donington, which is his home round. However, despite qualifying on the fifth row of the grid, his discomfort during warm-up prompted the team’s decision.

Rea had shown potential during yesterday’s practice session, qualifying in fourth place on the grid, which is where he finished race one. However, an electronics sensor failure just before race two, which restricted him to eleventh place at the flag after 23 difficult laps of the 4.023km Donington circuit.

Jonathan Rea – 4th and 11th

I was pretty happy with my pace at the start of race one but, as soon as my tyre started to go, off the electronics were cutting too severely and I lost a lot of pace. I even struggled to compete with Laverty and Guintoli as they came past. Race two was a complete disaster. Already, on the sighting lap, I told the guys that we had a sensor problem on the traction control. They said there wasn’t enough time to fix it so I went out on a bike that I was really unsure of. In reality it was cutting way, way too much power and I even tried to turn the traction control off, but it wouldn’t turn completely off. It was the worst 23 laps I’ve ever ridden. I’m really frustrated after all the work we’ve done – we struggled for dry time at the start of the weekend but made some inroads during warm-up this morning and I felt good in race one. I feel like we should have been on the podium twice today.

Leon Haslam - DNS

Looking at the guys ride around Donington and knowing what I’ve done here in the past makes it kind of frustrating to sit and watch the races in the motorhome. Jonathan proved in race one that the bike was capable of fighting for the podium and I feel I might have been up there. There are a lot of ifs and buts, but I think it was the right decision not to ride. Even though I haven’t been riding today, the leg is still quite sore so I’ll get bit more physio, have a few days off, and see how we get on. The surgeon who operated on me says the best thing would be a few days on a warm beach so I’m going to look at an early flight out to Portimao and continue the work out there.

Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator

Jonathan got a really good start in race one and moved into second behind Tom Sykes. He could keep in touch with Tom for almost half the race, which was very good, but in the end he dropped off a little and finished just off the podium in fourth. We were getting ready for that podium finish in race two when we got a problem with the sensor on the grid. We thought we had solved the problem by bypassing the sensor but it didn’t work out and that was the end of his race. Jonathan did not have a bike to compete with at all and I’m very sorry this happened because I think it robbed him of podium finish. Both he and the bike showed potential again this weekend so we’ll look forward to Portimao, when we’ll get Leon back on the bike as well.

More, from a press release issued by FIXI Crescent Suzuki:

Pair of nines for Cluzel as crashes cost Camier dearly

FIXI Crescent Suzuki had an afternoon of solid performances and misfortune during today’s two races in the fifth round of the 2013 eni FIM Superbike World Championship that was staged at Donington Park in England.

Jules Cluzel continued with his impressive rookie season in the Superbike class by taking two ninth places in today’s double-header. Cluzel’s two races were almost a mirror image of each other, as the Frenchman got a good start from 11th on the grid and made up two places on the first lap in both events. In race one he got involved in various battles with other riders before settling into a smooth rhythm for the remainder of the race. Cluzel was pursued for much of the 23-lap race by former World Champion Carlos Checa, but the FIXI Crescent Suzuki rider kept a consistent pace and managed to hold off the Spaniard. In race two Cluzel pushed harder as the race wore on and learnt a lot more of how the Yoshimura-powered GSX-R performs at the end of a race on used tyres. He was pleased with the result and believes he can use the data he gathered in the second race to make improvements in the next events.

Leon Camier had an afternoon he would like to forget. He started from fifth on the grid, but a mistake on lap-one in the first race saw him run off the track and get relegated to 15th place. He immediately set about chasing the pack down so that the lead group wouldn’t get away, but his eagerness proved his undoing as he crashed heavily on the last corner on lap three and saw any hope disappear as the bike cart-wheeled away from him. Camier picked himself up unhurt and made his way back to the pit-box on foot. In race two he got a better start and was running in contention with the leaders, but he again hit the deck in the last corner and slid onto the grass. This time, he was able to remount and continue his chase. He was 10-seconds behind the next rider in the field when he rejoined the race, but the Englishman caught and passed a number of riders to move up to 13th place at the chequered flag.

Today’s races were held in beautiful sunshine with track temperatures reaching 40°C and the home crowd were treated to victories for British riders in both the Superbike and Supersport classes as Tom Sykes took both victories in the one-litre class and Sam Lowes secured victory in the 600cc category.

FIXI Crescent Suzuki will now return to base in Verwood before heading to Portugal for the next round of the championship, which is to be held at Portimao on Sunday 9th June.

Jules Cluzel:
“I am happy with the second race because we finished in the top-10 and I felt some things that we can use which will help us improve at the next couple of races. At the end of the race I was able to push a bit harder and this is good for me. If I push too hard in the first few laps I make mistakes, so I am now trying to ride like I did in Aragon and wait a bit and build up my performance. When I feel I am ready to start pushing from the first lap I will do that, but at this moment I need to wait a bit. I was happy that I ended the race with my lap-time quite close to my best lap and I feel that we can now do some good things soon.”

Leon Camier:
“I had a bad start and was a bit too aggressive in the first race, even though I felt ok on the bike. I was trying to get past Canepa, but in the slower corners I was struggling a bit to get the bike pulled-up. I knew this, but I was desperate to get past him because I could see the front group going away, so it was my mistake and I ran off. Then I was pushing really hard to come back through the field and crashed. I was frustrated in race two because I felt like I didn’t have the best grip and the BMWs got past me, so I pushed hard, but got caught out at Goddards. The front went from underneath me, I don’t really know why it happened, but I couldn’t do much about it. I picked the bike up and tried my hardest to come back, but the main pack was too far away to catch them. I will now have to put this behind me and try and do my best at Portimao in a couple of week’s time.”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“I think Jules did a very solid job today and Donington is one of the most difficult tracks to tame a Superbike and get the best out of it, but Jules rode two very measured races and fought with some high-quality riders to secure his two ninth place finishes. He’s not missing a lot of lap-time to get into the next group and as the team and Jules gain more experience together of what he needs to go fast, I’m sure the next races will allow us to take a step forward in performance.

“I feel bad for Leon today, but to be honest I feel worse for the team and all our partners that joined us here today. Starting from the middle of the second row, and with the race pace Leon has had all weekend, should have seen us fighting for the podium in both races, but we didn’t come anywhere near that potential. It is unusual for Leon to over-ride to get to where he wants to be, but unfortunately that was the case in the first race and we are just relieved it didn’t result in an injury. The second race was a typical ‘Goddards – don’t know why that happened – crash’ and I was pleased he could pick the bike up and run strong lap-times for the rest of the race to get back into the points.

“Overall race-day hasn’t delivered what FIXI Crescent Suzuki wanted here at Donington, but we will be drawing the positives from the weekend in terms of performance potential and making sure we get the details right in Portugal.”

More, from a press release issued by SBK Press Office:

Tom Sykes accomplishes total domination at Donington Park

The 28.546 spectators attending Round 5 had a lot to cheer on today as Great Britain had a key-role in today’s races at Donington Park. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) scored an outstanding double-win, his maiden in eni FIM Superbike World Championship, that was icing on the cake of an unbelievable performance by the home rider, who led every single session from Friday’s Qualifying 1 on.

Thanks to his 8th race victory, Sykes lies now 2nd in the championship, only 4 points away from Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team), still Championship leader after today’s two podium finishes. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) made his way to 2nd place in Race 1, while Eugene Laverty scored his first ever top-3 finish on the Leicestershire track in Race 2.

The perfect Sunday for UK fans was completed by Sam Lowes’ World Supesport win, the third consecutive for the local boy in 2013. As for Sykes, the Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha rider has been absolutely unstoppable on his favourite circuit.

Race 1
Tom Sykes was the winner of Race 1 at Donington Park. The Brit rode a perfect race up front for all the 23 laps, displaying pure class and outstanding race craft, avoiding any risk and at the same time not allowing the following riders to close the gap. Despite a challenging first half of the race, Marco Melandri clawed his way back to 2nd following a successful overtake manoeuvre at the last turn, on lap 16, over third place Sylvain Guintoli.

Following a competitive first part of the race Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike), couldn't keep up the pace with Sykes and was forced to ride defensively to a final fourth position. The Ulsterman finished ahead Frenchman Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) - who had an up and down performance in Race 1 - and Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team). The works Aprilia rider had a hard time after running off-track during lap 7 at "Fogarty Esses", and continued to struggle as the race went by.

Same type of performance for Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK), able to stay with team mate Melandri in the early stages but finding difficult to push hard later on in the race. An early end of the race for Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki), following a crash at "Goddards" on lap 3, while team mate Jules Cluzel ended up 9th in a battle up to the finish line ahead of Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) and Team Ducati Alstare trio of Ayrton Badovini, Carlos Checa and Niccolò Canepa.

After doing his best to line-up his CBR 1000 RR on the grid, Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) was forced to withdraw the race due to his fitness conditions.

Race 1 results: 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 23 Laps/92.529 km in 34'10.881 average 162.420 kph; 2. Melandri (BMW) 2.379; 3. Guintoli (Aprilia) 3.808; 4. Rea (Honda) 6.760; 5. Baz (Kawasaki) 13.649; 6. Giugliano (Aprilia) 15.551; 7. Laverty (Aprilia) 17.453; 8. Davies (BMW) 19.138; 9. Cluzel (Suzuki) 27.738; 10. Fabrizio (Aprilia) 30.817; 11. Badovini (Ducati) 31.611; 12. Checa (Ducati) 31.816; 13. Canepa (Ducati) 31.930; 14. Neukirchner (Ducati) 43.025; 15. Iannuzzo (BMW) 4 Laps; RT. Sandi (Kawasaki); RT. Lundh (Kawasaki); RT. Camier (Suzuki).

Race 2

Tom Sykes' maiden double-win in the series comes after a total domination in Race 2 for the home rider, who continues his charge to the top now just 4 points away - waiting for the final decision by the FIM International Disciplinary Court on Monza Race 2 results. The last time a Kawasaki rider was able to secure both race victories dated back to 2000.

Tom Sykes: “I have been in World Superbike for a few years now and I got the first double win on home soil is a fairy tale. One click on the front suspension between races made the difference and we could see that in the second race time, which was better than the first one. I got the new Best Lap yesterday and I got the new lap record in race two so I have the full set. I really enjoyed the support from the crowd and I hope they enjoyed the show. No better place to do my first double than at Donington Park. We’re in a strong situation, we have a good base setting and now we are going to some fantastic circuits.”

Sykes pulled away from the chasing pack in the early stages and managed a seven seconds lead up to the chequered flag, finishing ahead of works Aprilia duo of Sylvain Guintoli - still Championship leader - and Eugene Laverty. The 26 year old Irishman, at his first rostrum finish on the Leicester track, had to defend his position from a late charge by Marco Melandri, who ran off track at "Fogarty Esses" following a final attempt of edging out the opponent from 3rd place.

Eugene Laverty: “At the end of Race 1 I was disappointed. I have always had some hard time on this track, but I could have done better than seventh place. On the other hand Race 2 got off to a better start straight away. A few changes we made to my RSV4 between the two races immediately increased my feeling with it. In fact, I was able to defend third place against Melandri's attacks, and as I said at Monza, it's always nice to end the weekend with a podium. The performance in Race 2 is encouraging for the rest of the championship. It shows that even on shorter, more winding tracks we can keep up with the top riders.”

Melandri quickly rejoined to end up 5th behind the competitive Davide Giugliano, who looked at times in the position to have a shot at the top-3 he's missing from June 2012. Slight improvement for official BMW rider Chaz Davies, 6th at the flag ahead of Frenchman Loris Baz.

A 4-way battle for 7th saw Niccolò Canepa having the better of Jules Cluzel, Michel Fabrizio and Jonathan Rea. The One Event rider for the round waved Team Ducati Alstare's flag high after Checa's withdrawal from Race 2 (left shoulder issues) and Ayrton Badovini's crash at Turn 2 on lap 19. The "nightmare weekend" of Leon Camier was completed by another low-speed crash at Turn 12, with the Englishman able to get back on track for a final 13th place.

Race 2 results: 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 23 Laps/92.529 km in 34'06.921 average 162.734 kph; 2. Guintoli (Aprilia) 8.035; 3. Laverty (Aprilia) 10.738; 4. Giugliano (Aprilia) 12.257; 5. Melandri (BMW) 15.976; 6. Davies (BMW) 16.475; 7. Baz (Kawasaki) 27.524; 8. Canepa (Ducati) 30.186; 9. Cluzel (Suzuki) 30.501; 10. Fabrizio (Aprilia) 30.885; 11. Rea (Honda) 31.529; 12. Neukirchner (Ducati) 46.782; 13. Camier (Suzuki) 54.509; 14. Sandi (Kawasaki) 1'05.789; 15. Lundh (Kawasaki) 1'20.431; 16. Iannuzzo (BMW) 1'20.719; RT. Badovini (Ducati).

Standings - provisional (round 5 of 15)*: 1. Guintoli 173; 2. Sykes 169; 3. Laverty 149; 4. Melandri 127; 5. Davies 112; 6. Baz 95; 7. Rea 89; 8. Fabrizio 86; 9. Giugliano 72; 10. Cluzel 55; 11. Camier 49; 12. Neukirchner 45; 13. Badovini 37; 14. Checa 33; 15. Haslam 29; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Aprilia 208; 2. Kawasaki 180; 3. BMW 175; 4. Honda 96; 5. Suzuki 82; 6. Ducati 65.

* Possible updated results could be defined by the International Disciplinary Court which is dealing with the appeal lodged by Aprilia Racing Team and rider Sylvain Guintoli, following the decision taken by the FIM Stewards in Monza (Italian Round, last 12 May) to cancel the drop of position sanction (from third to fourth place in race 2) imposed by the Race Direction on rider Tom Sykes.

World Supersport - Sam Lowes wins in perfect fashion

An uncatchable Sam Lowes has won by domination the World Supersport race today at Donington Park. The local rider has put up a supreme performance to finish with an 11 seconds margin over 2nd place Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) and delighted the crowd with a spectacular wheelie over the finish line.

Lowes lapped consistently within the 1'31 seconds bracket throughout all the 23 laps - except the final one. Sofuoglu, meanwhile, had to face some tough challenge to get in 2nd place but once he did, the defending Champion could easily pull away for a lonely ride to the chequered flag. The Turkish rider was also involved in a collision with Christian Iddon early in the race at "Melbourne" hairpin (Lap 2) that forced him to run wide and lose some ground.

Roberto Rolfo (Parkingo MV Agusta Corse) scored a sensational 3rd for the Italian brand, that was last seen on a World Championship podium in 1976: at that time Giacomo Agostini was the winner of the 500cc race at Nurburgring. Rolfo put up an outstanding recover from th 15th slot on the grid to give Giuliano Rovelli's squad the first rostrum finish in Supersport since Portimao 2011.

Fourth place for Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport) ahead of fellow Italian Luca Scassa (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki). The two riders battled out in the final lap with the Honda rider able to overtake the former Italian Superbike Champion at the chicane to eventually defend his position up to the flag, despite a fantastic last-turn attempt by Scassa.

The rider from Tuscay had, earlier in the race, a collision at the exit of "Goddards" with team mate Florian Marino, after which the Frenchman crashed out finishing on a bad note a promising race. 6th place for Jack Kennedy (Rivamoto Honda), ahead of Sheridan Morais (PTR Honda) and Andrea Antonelli (Team Goeleven Kawasaki).

Race results: 1. Lowes (Yamaha) 22 Laps/88.506 km in 33'37.767 average 157.908 kph; 2. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 11.105; 3. Rolfo (MV Agusta) 14.528; 4. Zanetti (Honda) 19.999; 5. Scassa (Kawasaki) 20.120; 6. Kennedy (Honda) 20.385; 7. Morais (Honda) 24.324; 8. Antonelli (Kawasaki) 27.395; 9. Foret (Kawasaki) 28.153; 10. Richards (Triumph) 28.264; 11. Ivanov (Kawasaki) 28.487; 12. Talmacsi (Honda) 29.041; 13. De Rosa (Honda) 29.648; 14. Russo (Kawasaki) 32.602; 15. Baldolini (Suzuki) 38.965; etc.

Standings (round 5 of 14): 1. Lowes 95; 2. Sofuoglu 65; 3. Foret 61; 4. Zanetti 53; 5. Vd Mark 49; 6. Scassa 45; 7. Rolfo 38; 8. Antonelli 37; 9. Kennedy 34; 10. Marino 31; 11. Russo 28; 12. Coghlan 22; 13. Leonov 21; 14. Morais 19; 15. Ivanov 18. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 110; 2. Yamaha 103; 3. Honda 78; 4. MV Agusta 38; 5. Suzuki 9; 6. Triumph 6.
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