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May 27, 2013

More From This Past Weekend's Races At Donington Park

FIM Supersport World Championship: Roberto Rolfo (47) in action on his MV Agusta F3 675 at Donington Park.
Zanetti maintains form with fourth at Donington

Lorenzo Zanetti continued his recent good form in today’s fifth round World Supersport race at Donington Park in the UK, following up his podium at Monza two weeks ago with a spirited ride to fourth place.

While Zanetti continues to impress in his debut World Supersport season, today’s race was won by series leader and local rider, Sam Lowes, who extended his lead at the top of the championship table. Zanetti moved up to fourth, leapfrogging his Pata Honda team-mate Michael van der Mark, who endured a difficult Donington weekend.

After breaking his foot at Monza, van der Mark has been rehabilitating with Superbike colleague Leon Haslam but a technical problem in qualifying restricted the 20-year-old Dutch rider to 20th place on the grid.

Van der Mark got a good start and had climbed seven places before crashing unhurt at Donington’s Melbourne Hairpin, remounting to claim 20th place after 22 hard laps of the 4.023km circuit.

Lorenzo Zanetti – 4th
Fourth position was not so bad today and it was good to continue the recent improvement and the points were good for the championship. I spent more than half the race in third position so I thought the podium was possible but Rolfo arrived with an incredible rhythm. I tried to fight him but I lost the rear a few times and lost a lot of time. On the first two or three laps I lost some time trying to pass Marino and when I passed him, Kenan [Sofuoglu] had two or three seconds on me. We have continued to make progress here and it is important to continue this in Portimao.

Michael van der Mark – 20th
It was a little bit frustrating today because I made up seven positions and got up to 13th place and I was trying to catch the group in front because it was quite a big group. I closed the gap a little bit but braked a little bit too hard and lost the front at the hairpin. It’s a shame because we had some problems all weekend and we wanted to get some points. I hope in Portimao we can have a better weekend than this.

Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
Unfortunately, Michael had to come from a long way back but made up some places at the start. In trying to close the gap more to the front he had a little front-end crash. He wasn’t able to get into the points, which is a shame, so we hope for better luck at the next race. Lorenzo did exactly what we had hoped for which was running for the podium. It wasn’t quite possible but fourth place took him past Michael in the championship, so well done to him. He has definitely made a breakthrough with the bike and we’re looking forward to Portimao with both of the guys.




More, from a press release issued by MV Agusta:

MV AGUSTA RETURNS TO THE WORLD PODIUM AFTER 37 YEARS

Varese, 27 May, 2013 – Thirty-seven years after Giacomo Agostini obtained his last great success at the Nürburgring circuit, MV Agusta returns to the world podium. The MV Agusta F3 675 in the hands of the ParkinGo team came in third during this year’s Supersport debut at the difficult Donington track in England, the fifth stage of the World Supersport championship competition.

This amazing comeback was achieved by Roberto Rolfo who, starting 16th on the grid, advanced continuously to third place, which he then defended with relative ease. At certain points in the race, the powerful Turinborn rider was the fastest on the track showing his tremendous talent, as well as the bike’s great potential.

Rider Christian Iddon, the other member of the team, could have done an equally brilliant job had he not been the innocent victim of an episode in which, in the early part of the race, his bike was touched by another rider when he was fighting for a podium position.

Giovanni Castiglioni, President and CEO of MV Agusta, commented on the podium achievement saying: “I am delighted and thrilled with this first podium result for the F3 675! It has been a great challenge to bring this important brand back on the race track. The amazing thing is that this podium was conquered on the same day as the Claudio Castiglioni Memorial organised by the Lombardia Moto Club Cagiva yesterday at our plant in Schiranna. I would like to dedicate this success to my father, the man from whom we inherited our great passion for racing. My gratitude goes to the Rovelli brothers and the members of the ParkinGo team for the amazing effort they are putting in to this project. There is still much work to be done and they have all our support!”

Roberto Rolfo declared: “I am truly pleased with this bike, it’s perfect, and the work done by the team, which was impeccable. I’m really sorry I made mistakes during the qualifying on Saturday. If I had been able to start further towards the front perhaps I wouldn’t have had the chance to get to first place anyway, but I sure would have had an easier time of it during the race, perhaps even made it one step higher on the podium. I promised everyone a comeback yesterday, but even I didn’t expect this fantastic result! No doubt, its thanks in great part to perfect team work. Without them we wouldn’t have been able to get to this level in such a short amount of time.”




More, from a press release issued by Marty Nutt's publicist:

Double podium joy at Donington for Nutt

Castelrock’s Marty Nutt enjoyed an excellent weekend of racing at the Donington Park World Superbike meeting with two podiums from the two Ducati TriOptions 848 Challenge races held. Second and third gave the JHP/Ducati Coventry/Nutttravel.com rider another 36 points to consolidate his second place in the Championship after the opening two rounds.

After qualifying in fourth place, Marty was bumped up to third and the front row after Mike Edwards severely damaged his machine in a spill at Craner Curves and a solid start to the opening 10-lap race saw Marty slot into fifth place. He was soon up to second behind race leader Dennis Hobbs and although current Championship leader Jonathan Railton overhauled them, the battle for second went all the way to the chequered flag. Marty and Hobbs exchanged positions on each and every lap but a final lap manoeuvre saw the latter named take second and so Marty had to settle for third on this occasion.

Sunday’s race followed a similar pattern with Railton going on to take his second win of the weekend and Marty and Hobbs fiercely dispute second. Once again positions changed with frequent regularity and whilst Marty planned to make his move on the final lap, Hobbs found a false neutral at McLeans and drifted wide, subsequently letting Marty take over second. There was still nothing in it though but Marty held on for second place, his fourth podium from four starts this year.

Speaking afterwards, a delighted Marty said, “That’s one of the most enjoyable race weekends I’ve had in a long time, the grin factor’s been massive! I struggled a bit for grip in qualifying but my team did a great job all weekend and my crew chief Ricky Hackett worked wonders as the small changes he made to the bike allowed me to ride how I wanted. The battles with Dennis were great fun and there was literally nothing between us in either race.”

“He was stronger on the final third of the circuit, from the Foggy Esses to the start line, whilst I was stronger on the other sections so that meant we were constantly swapping places. He got the better of me on Saturday so I was determined to turn the tables on Sunday and that’s how it turned out. I was planning to make the move at the Esses but when he ran wide at McLeans I dived up the inside and just rode as hard as I could for the last half of the lap. That’s four podiums from four starts now so it’s been a good start to the season but we need to start getting the better of Railton. When he gets a clear track he can do some very quick lap times so we need to make sure he doesn’t get away in the first few laps and that’s the aim for the next round.”

The third round of the series takes place at Snetterton on 5-7 July.




More, from a press release issued by Smiths Triumph Supersport Team:

Top Ten For Richards At Donington World Supersport

Reigning Motorpoint British Supersport Champion Glen Richards gave the Smiths Racing Triumph Team another great top ten finish in a World Supersport Championship race when he took a hard fought tenth place at Donington Park today.

The 39-year-old Australian was having his first wild card appearance of the season in the World Championship and after qualifying in a brilliant third place on the Triumph Daytona 675R, Richards crashed out and was run over by another competitor, sustaining a minor arm injury in the process.
Despite being stiff, he took his place on the grid and was running inside the top eight for the first half of the race. Part of an eight-rider battle for third place, the Adelaide rider was handily placed at mid-race distance only for French rider Florian Marino to push him wide at the Esses and force him onto the grass.

By the time he'd rejoined the track, he was down in 15th place but he fought back to claim tenth place for the Gloucester-based team at the end of the 22 laps, just two seconds adrift of eighth, claiming six World Championship points in the process.

Fellow Australian and team-mate Billy McConnell was also in action and after qualifying in 15th after a crash also, 'Skippy' took a solid 19th place in today's race after a couple of overshoots, gaining valuable track time and making further progress with the development of the all-new Triumph machine.
Glen Richards: "I'm a little bit disappointed with the result as we were in with a podium chance for a while. I had a bit of an issue with the brakes to begin with but once they settled down I felt strong and was right in the mix for third place. Sadly, Marino put in a really poor manoeuvre, basically taking my front wheel away from me so how I didn't hit him I don't know. I had no option but take to the grass but I fought back and got into the top ten so managed to salvage a decent result. The good bit though is that this weekend will kick-start our British Championship challenge as the bike's feeling really good now and I'm feeling really comfortable on it. We've made big inroads, the confidence is back and I'm confident the results will now come."

Billy McConnell: "It's always a great privilege to race in a World Championship round but it's a shame I couldn't get the result the team and all our supporters deserved. It's never easy riding with riders you're not used to dicing with and I made a few mistakes in both qualifying and in the race, running on in a few corners. I had a moment in the first turn when my boot got ripped open and I just struggled to get into a decent rhythm so it was a bit of a scrappy race. We've had plenty of track time though and made big strides forward with the bike so I'm confident when we get to the next British Championship round, we'll reap the rewards."

Rebecca Smith, Team Manager: "It wasn't really the race we'd hoped for after qualifying, particularly for Glen who did brilliantly to place third. We were confident Billy would be able to move forward as well and get both of the bikes inside the top ten but it turned out to be a frustrating race. Our pace has been good all weekend though and we've had good fun, gathered lots of data and pretty much achieved what we wanted. The weather and support from the crowd were both great and all the development work we've been doing with the bike has been seen so we've made excellent progress. It's testament to the whole team's hard work and we're now feeling extremely confident that when we get to the next British Championship round at Knockhill, we'll be back at the front."

World Supersport Championship race (22 laps)
1 Sam Lowes (Yamaha)
2 Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki)
3 Roberto Rolfo (MV Agusta)
4 Lorenzo Zanetti (Honda)
5 Luca Scassa (Kawasaki)
6 Jack Kennedy (Honda)
10 Glen Richards (Smiths Racing Triumph)
19 Billy McConnell (Smiths Racing Triumph)




More, from a press release issued by MWR Kawasaki:

Best Yet For MWR Kawasaki At Donington

The MWR Kawasaki team enjoyed their best day so far in the Pirelli National Superstock 600 and 1000 Championships with both Harry Hartley and James Egan recording their best finishes of the season.

Keen to get his season up and running in the Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship, Burnley's 16-year-old Hartley qualified in an encouraging 22nd place and a good start saw him advance inside the top 20. Running on the edge of the points, a safety car period allowed the field to close right up and Hartley took full advantage to move forward further and at the end of the 12 laps he crossed the line in an excellent 14th place for two well deserved points.

In the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship, Egan also qualified in 22nd place and a brilliant start saw him immediately make up a few places. After three laps, the South African youngster was comfortably inside the points in 12th place and lapping quicker than he had done in qualifying. However, the increase in pace meant he was working the tyres more and as the race wore on he began to lose grip. Battling with second round race winner David Johnson and Josh Elliott he just missed out on the points but still secured a season's best finish of 17th.

Harry Hartley: "It's really pleasing to not only get my first finish of the season but also my first points and I'm glad to have achieved both of those aims. I didn't have the greatest of qualifying sessions as I made a couple of mistakes which placed me lower down the order than I would have liked but I got my head down and got stuck in. The safety car period helped me get back in touch with the leading pack and I certainly feel that I'm getting there with the 600. It's good for the confidence to get some points so now I want to maintain the momentum and build on it at the next round at Knockhill."

James Egan: "It was a tough start to the weekend with conditions on Friday being terrible and I had a few issues in qualifying but managed 22nd place and after a few suspension changes for the race, I felt really comfortable on the bike. I made a great start and it was great to be running inside the points and battling with some of the top guys but as soon as I lost the grip there was little I could do. I really enjoyed the race though and the good thing now is that I'm only a couple of tenths off the front pack rather than a couple of seconds like at the beginning of the season. I feel that we've really turned the corner now and I'm confident of getting into the points next time out."

Mark Webster, Team Owner: "It was a good weekend overall for the team as both riders had their best results of the season so far. James has now found that dry set up we have been chasing and feels he can now push hard with confidence in the bike. We have just mapped out a testing program for the remainder of the season taking in all the remaining tracks we will be racing at, which will mean we will be able to push right from the word go on race weekends."

"I am so pleased for Harry to finally get a finish under his belt and a points scoring one at that. He has been putting a lot of pressure on himself lately as he knows he has the pace to compete at the front in this class, but with three DNFs up to now this year it was becoming more and more of a monkey on his back and I feel this result will be a real turning point for him. I'd like to also thank Mark Hodgson for his invaluable input this weekend working with Harry, and being part of the team. It was great to have him around and it was like going back 16 years to when we ran Darren Barton on a 125."

Metzeler National Superstock 600cc Championship race (12 laps)
1 Joe Collier (Triumph)
2 Luke Hedger (Kawasaki)
3 Tim Hastings (Kawasaki)
4 Tom Fisher (Kawasaki)
5 Jordan Simpkin (Yamaha)
6 Michael Robertson (Yamaha)
14 Harry Hartley (MWR Kawasaki)

Championship Standings (after four rounds)
1 Simpkin 76pts
2 Collier 70
3 Hastings 64
4 Hedger 49
5 Lodge 48
6 Day 30

Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc Championship race (12 laps)
1 Adam Jenkinson (Kawasaki)
2 Joe Burns (Kawasaki)
3 Filip Backlund (Kawasaki)
4 Josh Day (Kawasaki)
5 Daniel Johnson (Kawasaki)
6 Matteo Baiocco (Ducati)
17 James Egan (MWR Kawasaki)

Championship Standings (after four rounds)
1 Jenkinson 78pts
2 Burns 57
3 Backlund 49
4 Cox 48
5 Kennaugh 44
6 Johnson 39

The next round of the Pirelli National Superstock 600 and 1000 Championships take place at Knockhill, Scotland over the weekend of 14/16 June. For further information, please visit www.mwrkawasaki.co.uk or www.britishsuperbike.com.




More, from a press release issued by SMT Racing:

Brilliant win sees Jenkinson extend Superstock Championship lead

SMT Racing’s Adam Jenkinson claimed his second National Superstock 1000cc Championship win of the season on Sunday when he took a superb win at the World Superbike Championship meeting at Donington Park. With pole position and fastest lap of the race, it extended his lead in the table to 21 points and wrapped up a faultless weekend for the 28-year old.

With adverse conditions on Friday affecting free practice and opening qualifying, Adam and the team wisely stayed out of trouble and waited for the good, dry weather on Saturday to push for a good grid position. This they duly did and a lap of 1m32.919s on the Kawasaki ZX-10R gave him a strong pole position.

An excellent start to the 12-lap race saw Adam grab the holeshot going into Redgate Corner and although Joe Burns and Steve Brogan overhauled him shortly afterwards, he sat right in their wheel tracks. By mid-race distance Burns was in the lead but, after exchanging places with Brogan a couple of times, Adam moved up to second and closed the gap to the race leader. With the fastest lap of the race, 1m32.406s, Adam took the lead on the eighth lap and was never headed again, crossing the line almost half a second clear of Burns for a brilliant win.

Speaking afterwards, a delighted team owner Robin Croft said; “I can’t praise Adam highly enough for what he’s achieved this weekend and it really was a faultless performance throughout. He used his head in the poor practice conditions but pushed hard in qualifying and with our brake issues from Oulton Park resolved, we were all feeling very confident going into the race. It wasn’t easy with both Burns and Brogan riding well but Adam was again very mature pushing hard when he needed to and a series of fast, consistent laps made the difference and allowed him to control the race in the final stages. It’s been a superb start to the year so we’re all eagerly looking forward to the next round at Knockhill.”

Before that though, SMT Racing turn their attention to the Isle of Man TT road races with Dan Stewart contesting the solo races and Tim Reeves/Dan Sayle the Formula Two sidecar category. Practice takes place all of this week with the opening races on Saturday 1st June.




More, from a press release issued by Motodex Performance First BMW Team:

Motodex back on the grid with new BMW squad

THE Motodex Performance First BMW team is looking forward to the remainder of the 2013 season after making its debut at Donington Park at the weekend.

The team has undergone a significant restructure since the start of the season, following the departure of Jesse Trayler after the opening round.

Since then, team owner Tony Dexter has remodelled the team and is now running Stefan Cappella on a brand new BMW S1000RR to reflect the Bavarian background of his Motodex brand.

“As a Brit working and owning a Bavarian company, I thought it was about time I switched to a Bavarian machine,” he explained. “The opportunity came up for us to swap to the BMW and it was perfect for us.

“As an Alpha Racing dealer I’m also delighted to announce we now have Alpha Racing support. It’s a great opportunity for us to be receiving help and advice from these WSB experts, so this is a great time for us as a team.”

The Motodex Performance First BMW team made its debut under its new banner in Sunday’s Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship at Donington Park, as part of the World Superbike Championship weekend.

Rider Stefan Cappella has returned to action after missing the last two rounds with injuries, and had only tested his new machine once before the weekend – and had never ridden at Donington before.

He struggled during qualifying with a front brake issue but managed to secure 37th on the grid for Sunday’s race.

As the lights changed he immediately got down to business, making up three places in the opening lap to start Lap Two in 34th spot. From here he kept his head down and managed to claw his way further up the order, finally taking 30th position at the chequered flag.

And Tony Dexter is happy with how his team and rider worked together this weekend.

“I’m pleased with how Stefan has handled this event. He’s only had one track day on the bike and had never ridden here before. He had some issues in qualifying but the team have worked hard to get things right and we’ll keep on pushing as the season goes on.

“We’ve a whole new set up here at Motodex Performance First BMW and it’s a big change but everyone involved has handled it well. It looks good for the remainder of the season and I think we’re all looking forward to seeing how far we can go.”

It has been a busy six weeks for Motodex, which is now also a series sponsor in the Thundersport GB Championship. Now Tony plans to enter Stefan in at least one of the Thundersport events as extra track time and to show his support to the series he has put his company name to.

“It’s busier than I imagined, but I love bike racing and I want to be as involved as possible. I’m delighted with how Motodex is progressing and we have a few other things up our sleeve.

“My new sister composite manufacturing company C6 Innovations is developing some high tech GRP body work which we plan to use with our BMW as a show piece, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season and seeing how well Stefan and the team can develop.”