World Superbike: Race Two Results From Donington Park (Updated)

World Superbike: Race Two Results From Donington Park (Updated)

© 2019, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By Chris Ulrich.

Motul FIM Superbike World Championship

Donington Park, England

July 7, 2019

Race Two Results (dry conditions, all on Pirelli tires):

1. Jonathan Rea, UK (Kaw ZX-10RR), 23 laps, Total Race Time 33:51.931, Best Lap Time 1:27.851

2. Toprak Razgatlioglu, Turkey (Kaw ZX-10RR), -0.356 second, 1:27.773

3. Alvaro Bautista, Spain (Duc Panigale V4 R), -5.930 seconds, 1:28.020 

4. Alex Lowes, UK (Yam YZF-R1), -6.334, 1:28.141

5. Leon Haslam, UK (Kaw ZX-10RR), -6.833, 1:28.013

6. Loris Baz, France (Yam YZF-R1), -7.441, 1:28.172

7. Tom Sykes, UK (BMW S1000RR), -8.542, 1:27.947

8. Michael Van Der Mark, Netherlands (Yam YZF-R1), -14.850, 1:28.516

9. Chaz Davies, UK (Duc Panigale V4 R), -18.124, 1:28.243

10. Marco Melandri, Italy (Yam YZF-R1), -29.115, 1:28.634

11. Peter Hickman, UK (BMW S1000RR), -34.620, 1:29.313 

12. Michael Rinaldi, Italy (Duc Panigale V4 R), -34.824, 1:29.045

13. Sandro Cortese, Germany (Yam YZF-R1), -51.627, 1:29.885

14. Leandro Mercado, Argentina (Kaw ZX-10RR), -52.879, 1:29.695

15. Alessandro Delbianco, Italy (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), -54.821, 1:29.872

16. Ryuchi Kyonari, Japan (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), -67.330, 1:30.464

17.Jordi Torres, Spain (Kaw ZX-10RR), -12 laps, DNF, crash, 1:30.210

18. Eugene Laverty, Ireland (Duc Panigale V4 R), DNS

More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

#GBRWorldSBK – Day 3:

Rea takes first triple treat of 2019 ahead of Razgatlioglu and Bautista

Reigning World Champion wins three races out of three at Donington Park as Bautista returns on the podium in Race 2

In the final action of the weekend for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, it was yet another thrilling encounter from lights-out to the chequered flag. It was action right from the start, with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) coming out on top after another tough scrap with Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing).

Heading towards Turn 1 for the first time, Jonathan Rea rocketed from pole position to grab the holeshot, ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing), whilst Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) blasted into third. At the Old Hairpin however, Bautista was passed by home-hero Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK). Chaz Davies had a strong opening, running as high as fifth, right behind his teammate. It was a nightmare for Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing) one lap later, as the Spaniard retired.

With the race settling down, on Lap 3, Razgatlioglu took the lead at the circuit where he took his first WorldSBK career podium. With a strong out-braking manoeuvre at the Melbourne Loop, he was able to pinch the advantage. However, two laps later, Rea took the lead back and one lap further on, Haslam momentarily got ahead of the Turk at the Foggy Esses. At the Melbourne Loop, Razgatlioglu recovered and the 22-year-old was back in second.

Razgatlioglu was able to retake the lead from Rea, with the two riders dancing side-by-side around the Donington Park circuit. Another late-braking move at the Melbourne Loop saw him retake the lead and then, putting the hammer down. Razgatlioglu and Rea broke clear of the fading Haslam in third place, whilst Alvaro Bautista was all over the rear-end of the five-time WorldSBK race winner.

With 12 to go, it was a rare error at the Foggy Esses from Toprak, allowing Rea to cut through and take the lead back from the young Turk. A lap later, and the battle for third started to ignite with Bautista taking the final podium position from Leon Haslam. With all the swapping, slowly but surely, Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha) was now closing down Leon Haslam, with Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) in sixth. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was seventh from tenth on the grid, whilst Davies had slipped to eighth.

There was a change in the battle for fifth place, as Alex Lowes forced Baz wide at the Foggy Esses, with the British rider getting ahead into the Melbourne Loop. Even further back, double winner from Donington Park in 2018, Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team), got ahead of Davies for eighth place.

In the closing stages, there were two battles: for first and second between Rea and Razgatlioglu, and for third place between Bautista, Lowes, Haslam and Baz – with Lowes getting ahead of Haslam with just three laps to go. Going into the final lap, half-a-second split the leading two, whilst Bautista had a small buffer for a safe third place.

Coming to the line for the final time, Jonathan Rea completed a Donington Park hat-trick at home, the first triple he has achieved this season. Razgatlioglu took another podium with second and Alvaro Bautista took his first podium of the weekend, although he now trails the reigning WorldSBK champion by 24 points. Alex Lowes was fourth whilst Leon Haslam completed the top five, only just ahead Loris Baz.

Tom Sykes was the best of the rest, with Michael van der Mark taking a hearty, hard-earnt eighth, ahead of Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK), who completed the top ten after a disappointing Prosecco DOC UK Round. Peter Hickman (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was 11th, ahead of Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team), with Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK), Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) and Alessandro Delbianco (Althea Mie Racing Team) completing the points.

P1 – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)

“It was incredible, a similar story to Misano with Toprak in Race 2. It was really difficult, he was so strong on the brakes, but my team gave me a great bike and physically this weekend I felt really good, so I was able to extract the best potential from my ZX-10RR. In free practices, I was a little bit unhappy about the setup, and we were quite far away, 0.9 s from the fastest lap time, but step by step we arrived and three race wins, and back in the lead of the championship I can’t quite believe it. We will keep working like we are doing and we go to Laguna next week, which is another good track for us, but I enjoyed the atmosphere here. There were a lot of people here at Donington and now let’s see what happens”.

P2 – Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing)

“Yesterday with the wet conditions we didn’t go well. We tried a similar setup to Misano but I didn’t feel good on the bike and it was sliding a lot at the rear, so I was waiting for today because I was expecting a dry race and I felt really strong on those conditions. The Tissot Superpole Race was good but it wasn’t perfect. We focused on Race 2, which was more important for me. I did a good start, I followed Johnny and after I overtook him we had a small fight together but he was strong and fast. On the final two laps, I tried to attack him again but it was impossible. I am happy with another podium and now we see what will happen in the US”.

P3 – Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati)

“Today was important for us to finish the race. We crashed in Misano Race 2 and yesterday again. I knew it was meant to be a tough weekend for us because we are struggling a lot in this kind of tracks that are bumpy and with have poor grip. In the Tissot Superpole Race, I tried to stay with the front group. I pushed as much as I could and physically I was destroyed at the end of the eight laps because the bike was moving a lot and I had to put so much energy in trying to keep the bike straight and not lose too much time exiting the corners. In Race 2, I tried to do the same. I did a good start and remained with the front group. I pushed hard and had to use double my energy, but I managed to finish on the podium, and I am happy because we struggled a lot this weekend. Now we have to improve the weak points of our bike, but I look forward to the next race”.


More, from a press release issued by Barni Racing:

Double twelfth place for Barni Racing Team and Michael Rinaldi at Donington

Castle Donington (UK), 7th July 2019. Double twelfth place in both Race 1 and Race 2, eleventh position in Superpole Race for Barni Racing Team rider Michael Rinaldi at Donington, which held the eighth round of MOTUL FIM WorldSBK. The result doesn’t not make happy completely the team lead by Marco Barnabò, but it reflects the difficulties to set a new bike, the Ducati Panigale V4R, on a track without any references. With these results Rinaldi conquires eight points in all for the championship standing where He is now eleventh with 85 points.

Superpole Race

After the saturday rain the sun back at Donington with the tarmac around the 40 °C for the Superpole Race. Started from the fifteenth position, Rinaldi conducted a regular race without being able to attack the riders ahead of him and to recover positions. Three laps to go the BMW rider, Hickman, who was tenth, broke the engine flooding with oil the track at the braking point of turn ten. All riders behind him crashed out except Michael who went on the gravel, but He managed to be back on track. The race was stopped with red flag and Rinaldi, being able to went back to the box on the saddle of his bike, was classified eleventh, without earning any points.

Race 2

The start of race 2, with similar condition to Superpole Race, seen Rinaldi protagonist of a good start. Earning three positions the Barni Racing Team rider stayed all the race behind Hickman and Melandri without being able to try to overtake them to reach the top ten.

Marco Barnabo, Team Principal

Our lack of experience with this the bike was clear here in Donington. In a track with lots of ups and downs we struggled more than elsewhere to find a good a base setup. The good results of Misano and Jerez, which have flat layout, make us forget that the bike is new and without any references is not easy to be immediately fast. To find the right way is harder than last year. We can only analyze the data and continue to work as we have ever done to put out the potential of the Panigale V4R.

Michael Rinaldi

Despite the extremely hard weekend I want to thank the team which worked well. Unlucky the poor feeling with the bike and the wet sessions of yesterday did not help us. We understood which are our weaknesses but now we have some points of reference to start at Laguna Seca. It will be my first time in the USA and I don’t know what to expect, what I can say is that we will do our best, as always.

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Rea Scores First Triple Win And Extends His Lead

Jonathan Rea (KRT) completed a near perfect WorldSBK race weekend at his home round in Donington Park by winning both of today’s races, adding them to his Saturday victory for a maximum possible points score. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) was second in each of the races today. The sprint race delivered an all-Ninja ZX-10RR podium when Leon Haslam scored third place, before finishing fifth in race two.

After an astounding wet race win in Saturday Jonathan Rea scored two more in dry conditions today to extend his championship lead to 24 points, with just one round to go before the summer break begins.

In the Tissot Superpole race today, held in the morning, Rea followed pole man Tom Sykes until he passed him going into the chicane at half race distance. Jonathan pulled a small gap at that point, which was to give him the race win after a red flag was shown. Another rider’s engine blew oil onto the track in the braking area at the Melbourne Loop, causing five following riders to crash in quick succession.

As Rea and the leading pack came round at a slow pace under the red flag to enter the pits, Sykes found the oil and fell. As he was unable to get back to pitlane on his bike inside the time allowed, he was removed from the classification, which put Rea, Razgatlioglu and Haslam all onto the podium together for a Kawasaki lockout.

In Race Two, which was also held in dry and sunny conditions, Rea, Razgatlioglu and Haslam were the leading trio until Haslam was passed by eventual third place rider Alvaro Bautista. Razgatlioglu had led for seven of the first 11 laps but it was Rea who would manage to control strong pressure from the young Turkish rider to win race two

His winning margin was 0.365 seconds. Haslam would finish fifth in race two, after losing a place to Alex Lowes on lap 21.

Rea also set a new lap record of 1’27.166 on his way to the win in the Superpole race this morning.

Rea now has 376 points to Bautista’s 352. Haslam is fifth overall with 187 points.

The next round will be held next weekend at Laguna Seca in the USA, between 12 and 14 July.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “This morning in the sprint race with Tom Sykes, who is one of the best riders at this circuit, I was able to analyse where he was strong and make my move. Unfortunately the race was red flagged before the end. But to win the second race this afternoon was really special – the best of the weekend. Another nice fight with Toprak, who was really strong in some areas of the track and I was able to be strong in others. A positive weekend and I am looking forward now to the next few races, because I feel like there are some good tracks coming for us now. I seriously did not expect these kind of results this weekend.”

Leon Haslam, stated: “Honestly, I had a really good feeling on 80% of the track but I was just struggling on that last part with the stop/start areas. I am happy with the pace because I was losing so much in the last two turns but and making it back in the rest of the track – and that was against the fastest guys. I did feel that if we could have sorted those last two corners out we would have been in that battle for those top two spots today. We have had a run of podiums and a fifth place finish recently so we are there or thereabouts. We closed the points gap on third and we will keep on pushing on.”

Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) is sixth overall now, with 153 points, and is the top independent rider. He is 29 points ahead of his next nearest rival, Marco Melandri. Razgatlioglu set the fastest lap of the second race, as he led on lap three.

Toprak Razgatlioglu, stated: “I wanted to win and I tried but Johnny was very strong today. I followed him and on the last three laps I tried again to pass but it was not possible. I am happy with another podium after the Superpole race second place. I like the braking sections and it was incredible in that area but in acceleration I am always sliding. In the final three laps I tried a different line but it did not change the result as I was still sliding but I took a second podium. Maybe next season, maybe next year – maybe next race – I will win? I do not know!”

Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) finished a strong ninth in the sprint and scored a point, but a technical issue put him out of the final race on lap one. Jordi is 12th overall after eight of 13 rounds.

Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) having scored an excellent sixth in a wet race one on Saturday was a faller on the oil spill that ended the Superpole race but recovered to finish 14th in Race Two. He is 15th in the rankings now.

More, from a press release issued by Moriwaki Althea Honda Racing:

Sunday brings no luck for Ryuichi Kiyonari at Donington Park.

Ryuichi Kiyonari experienced a challenging race day today at Donington Park. During the Superpole sprint race the Japanese rider crashed out, together with other five riders, at the Melbourne Loop, when another bike left fluid on the track after suffering a technical problem.

In the second Superbike race, Kiyonari could not find good enough pace and rounded out the race outside of the points zone, in sixteenth position.

WorldSBK action will resume immediately with round nine already set to take place at the legendary track of Laguna Seca in California next weekend.

RYUICHI KIYONARI

SUPERPOLE RACE: RET – RACE2: 16TH

“Today was tough, starting with a crash in the Superpole race where I hit my hands quite hard. We could not avoid it, there was something on the track and a lot of riders went down at the same moment. Anyway, even if I still have some pain it’s really nothing serious and it will soon be fine, luckily. I’m particularly disappointed about Race 2, because I know how it feels to be fast at this track and today I was far from it. I was not able to find the same feeling I had yesterday. We will continue to try our best next weekend.”

More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad:

Strong performance by BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team goes unrewarded on Sunday at Donington Park.

Unfortunate circumstances hinder further podium celebrations in the FIM Superbike World Championship.

Tom Sykes classified with DNF in the Superpole race, seventh place in the afternoon race.

Peter Hickman retires with a technical defect in the morning and crossed the finish line in eleventh place in the afternoon.

Donington Park. After pole position and a podium finish on Saturday, Sunday’s action in the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) at Donington Park (GBR) did not go according to plan for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. In the Superpole race, unfortunate circumstances saw BMW S 1000 RR rider Tom Sykes (GBR) end up with a DNF instead of finishing in second on the podium. In the main race of the afternoon, a catch-up race saw him finish in seventh place. Peter Hickman (GBR) retired in the morning due to a technical defect, he finished eleventh in the afternoon.

Sykes started the morning’s Superpole sprint race from pole position. He was embroiled in a close duel for the lead with Jonathan Rea (GBR / Kawasaki) and was at the front of the field for four laps. Rea overtook him, but Sykes was hot on the heels of his rival in second place. With three laps to go, a technical defect meant Hickman lost oil, several riders fell as a result, and the race was aborted. After the race was red flagged and the field headed back to the pits, the oil slick also sent Sykes skidding into the gravel. Second place was taken away from him and he was classified as not having finished the race.

This meant Sykes had to start the second main race of the afternoon from tenth on the grid. With a plucky catch-up race, he moved up into seventh. Hickman started from eleventh on the grid and briefly dropped down one place, but was back in eleventh after the second lap, where he remained until the end of the race. Hickman stepped in for Markus Reiterberger (GER) at Donington Park, who was unable to compete after contracting a severe viral infection. Reiterberger will return to action in the next round this coming weekend at Laguna Seca (USA).

Quotes after race two at Donington Park.

Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “Unfortunately, today didn’t go according to plan. Firstly, we are very sorry that the technical issue with Peter’s motorcycle in the Superpole race affected other riders, who ended up falling. Unfortunately, Tom’s second place was revoked after he fell on the cool down lap and was unable to make it back to the pits with his bike within the requisite time. In the main race he delivered another outstanding performance and got a lot out of the race with seventh place. We need to file today under learning year and move forward. We saw that the pace of the BMW S 1000 RR is definitely there, and we hope we can convert this into the corresponding results in the Superpole and all three races at Laguna Seca. Kudos to Peter, who jumped in at short notice and delivered a really strong performance.”

Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “The rule book went against us in the Superpole Race. Tom did everything right. He had a good, strong pace. It was only between him and Jonathan to battle for the win in the sprint race. To be penalised with the five-minute return-pit-lane rule we felt was extremely harsh considering all the circumstances. However, there is nothing in the rule book that would have allowed any different outcome to that. Tom could not get the bike back to the paddock – it could not be moved – within the five-minute period stipulated in the rule book. So, we must accept the outcome as harsh as it is. Tom’s main race was obviously affected by starting from tenth. He rode a strong race and even though he struggled with grip he was within a second of fourth position and not too far away from the podium. We have to take strength from this weekend; I’m pleased with the guys, I’m proud of everyone’s effort, and proud of how everyone bounced back from such a big knockback in the sprint race to come back fighting in the main race. We will take this away with us, it will hopefully make us stronger and we will learn from it. Peter had a bit of a lonely main race. If he had got away a little bit sharper at the start, he could maybe have stayed with the guys in front of him. But we are happy with P11. He did not put a foot wrong all weekend, coming in at the last minute and he has certainly done himself and the team proud.”

Tom Sykes: “It certainly was an unlucky day. When we came over the hilltop into Melbourne Loop after the red flag, there was a parked car right at the edge of the tarmac, and riders, bikes and marshals, so I looked up just to try and understand if someone was coming on track. Then I hit the oil, Jonathan nearly crashed and I unfortunately did. What happened completely changed the dynamic of the day and of the long race. Starting from tenth, I struggled as I would have needed some clear air. The performance was certainly compromised in today’s race. It’s a shame because we definitely had the pace for the podium. Yes, I’m disappointed but with the form we have shown this weekend, we still have a lot of positives to take away.”

Peter Hickman: “I’m a bit disappointed to be outside the top ten, to be honest. I felt I had some pace to be in the top ten. But I did not quite have the grip in the final race compared to what we had earlier in the day and yesterday. Maybe the track temperature went up a bit but because of what had happened in the Superpole Race, we did not the have time to make changes to the bike based on what we had learned in the first race for the second. But that’s the way it goes. I’ve had a good weekend, I’ve enjoyed myself and learned something. The team has been fantastic, thanks to Smiths Racing BMW for allowing me to compete here, and to Dunlop UK for allowing me to drop their weekend to come here. I hope to get an opportunity like this again sometime in the future.”

More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:

Hard Fought Fourth for Lowes to Round Out His Home Race Weekend

Pata Yamaha WorldSBK rider Alex Lowes led the way for Yamaha in WorldSBK Race 2 this afternoon at Donington Park, getting the better of a tremendous battle with Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam and fellow Yamaha rider Loris Baz to finish fourth. The 28-year-old Briton ride a superb last lap to close on Alvaro Bautista but wasn’t quite close enough to challenge for the final podium position before taking the chequered flag. Michael van der Mark continued to amaze today, twice finishing inside the top ten despite undergoing surgery on a fractured right radius less than two weeks ago. The Pata Yamaha rider was eighth in the Sprint Race this morning and backed that up with another eighth place in this afternoon’s Race 2.

A difficult Superpole session for both Pata Yamaha riders yesterday, in which Lowes qualified eighth and van der Mark 16th, had a marked impact on today’s two races. In the Sprint Race both riders were working their way steadily through the field only for the race to be stopped with three laps remaining, with Lowes running sixth and van der Mark eighth, when oil was dropped at the Melbourne Hairpin.

Both Pata Yamaha riders got a good start in Race 2, but as Lowes worked his way towards the front of the pack in the opening laps, van der Mark came under immediate pressure as he struggled for rear grip. At half race distance the Dutch rider had passed Ducati’s Chaz Davies for eighth position, which he held to the chequered flag.

The second half of the race was much busier for Lowes. Having got the better of Baz to move up to fifth, the Pata Yamaha rider tried on two occasions to pass Haslam for fourth at the Melbourne Hairpin, only for his fellow countryman to close the door both times. Lowes eventually made the pass stick on the penultimate lap, with Bautista now more than a second ahead in third. A spirited chase on the final lap saw Lowes close the gap to less than half a second, but he wasn’t quite close enough to challenge for the final podium place in the final corner and had to settle for fourth at the line.

Donington proved a difficult weekend for the GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK riders, Marco Melandri and Sandro Cortese, but for different reasons. Melandri and his crew struggled all weekend to find a set-up that the Italian was comfortable, an issue that was exacerbated by the lack of dry track time on Saturday. Despite the issues, Melandri raced his way to tenth place in both of today’s races but was disappointed not to have secured better results at a track he rates as one of his strongest.

Cortese was unfortunate to crash heavily at the Melbourne Hairpin this morning, on the dropped oil that caused the Sprint Race to be red flagged. While Cortese was lucky to walk away uninjured, the crash caused major damage to his R1 and the GRT Yamaha mechanics did well to get it rebuilt ahead of Race 2, in which the reigning Supersport World Champion picked up points with a 13th place finish.

Ten Kate Yamaha Supported WorldSBK rider, Loris Baz, finished fifth and sixth in today’s two races, which saw his points tally for the weekend increase to 28, the same number of points scored by Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes. The Frenchman’s performance, in only his third race weekend aboard the R1, underlines the competitiveness of the Yamaha package.

Alex Lowes

Pata Yamaha WorldSBK – P4 – Championship Position 4th – 192 Points

“The issues in Superpole yesterday set us back a little bit today. We made some changes to the bike ahead of the Sprint Race and, while I didn’t feel quite as good as I was expecting, towards the end I was coming on strong in what was quite a tight group. With only seven laps because of the red flag it didn’t feel like much of a race to be honest. In Race 2 I knew it was going to be difficult to get away with the leading group starting from further back, but I felt I managed the race well. I was really strong at the end, but not quite close enough to challenge for the final podium, but there were plenty of positives we can take into the Laguna Seca race next week.”

Michael van der Mark

Pata Yamaha WorldSBK – P8 – Championship Position 3rd – 206 Points

“We made a change to the bike after the Sprint Race and I think we maybe went a little bit in the wrong direction, as I was struggling for rear grip from the start and couldn’t use the new tyre like everyone else. I actually got a good start but then dropped back quite quickly and there wasn’t much I could do about it. I had good pace, but I’d have liked to have been able to push harder. We have to be happy with the points we’ve scored this weekend, given the injury, but as a racer I know that if I had the grip then I’d have been able to fight with Alex and the other guys. The wrist was much better than I was expecting this weekend, so now I can look forward to Laguna with some confidence.”

Marco Melandri

GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK – P10 – Championship Position 9th – 124 Points

“This was not a good weekend for us. After Misano I expected to have a much better feeling, especially here at Donington where I’ve had good results in the past. So, we were expecting a positive weekend here, but it turned out very different. I never really had a good feeling and I struggled a lot from the start. Either the bike doesn’t like me, or my riding style doesn’t suit the bike, so it’s difficult. Yamaha and the team are working incredibly hard to help me find a solution and so am I, but we’re still looking for the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Sandro Cortese

GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK – P13 – Championship Position 10th – 96 Points

“Today was a day to forget, if I’m honest. It started in the Sprint Race when I was the first to arrive in the corner where the oil had been dropped. I had no chance and crashed so heavily that the bike was literally in two pieces. I have to say a big thank you to my team, who did an incredible job to basically build a new bike in just two hours. They were still working on it on the grid and, even one minute before the start of Race 2, we weren’t sure whether we were going to make the start. After all this drama I wasn’t as focused I normally am but, after two crashes, it was important for me to finish the race and pick up some points to round out the weekend. Now we must look forward to the next race in Laguna, where I hope we can end the first part of the season with some good results.”

Andrea Dosoli

Yamaha Motor Europe Road Racing Manager

“I’m still amazed that Michael was able to race this weekend so soon after the surgery on his wrist. It shows just how hard he’s worked since Misano and how much he wanted to be back on the bike here at Donington Park. It’s also a testament to the fantastic job done by the surgeons in Rimini and the treatment he’s received from the medical staff under the direction of the Dorna Medical Director, Doctor Monica Lazzarotti. And I think it’s fair to say that Michael didn’t just ride the bike; he raced it to three top ten finishes to pick up 18 important points. After a difficult Superpole, Alex bounced back to once again finish close to the podium today. He showed good progress over the course of the weekend and this bodes well for the coming races. It proved an unlucky day for Sandro today, who was unfortunate to crash on oil in the Sprint Race this morning. The team did an incredible job to rebuild the bike in the two hours before Race 2 and Sandro did well to pick up points after such a big crash. For Marco it was also a difficult weekend. The problems he experienced were different on each of the three days, but all conspired to stop him realising his potential here at Donington. We will work closely with the team and with Marco to try and find a solution, as we know he is capable of much more once he recovers his confidence. The Ten Kate Yamaha team and Loris Baz have continued to make significant steps forward in a very short space of time. Donington was only their third race with the Yamaha R1, but Loris was our joint scorer alongside Alex, with 28 championship points picked up by them both this weekend. We are happy that we now have another rider and another team able to show the potential of our R1 in this championship.”

More, from a press release issued by Aruba.it Racing Ducati:

World Superbike at Donington: Álvaro Bautista salvages a tough weekend for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team with a fourth place and a Race 2 podium, Chaz Davies seventh and ninth in today’s two races

The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team suffered one of its toughest weekends since the start of the season at the Donington Park circuit in the eighth round of the Superbike World Championship.

After Álvaro Bautista’s crash in yesterday’s first race, the 34-year-old from Talavera de la Reina tried to limit the damage against Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) – winner of the three races this weekend and new championship leader. Both in the Superpole Race this morning, reduced to eight laps after a multiple crash on oil involving six riders, and in Race 2 in the afternoon, Álvaro tried not to make any mistakes, bringing home the best result possible at the flag with a fourth and a third place.

Team-mate Chaz Davies was unable to go any higher than a seventh and ninth place in today’s two races. The 32-year-old Welshman is still finding things difficult with the Panigale V4 R and this weekend was never able to get a good feeling that will allow him to get back and fight amongst the front-runners.

After leading the table since the first race of this season, Bautista now finds himself in second place on 352 points – 24 down on Rea – while Davies is in eighth place on 130 points. The next round of the Superbike World Championship will take place in one weeks’ time at the Laguna Seca circuit in California, from 12th to 14th July.

Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #19) – 4th / 3rd

“Today it was important to finish the weekend with a podium, after yesterday’s crash. In the Superpole Race I tried to stay with the front group and pushed as hard as I could; unfortunately, my Panigale V4 R was moving around a lot and I had to make a big effort to ride it and keep it upright. In Race 2 I made a good start, and tried to stay in the front group despite the same problems I had in the Superpole Race. Here at Donington we were struggling a lot, but I’m quite happy to have achieved the best possible result. We’re analysing the data to try and improve the weak points of the bike and tackle the Laguna Seca race stronger than before.”

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing Ducati #7) – 7th / 9th

“It was a really tough day. After the Superpole race, I was optimistic that we could potentially have a decent long race. We made some changes and felt the bike was a bit better. The start and the first few laps were good and I got up to fifth place, then things got a bit more difficult. After a few more laps my pace faded, because I had pretty bad arm pump as well. Donington is a bit of a strange circuit that requires a lot of physical effort; today things were tougher especially with me fighting the bike as much as I am. Unfortunately, there’s not much to be happy about after a weekend like this one, but now I can’t wait to get to Laguna, which is a track I like a lot.”

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