Press releases from teams and organizers after Sunday's races at Donington Park:
Donington Park Day Three
Rea secures 100th Kawasaki win in tense race two
All British lock out on the podium at Donington Park
The PATA UK Round concluded on Sunday afternoon with a dramatic Race 2, which brought victory for World Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) after a crash on Saturday, with Rea’s KRT colleague Tom Sykes and Aruba.it Racing – Ducati’s Chaz Davies also on the podium.
Rea’s eighth victory of 2017 extends his lead in the standings to 55 points after six rounds and he rode brilliantly at the Donington Park Circuit to beat his teammate to the line by 1.601s and win his home race.
The result brought an end to Sykes’ remarkable run of nine successive wins at Donington and the Yorkshireman was amongst the first to congratulate Rea on his triumph. It was also Kawasaki’s 100th race win in WorldSBK.
In parc ferme after the race Rea dedicated his win to the late Nicky Hayden who so sadly passed away earlier in the week after a cycling accident in Italy.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) had looked good for a podium result but was caught for third in the final stages by a determined Davies - who had crashed and finished eighth on Saturday.
Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) completed the top five and Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) made it five Britons in the top six, crossing the line five seconds behind Lowes.
Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) was seventh and he was joined in the top ten by Roman Ramos (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven), Jake Dixon (Royal Air Force Reg. & Res. Kawasaki) and Raffaele de Rosa (Althea BMW Racing Team).
Only 14 participants were able to finish the race as a number of high profile riders crashed out, including wild card Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team), Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia), Leandro Mercado (IODARacing) and Alex De Angelis (Pedercini Racing SC-Project).
Meanwhile, Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) stopped on the eighth lap after the chain of his Ducati Panigale R broke and fell loose.
The WorldSBK grid will be back in action at the Pirelli Riviera Di Rimini Round at Misano over the 16th-18th June weekend.
P1 - Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team)
"It means a lot to me, we had to bounce bike and overnight the guys worked so hard. I knew I could win today but coming from 10th so so difficult and I guess thats what happens when I push really. I want to deadicate this race win to Nicky Hayden, the world is a worse place without him."
P2 - Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team)
"All good things come to an end in life but I'm happy. Today I lost a fair fight, unfortunaelt I had a bad start, my position wasn't good in ninth and I got boxed in. Rea took some closing down, but I had an exciteable and enjoyable race. The character of the bike was in the ball park, and today I was beaten fair."
P3 - Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati)
"I think the podium is the big bonus here from the home race, it was a really tough race. It wasn't easy, I had to make it through a fair bit and I used up a lot of tyre. I'm really happy to be here and I want to dedicate this podium to the family of Nicky Hayden."
#UKWorldSBK at Donington Park: Race 2
1. Jonathan Rea Kawasaki
2. Tom Sykes Kawasaki +1.601
3. Chaz Davies Ducati +12.200
Rea From Sykes In Second Race Thriller
In a contest where only 14 riders finished Jonathan Rea (KRT) recovered from a high speed crash in race one on Saturday to win his eighth race of the year and Kawasaki’s 100th in Superbike history. Tom Sykes (KRT) was a close runner-up, just 1.601 seconds behind Rea after 23 laps, as KRT scored another 1-2 finish.
Jonathan Rea rode one of the most important races of his career to take the second race win at Donington Park, despite having to start from the fourth row of the grid because of his first day no-score.
Rea made a superb launch and was able to ride around a first corner blockage that held back the early progress of Tom Sykes. Such was Rea’s early pace that he went from tenth on the grid to first place after just one complete lap and one additional corner.
Sykes was in fifth place in lap one and eventually got to second place on lap seven. He made up time to Rea’s lead but with the laps counting down Jonathan had enough of an advantage to hold the gap and win his 46th race since he joined WorldSBK.
With Rea winning today and Tom victorious in Saturday’s race the KRT duo sit 1-2 in the championship, with Jonathan 55 points ahead; 260 to 205. Chaz Davies, third in the race today and third in the points overall, is on 185.
Now the championship will head to Italy for the seventh round, at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Racedays will be Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th June.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I had an incredible first lap today. I had been really frustrated because I got penalised by no fault of my own yesterday in scoring no points and then penalised again with my grid position today, when I went back to tenth. I knew I had to make a good start straight away otherwise my race was over. I was really quiet today and after warm-up I was really nervous. I was going through all these scenarios in my head about what I would do with a good start, or a bad start, and then what my race plan would be. My guys worked really hard overnight to build a completely brand new bike because yesterday’s was destroyed. The first time I rode it this morning, with some set-up changes from Pere. The bike was talking to me in a way I have not had this year. So I knew today was mine if I could get a good start.”
Tom Sykes, stated: “I was closing the lead but with three laps to go I started to ‘over-ask’ from the bike in some corners. But if there were three more laps to go then I could have continued in a more calculating way and continued the progress. When I started the race I was on the inside of the grid and turn one was a complete disaster. I had to almost stop the bike because some people were trying to win the race in the first turn. We had this to deal with and then there was a crash in the last turn which made us all hesitate, so the race got off in a very bad way for me. I am disappointed to lose my Donington winning record in this way. But all things considered I was beaten fairly and Jonathan rode very well. This day had to arrive at some moment in my racing life but unfortunately it came today, even though I believe our race pace was very strong.”
Davies third after a strong comeback in Race 2 at Donington, Melandri forced to retire due to a technical problem
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team stepped back on the podium in Race 2 of the 2017 WorldSBK Championship at Donington (U.K.) with Chaz Davies. The Welshman mounted a memorable comeback from 17th position after being forced to go off the track in the early laps to avoid a rider who crashed in front of him, taking third place in front of his home fans.
Melandri faced an even more adverse fate; starting from pole position after finishing Race 1 in fourth place, the Italian was forced to retire during lap 10 while he was in fourth position and well within podium contention due to a transmission issue.
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will resume action at Misano (Italy) for the seventh round of the 2017 WorldSBK Championship, scheduled for June 16-18. To better prepare for the second home round of the season, the squad will have a two-day test on the Italian track next Wednesday and Thursday.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 3rd
“It would have been nice to get away with the Kawasaki pair, but third place is all we could ask for today. We had a terrible start, which made it for a very difficult race. We had to get through a lot of traffic, I was trying to avoid riders crashing in front of me, and it felt like playing a game of Mario Kart. To be here, on the podium, in front of the home fans, was the most important thing. Towards the end, when I was getting closer to VD Mark, I didn’t have great grip because I had to stress the rear a lot to come back through the field. I just dug in, trying not to make mistakes and figure out where to pass really quickly. It was close racing. Anyway I’m confident for the rest of the season because this track has always been difficult for us and we can take a lot of positives going into Misano.”
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33) – DNF
“It’s been a difficult weekend for us. Since Imola, we've been struggling with some unusual issues. The bike is moving a lot under acceleration, the rear is lifting off the ground while changing gears, and we’re forced to cut some power. Today, unfortunately, these vibrations caused the front sprocket to fall off. It’s a real pity, because today the bike was more balanced and I had a better feeling with the front. Anyway, despite all these issues we’re always fighting for podiums. The team is working hard to improve the package, and we’ll keep doing it during next week’s test. We’re very determined to find a solution as soon as possible in order to fight for wins again.”
Stefano Cecconi, Aruba S.p.A CEO and Team Principal:
“Surely this round’s results do not mirror our potential. Chaz rode a great race and managed to finish on the podium despite some unlucky episodes that temporarily pushed him back. Marco was forced to retire due to a technical problem, but once again was ready to fight for the podium. We leave Donington with a bitter taste in our mouths, and we want to wash it away in Misano in front of our home fans.”
Van der Mark Pushes for the Podium in Race 2 at Donington
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team enjoyed a second good day today at Donington Park for round six of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship. Michael van der Mark produced a brilliant ride and was involved in a dramatic battle for the podium before securing an excellent fourth place. His teammate Alex Lowes - who recorded the team's first podium of the season in race one - had another strong race and crossed the line in fifth to make it a positive weekend for the team at their home event.
Van der Mark started from second on the grid and despite not having the perfect start, he immediately attacked, pulling off a number of superb overtaking manoeuvres to move up to second by the end of lap two. The Dutch rider continued to push but could not close the gap to the leader, so he decided to focus on riding his own race. His R1 was performing beautifully around the fast and flowing Donington Park circuit and he kept the hammer down, showing amazing consistency and never dropping below a 1:28s lap. Towards the end of the race he was caught by a charging Chaz Davies, but did not give up third place easily, fighting until the last corner of the penultimate lap before Davies managed to get past. The 23-year-old brought the R1 home in fourth place to equal his best result of the season, missing out on the podium by just 0.784s.
His teammate Lowes delivered another excellent ride at his home race after his podium heroics in race one. The British rider, starting from seventh on the grid, got boxed in at the start but recovered in the opening stages of the race to be in sixth by the end of the second lap. Unfortunately, he struggled to advance further for a number of laps, which affected his race. By the time he had moved into fourth position, the gap to his teammate ahead of him was over two seconds. Pushing to the limit as always, he valiantly fought with Davies as the Welsh rider fought his way through the pack, but did not quite have the same feeling with his R1 in the hotter conditions on Sunday than he did in race one. The 26-year-old decided to be sensible and focus on the championship, capping off a superb weekend by crossing the line in fifth.
This result means that Lowes, who is fifth in the standings with 121 points, has closed the gap to Marco Melandri in fourth to just 16 points. Van der Mark's fourth place means he has now moved up to sixth in the championship, just 19 points behind his teammate. The team now head to a private test at Misano, before round seven of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship at the same circuit in two weeks' time.
Michael van der Mark
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team
My start was not perfect and at Donington, especially at the first corner, you have to be at the front. On lap two I passed Leon Haslam at Melbourne, then at the last corner I took Mercado and I was in second place. After that I kept pushing and I saw Johnathan Rea was too fast, but I kept pushing and did my own race. I improved my pace from yesterday by a lot so I was really happy. I saw I was opening a gap behind me, but in the last nine laps Chaz Davies was behind me and he was closing all the time. One lap before the end he passed me. I tried to get him back but unfortunately, I missed the podium. I am really happy with my race and the bike, it showed we can be on the podium in a normal race and I am very pleased with that. We should be strong at Misano. We know where we need to improve now, in the slower corners, it is also where Chaz was stronger than me which unfortunately happened to be the last part of the track. It is good for us to see we are strong in the faster areas and to see where we need to improve. We have a nice test at Misano this week, then hopefully we can arrive for the race weekend there having made a step.
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team
Todays race was obviously not as much fun as yesterday with all the overtakes! My start wasn't too great and on the first couple of laps I got a bit boxed in. I was really struggling to pass Mercado on the Aprilia. I tried a few times but ran wide at one point and my gap to Michael had grown to a couple of seconds. Once I got a clear track I was putting in some consistent times, but honestly, I was struggling to go any quicker. Near the end of the race when Chaz came past, there was nothing I could do because he was quicker than me, so I had to just be sensible. Of course, it would have been nice to have been able to have pushed to the end and join the fight for the podium, but I didnt have the correct feeling to do that today so I had to settle for the points. A third and fifth at my home round is really good, I am happy with that, and we closed down the gap to the guy in fourth in the championship. Its been a really positive weekend. Massive thanks to all the people that came, because its really, really nice for me to ride in front of my home fans. I think we can say we did a good job and I am looking forward to Misano. One of the good things is that the top guys in the championship passed me during the race and I could follow them to see where we are strong and where we need to improve, so I am looking forward to the test at Misano to try and improve.
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team Principal
"As a team, we can't have any complaints about the way the weekend has gone at our home race here at Donington Park. Perhaps a 22 rather than 23-lap race might have been nicer for Michael, then we could have had a double podium! Aside from that, everything has gone well. Michael took full advantage of his front row start and rode very aggressively in the early laps to force his way through into second position, and then maintained a fantastic pace through the race. He fought really hard against Chaz Davies in the last few laps, very narrowly missing out on the podium. It was a confidence building performance for him, and a good indication of more to come. Alex's race was compromised by a less than perfect start and getting a little bit stuck behind Mercado for too many laps, creating a big gap in front. Once he had had a short fight with Chaz, he didn't quite have the same confidence in the bike to push as hard as yesterday, so fifth position in the race and closing the gap significantly on fourth position in the championship is another very positive result. The R1 was fantastic around Donington Park and we only lost out to the top guys through the slow speed last sector. We found similar problems in Imola so it is very clear where the focus needs to be, and we will be working hard in Misano next week on taking the next steps forward."
Two problematic races for Althea BMW at Donington
Castle Donington (UK), Sunday 28 May 2017
The Althea BMW Racing team concluded Superbike race 2 in tenth place with Raffaele De Rosa while Jordi Forres unfortunately suffered a crash at Donington Park in the UK this afternoon. Meanwhile, Marco Faccani crossed the line eleventh in the Superstock 1000 race today.
Superbike - Race 2 – thirteenth off the line, Jordi made up four places over the course of the first five laps. Unfortunately, though, lap six brought a crash for the Spaniard, prematurely ruling him out of the race. Sixteenth on lap one, Raffaele also started to work his way up the field in the early stages, 12th by lap six. A consistent pace saw him move up into tenth position by the mid-race point, a position he was able to hold to the line, thus scoring his best result of the season so far.
STK1000 - Race – seventh on the grid, a technical problem on Faccani’s bike unfortunately saw the Italian fall back to 23rd place right at the start. From there, the Italian wasted no time and immediately started to work his way back up the field, up to 17th place after just two laps. Passing several riders over the subsequent laos, Marco was lying 13th at the mid-race point. Improving further in the final laps, Faccani concluded today’s race in final eleventh place, a good result considering his comeback from 23rd but not what the team had hoped for today.
As round six draws to an end, Torres is ninth in the standings with 72 points while De Rosa has earned 12 points thus far, lying 20th. In the Stock1000 category, after four rounds, Faccani is ninth with 27 points.
"I noticed during the sighting lap that there was some vibration at the front of the bike. After making a good start, I almost immediately lost ground due to the electronics. Behind Camier and Forés, I tried to push and catch up because I felt I had stronger pace than them. Unfortunately though, I crashed at the chicane and couldn’t continue with the race, and that was that. We need to better understand the limit in these conditions, it’s the first time this has happened, while also working on the vibration issue. We hope to do better at Misano.”
Raffaele De Rosa
“Conditions were different to yesterday, in that it was hotter. I tried to improve on yesterday’s pace and while there was a certain degree of improvement, I had hoped to do more to be honest. I’m continuing to work to be able to repay the team, as they are all working so hard for me. I hope we can make another step forward at Misano.”
"My race was conditioned by the start. A problem with the bike caused me to lose many positions and it wasn’t easy to work my way back up from 23rd. I’m quite pleased with the times I was able to set though. Our pace could have seen us finish top five, so it was a real pity about what happened at the start. We’ll do our best to make up for this at Misano, our home track.”
Eleventh place for Bradl in closing WorldSBK race of the UK Round
Donington Park, United Kingdom
The UK Round of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship has come to a close with the second WorldSBK race of the weekend, which took place today under sunny skies at Donington Park. Stefan Bradl was eleventh at the chequered flag on board his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 machine.
The outcome of the race for the 27-year-old German rider was largely dictated at the start by a crash in front of him at turn one. When the rider fell ahead of him, it forced Stefan almost to a stop to which naturally cost him a lot of ground to the leaders. From the very back of the field, Bradl fought back as he went from 21st place to 14th in the first third of the race. Then, with a big gap to bridge from the riders ahead, Bradl rode a lonely race to cross the finish line in 11th at the end of the 23-lap encounter.
The Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team will now be on the road to Misano, where a two-day private test will be carried out from Wednesday with Stefan Bradl and test rider Michele Magnoni. The next round of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship will take place at the same track in three weekends time.
Stefan Bradl 6
We made a couple of changes to the chassis set-up before the race to improve the rear-end grip and it turned out to be a little bit better. Just after the start of the race, though, at turn one Krummenacher crashed in front of me and I had to brake and almost stop, so I lost a lot of time. I found myself last so I had to do my best to recover as many positions as possible. Eleventh place is an OK result, but there is still a lot of work to do, but fortunately we have a test coming up in Misano which will be very important for us.
- Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team
Before the race we decided to make a couple of adjustments to the set-up and things improved. Still, we seem to be skirting around the problem because we haven’t yet found the right throttle connection for Stefan. We will take this 11th place, though, and get ready for the Misano test, where we’ll be able to evaluate a lot of new material. We will welcome back Michele Magnoni, who was also our test rider some years ago. He will help us to go through all the things we have to try and hopefully we will be able to make that step forward we’ve been looking for.
- Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team
MERCADO, falls on lap 9 while being fifth: “we are closing an extremely positive weekend”.
Pontone, 5th, “if I would have started from a better position on grid, I would be on the podium today”.
Donington Park, 28th of May Donington Park, 22017 – Race 2 was more than positive for Tati Mercado, who suffered an unlucky fall at lap 9 while in fifth position. The Argentinean rider had a good start from fourth on the grid and managed to lead the first lap. He was focusing on the battle with the leading group when he crashed out of the race at corner n. 9.
LEANDRO MERCADO #36 – ROUND UK – GARA 2 –“ We are closing up a wonderful weekend, in which we have made good progress and moved further ahead. All this is part of a learning process and will surely be of experience to me. I now feel better on my bike and have the feeling that we are setting the limits higher and higher. The first lap in which I lead the race was great, I am so happy of that. But I made a mistake today ant that was a shame. Of course these things happen, but I am sure I could have battled and take home a good result. I was pushing hard just not to lose contact with the Yamahas, and then I lost my front while entering corner number 9. I feel sorry for my team, they did a great job and I want to thank them once more. We will be back at Misano, always looking ahead and feeling even stronger”.
Great satisfaction also for Armando Pontone’s result in WSP 300 race of today.
ARMANDO PONTONE #80 - ROUND UK – Gara WSP300 – 5° classificato. “Finally a good result! The beginning of this season has been so hard to me, but I can finally say that today I had a good time on my bike. My team has done a very good job and all I can say is that if I would have started from a better position, I would have been on the podium now. My pace was slightly better than yesterday’s pole and I felt really comfortable today. I even managed to reach the group ahead of me on my own. I can’t wait to be in Misano for our home race. I wish to thank my family, my sponsors and my team for their great support, thank you all, everything will be different from now on”.
WorldSSP: Unstoppable Sofuoglu registers third successive victory
World Champion wins again, as Mahias and Cluzel join him on the podium
Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) made another big statement of intent in the 2017 WorldSSP championship fight on Sunday afternoon at the PATA UK Round, taking a third win in three races. He was joined on the podium at the Donington Park Circuit by standings leader Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) and Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda).
Having missed the opening two rounds of the year due to a training injury, Sofuoglu has clawed his way back to second in the championship after six races courtesy of a 100% record in the last three rounds. In a restarted race, after a red-flag in the initial get away, pole man Sofuoglu notched up a dominant win in a shortened 13-lap contest, crossing the finish line 2.45s in front of closest challenger Mahias.
For Mahias it was his third consecutive second place finish behind the Turk and the result means he maintains the championship lead by 30 points, even if he can feel Sofuoglu on his shoulder as the World Champion moves up the general standings.
A good performance by Cluzel on the Honda CBR600RR saw him bring it home in third, for his second podium of the season. The Frenchman pushed his compatriot Mahias hard for second place but just could not make a move stick over the final corners.
The top five also featured Luke Stapleford in fourth place as the top British finisher and his fellow Profile Racing rider - Irishman Jack Kennedy - in fifth.
The top ten was competed by Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing), Anthony West (EAB West Racing), Kyle Smith (GEMAR Team Lorini), Hikari Okubo (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) and Joe Francis (HALSALL Racing Team). Meanwhile in 11th and 12th there were point-scoring finishes for Kyle Ryde (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) to make it five Britons in the top 12.
A crash at turn 12 for Cardelus Garcia (Race Department ATK#25) saw the initial race start red-flagged as the marshals cleaned the track - following the incident for the MV Agusta F3 675-equipped rider.
Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) crashed at turn 12 soon after the race was restarted and his Italian compatriot Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing) also crashed out in the final stages of the race. An issue for PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) meant he did not participate in the restart.
The WorldSSP riders will be back in action over the 16th-18th June weekend at the Pirelli Riviera Di Rimini Round.
P1 - Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)
"I am not thinking about the championship, I am very much interested to keep winning. I am very happy, all weekend I was not fast enough but finally I told myself I will push like Superpole. I was doing a good lap time and I am very happy with the pace, it's nice to know I am fast enough but I know I have a lot more to do."
#UKWorldSBK: WorldSSP Race
1. Kenan Sofuoglu (TUR) Kawaski
2. Lucas Mahias (FRA) Yamaha +2.450
3. Jules Cluzel (FRA) Honda +2.576
Third Race Win For Sofuoglu in WorldSSP
The incredible recent form of Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) continued into raceday at Donington Park, with the five time world champion becoming a three time race winner this year. Kyle Ryde, Kenan’s young British team-mate, scored 11th place.
Sofuoglu made a great start to the first attempted running of the WorldSSP race at Donington, and had to do it all again in a 13-lap restart. His early pace took him clear of his rivals and he won by a clear 2.450 seconds to earn full points in every race he has finished in 2017.
Kyle Ryde was held back by his qualifying position of 14th but moved into 11th place at the end, gaining valuable championship points. He is still seventh in the championship, now with 41 points.
Today’s race gave Kenan his 41st career victory and his third race win at Donington in succession for Kawasaki.
Kenan’s new total of 75 championship points sees him move into second place in the standings, 30 points behind Lucas Mahias.
After the completion of the Donington WorldSSP weekend the championship now heads back to Italy, for the seventh round of the 12 round season, at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Raceday will be 18th June.
Kenan Sofuoglu, stated: “To be very honest I am still not thinking about the championship but my goal is to keep winning races. I missed the first three rounds of the year. Then I thought I could not be champion but I knew I would be happy to win races. I have zero stress for the races and finally I was fast again today. On Friday and Saturday I could not make the pace I wanted but today it was not difficult. It was nice to know that if I wanted to go faster there was a big potential. I made some changes in my riding style today and the lap time was immediately better.”
Kyle Ryde, stated: “Not our best day but I am happy that I made an improvement from yesterday. I think the main problem this weekend is that I was trying to make my bike feel like the bike I finished on the podium with here in the past. In the end we came to a medium setting today, so the set-up on the bike was not too bad. I need to copy Kenan’s style so I am sure in Misano there are no corners like Donington, and I hope I can be inside the top six again.”
Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) was one place behind Ryde today, in 12th place, with Kazuki Watanabe (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) another Kawasaki rider in the points, in 15th place.
Michael Canducci (3570 Puccetti Racing FMI Kawasaki) was 17th, Rob Hartog (Team Hartog Jenik Against Cancer Kawasaki) 19th and Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) 20th. Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) placed 22nd and Lachlan Epis (Response RE Racing Kawasaki) 23rd.
Cluzel clinches second podium of the season
Posted on 28th May 2017
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda’s Jules Cluzel scored his second podium of 2017 in the World Supersport race at Donington Park today taking him to fourth in the Championship standings.
The initial race was red-flagged with Jules in 2nd place behind Kenan Sofuoglu after Cardelus Garcia crashed at turn 12. In the shortened to 13 lap re-started race, Jules pushed Mahias hard for second place but just couldn’t make a move stick in the final few corners. Jules said: “I am happy with the race. I was expecting to struggle a little more, we never showed this pace in the weekend. I was disappointed with the red flag because the first race was looking better, I made a better start. I was close to Kenan and I was able to follow him and escape a bit more. The second start was not so good but I came back to catch Mahias and try to catch Kenan. I just tried everything on the last lap but it didn’t work. In general I am happy we did a good job, the team did a good job, we had no problems and we did our best for the race.”
Hikari Okubo didn’t get the best start in the re-start dropping down to 15th but he stuck at it and found the pace to pick his way back up the field for another top ten finish in 9th.
After a disappointing qualifying, Robin Mulhauser’s confidence was boosted in the race. He was lapping in the low 32s and finished in 18th position.
Hiromichi Kunikawa’s lap times continued to improve all weekend. He finished the race in 26th place and although his position was not as good as last time out at Imola when he was in the top twenty for the first time, this was the most positive weekend he has had with CIA Landlord Insurance Honda so far.
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager, Simon Buckmaster said: “It’s been a good day for us back on the podium and up to fourth in the Championship which is a positive thing. It was a great race right down to the wire. We have had our misfortune earlier in the season so now we need to stick at it and keep pushing to challenge for the title.”
“Hikari rode a good, strong race to 9th place and 11th position in the Championship. He is closing the points gap in the standings and will soon be in the top ten.”
“Robin had the points position pace but not really early enough in the race. Of course, after a disappointing qualifying this is good for his confidence and we want to work with him to get him back into the points and the top ten which is where he should be.”
“Hiromichi continued to improve all weekend getting into the 33s in the race. He continues to grow in confidence in the World Supersport Championship and he works well with his crew for better results as the season unfolds.”
Mahias Holds Nerve in Dramatic Last-Lap Battle to Secure Podium at Donington
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team's Lucas Mahias recorded his fifth podium of the season at Donington Park to extend his championship lead to 30 points after an incredible last-lap battle that saw him cross the line in second at round six of the 2017 FIM Supersport World Championship. His teammate Federico Caricasulo unfortunately crashed out of the re-started race on the opening lap after a red flag had brought an end to the original race after just three laps.
Championship leader Mahias started from second on the grid but got bogged down off the line in the re-started 13-lap race and had to fight his way past a number of riders. He then became involved in an excellent race-long battle with Jules Cluzel that went right down to the very last corner. Mahias gave it his all and managed to hold his nerve to keep Cluzel at bay during a dramatic last lap to secure his fifth podium in the first six races of the season, missing out on the win by just 2.450s.
His teammate Federico Caricasulo enjoyed a good start in the original race from 13th on the grid, moving up to ninth before the red flag came out. In the re-started race he had to do it all again, but unfortunately crashed out at the final corner on the opening lap.
Mahias now leads the championship standings with 105 points and has extended his advantage over the rider in second to 30 points, while his teammate Caricasulo is now eighth in the standings with 35 points.
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team
It was a very good race! I fought a lot with Jules but honestly, I would prefer to have been fighting for first position, but for the championship it is very important I finished in second, because I only lost five points. The bike was very good and I am very happy as I managed to improve my lap time by 0.3s from SP2, which is great because I was right on the limit during qualification. It's another good result for the championship, because while Kenan may have closed the gap to me by five points, I managed to extend my overall lead. My plan was to follow Kenan and then go on to win the race but I didnt have a great start, and lost too much time on my opening lap, so my other plan was to finish in second! The battle with Jules was difficult because the bike was sliding a lot and he followed me closely, so I tried to brake as late as possible into every corner. I liked the fight very much, we were both pushing at the limit, so to win the battle was very good. We shall go to Misano with the aim of winning and taking maximum points. I never go to a track wanting to finish fourth or fifth, I want to win the race.
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team
I had a good feeling today and was pushing hard in the original race and was fast. In the re-started race I had to start again, only this time I had just 13 laps to overtake the others. On the first lap, I am not exactly sure what happened, but the front closed and I crashed out. I look forward to Misano. Last year I had the pole position, fastest lap in the race and managed to finish second. This year I want to do even better!
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team Manager
It was a tough start to the weekend for Federico, but he improved a lot from Friday and this morning he was feeling confident. He had a very good start in the original race and made up a few positions. When the race was re-started though, he just didnt have the same feeling with the front tyre and at the last corner, it just closed on him. He did not have very good confidence with the front tyre, and thats why he crashed. Lucas again showed his amazing consistency. We thought we would be closer to Sofuoglu in the race, but he got a good start and opened up a gap while Lucas was fighting with Cluzel. Unfortunately, this meant Lucas could not fight for the race win, but we are very satisfied because Lucas showed how competitive he is all the way through from FP1 to the race, and I am delighted with another podium. For Misano we will try and reduce the gap to Sofuoglu and to try to win the race. It was an incredible last lap, Lucas did a fantastic job to keep Cluzel at bay, but that is Lucas, he is a very smart rider. We are looking forward now to going to Misano where the Italian fans create a special atmosphere for our team and riders. It is a home race for Federico and I think he is able to get a good result, and Lucas will try to fight for the win once more.
A disappointing day for Althea MF84 at Donington
Castle Donington (UK), Sunday 28 May 2017
The fourth round of the Superstock 1000 concluded today at the English track of Donington Park and it proved to be a tough race for the Althea MF84 team, with rider Julian Puffe crossing the line in seventeenth position.
Race – twelfth on the starting grid, Puffe was lying thirteenth through the first laps. Struggling to keep pace with the riders immediately ahead of him, the young German unfortunately lost ground through the central part of the race. Sixteenth at the mid-race point, Julian did all he could to hold on and complete what was a difficult race, concluding in seventeenth position today.
As round 4 of the series concludes in the UK, Puffe currently lies in 17th position in the standings with 8 points.
“I am quite disappointed with today’s result. Yesterday I was feeling quite positive after qualifying and thought we could do well from twelfth on the grid – but the race didn’t go to plan and I struggled to maintain a consistent pace. We will now work hard to prepare as well as possible for the Misano race, an important one for the team as it is another home round of course.”
“It was definitely an uphill climb today. Julian was lapping quite well but couldn’t find the kind ofpace we’d seen from him during the practices. This is the first race we’ve finished outside of the points zone, a tough day for us, but we’ll continue to work to improve our performance and we’ll see what we can do at Misano.”
WorldSSP300: Coppola secures stunning victory in final lap battle
Donington Park produces high racing action
Alfonso Coppola (SK Racing) took his debut victory from pole position at the Pata UK Round, in a stunning World Supersport 300 final lap battle around Donington Park.
Mika Perez (WILSport Racedays) got the holeshot into the first lap but had Borja Sanchez (Halcourier Racing) hot on his tail, whilst home rider Chris Taylor (MTM HS Kawasaki) was taking no chances and moved up for the fight in the opening laps in front of his home crowd.
As the pack began to settle, with eight laps remaining a front group of Perez, Coppola and Marc Garcia (Halcourier Racing) began to break away as they were locked in the fight for the victory. With a stunning scrap developing for the victory, the Honda of Perez and Yamaha of Coppola were swapping places throughout the 4.023km laps. But with a strong move coming out of the Melbourne Hairpin saw Coppola secure the victory, 0.1s ahead of Perez.
World Championship leader Scott Deroue (MTM HS Kawasaki) spent the race down in fourth position and was chasing the front group down, and crossed the line in fourth meaning he holds onto his championship lead but only by two points. Armando Pontone (IODARacing) rounded out the top five, narrowly ahead of Robert Schotman (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP300 Team) in sixth.
Continue to follow the WorldSSP300 series all on the WorldSBK VideoPass, as well as the Road to WorldSBK which allows fans to keep up with the action as the new series for 2017.
P1 - Alfonso Coppola (SK Racing)
"It was a great weekend, pole position, winner and fastest free practice. This win was the strongest, the pace was very fast. I keep calm and study Perez, I stayed calm in the final lap and passed him on the final lap. I want to thank Yamaha and SK Racing for their work."
#UKWorldSBK: WorldSSP300 Race
1. Alfonso Coppola (ITA) Yamaha
2. Mika Perez (ESP) Honda +0.174
3. Marc Garcia (ESP) Yamaha +0.241
Historic 100 WorldSBK Race Wins For Kawasaki
After KRT rider Jonathan Rea secured the race two victory at Donington on Sunday Kawasaki reached the iconic level of 100 race wins in the FIM Superbike World Championship.
As a long-time participant in WorldSBK Kawasaki has enjoyed success since the very first season, with French rider Adrien Morillas on a GPX750 winning the first trophy for the Japanese manufacturer at the Hungaroring in 1988.
The most recent win for Rea, on the Ninja ZX-10RR today, put Kawasaki into the history books as only the third manufacturer to reach this landmark of 100 race victories. A total of 12 riders have won races for Kawasaki at the highest level of production-derived racing.
Speaking about the first ever Kawasaki win in this class, in changeable conditions during race two at the Hungaroring in 1988, Morillas – once a racer and always a racer - stated, “At that time I was mainly thinking about how to be the second Kawasaki race winner as well! Of course it was a great feeling to be the first winner for a brand and to know that it will remain forever in the statistics.”
Of the 100th win milestone for Kawasaki Morillas said, “Now I want to give a 100 times bigger congratulation to Kawasaki and KRT. Personally, I feel a bit older now but here’s to the 200th milestone!”
Jonathan Rea, 100th Kawasaki race winner, stated just a few minutes after taking his latest race victory, “There was a little bit of pressure for the 100th Kawasaki win and I was thinking about it today. From half race distance I said to myself that it has to be me today. We managed the race perfectly and I even managed a nice little stand-up wheelie at the end!”
Yasuhisa Okabe, Senior Staff Officer, KHI Riding Technology Department, stated: “I am happy, to be honest, with reaching 100 WorldSBK race wins. We will dedicate this victory to the Kawasaki family around the world. Kawasaki will continue to develop inside the Superbike World Championship.”
Speaking on behalf of WorldSBK organizers and rights holders Dorna, Championship Director Dani Carrera, stated, “Kawasaki are a vital manufacturer for our series and to see them take their 100th win is an honour for us, as we witness history being made. They have provided the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship with some fantastic racing throughout the seasons, and to have them continuing to battle in our championship is something that we are very proud of. We look forward to seeing them fight to take their 200th victory.”
Kawasaki’s WorldSBK Race winners
1988 – Hungaroring 2 - Adrien Morillas (GPX750)
1990 – Brainerd 2 – Doug Chandler (ZXR750)
1990 – Sugo 2 – Doug Chandler (ZXR750)
1990 – Phillip Island 2 - Robbie Phillis (ZXR750)
1990 – Manfield 2 - Robbie Phillis (ZXR750)
1992 – Albacete 1 – Aaron Slight (ZXR750)
1992 – Spa Francorchamps – Robbie Phillis (ZXR750)
1992 – Jarama 1 – Robbie Phillis (ZXR750)
1993 – Hockenheim 2 – Scott Russell (ZXR750)
1993 – Brno 2 – Scott Russell (ZXR750)
1993 – Sugo 2 – Scott Russell (ZXR750)
1993 – Monza 1 – Aaron Slight (ZXR750)
1993 – Donington 1 – Scott Russell (ZXR750)
1993 – Donington 2 – Scott Russell (ZXR750)
1994 – Donington 2 – Scott Russell (ZXR750)
1994 – Hockenheim 1 – Scott Russell (ZXR750)
1994 – Hockenheim 2 – Scott Russell (ZXR750)
1994 – Sugo 1 – Scott Russell (ZXR750)
1994 – Sugo 2 – Scott Russell (ZXR750)
1994 – Mugello 1 – Scott Russell (ZXR750)
1994 – Donington 3 – Scott Russell (ZXR750)
1994 – Donington 4 – Scott Russell (ZXR750)
1994 – Phillip Island 2 - Anthony Gobert (ZXR750)
1994 – Laguna Seca 1 - Anthony Gobert (ZXR750)
1995 – Phillip Island 2 - Anthony Gobert (ZXR750)
1996 – Laguna Seca 2 - Anthony Gobert (ZX-7RR)
1996 – Phillip Island 1 - Anthony Gobert (ZX-7RR)
1996 – Phillip Island 2 - Anthony Gobert (ZX-7RR)
1997 – A1-Ring 2 - Akira Yanagawa (ZX-7RR)
1997 – Sugo 1 - Akira Yanagawa (ZX-7RR)
1999 – Sugo 2 - Akira Yanagawa (ZX-7RR)
2000 – Sugo 1 - Hitoyasu Izutsu (ZX-7RR)
2000 – Sugo 2 - Hitoyasu Izutsu (ZX-7RR)
2006 – Assen 1 - Chris Walker (ZX-10R)
2011 – Nürburgring 2 - Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2012 – Monza 2 - Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2012 – Silverstone 1 Loris Baz (ZX-10R)
2012 – Moscow 1 - Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2012 – Portimao 1 - Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2012 – Magny-Cours 2 - Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2013 – Assen 1 - Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2013 – Donington 1 - Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2013 – Donington 2 - Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2013 – Imola 1 - Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2013 – Imola 2 - Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2013 – Silverstone 2 – Loris Baz (ZX-10R)
2013 – Nürburgring 1 - Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2013 – Laguna Seca 1 - Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2013 – Magny-Cours 1 - Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2013 – Magny-Cours 2 - Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2014 – Motorland 1 - Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2014 – Motorland 2 - Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2014 – Donington 1 - Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2014 – Donington 2 - Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2014 – Misano 1 - Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2014 – Misano 2 - Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2014 – Algarve 1 - Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2014 – Laguna Seca 2 - Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2015 – Phillip Island 1 – Jonathan Rea (ZX-10R)
2015 – Buriram 1 – Jonathan Rea (ZX-10R)
2015 – Buriram 2 – Jonathan Rea (ZX-10R)
2015 – Motorland 1 – Jonathan Rea (ZX-10R)
2015 – Assen 1 – Jonathan Rea (ZX-10R)
2015 – Assen 2 – Jonathan Rea (ZX-10R)
2015 – Imola 1 – Jonathan Rea (ZX-10R)
2015 – Imola 2 – Jonathan Rea (ZX-10R)
2015 – Donington 1 - Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2015 – Donington 2 - Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2015 – Algarve 1 – Jonathan Rea (ZX-10R)
2015 – Algarve 2 – Jonathan Rea (ZX-10R)
2015 – Misano 1 – Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2015 – Misano 2 – Jonathan Rea (ZX-10R)
2015 – Jerez 1 – Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2015 – Magny-Cours 1 – Jonathan Rea (ZX-10R)
2015 – Magny-Cours 2 – Jonathan Rea (ZX-10R)
2016 – Phillip Island 1 – Jonathan Rea (ZX-10R)
2016 – Phillip Island 2 – Jonathan Rea (ZX-10R)
2016 – Buriram 1 – Jonathan Rea (ZX-10R)
2016 – Buriram 2 – Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2016 – Assen 1 – Jonathan Rea (ZX-10R)
2016 – Assen 2 – Jonathan Rea (ZX-10R)
2016 – Sepang 1 – Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2016 – Donington 1 – Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2016 – Donington 2 – Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2016 – Misano 1 – Jonathan Rea (ZX-10R)
2016 – Misano 2 – Jonathan Rea (ZX-10R)
2016 – Laguna Seca 1 – Jonathan Rea (ZX-10R)
2016 – Laguna Seca 2 – Tom Sykes (ZX-10R)
2016 - Lausitzring 2 – Jonathan Rea (ZX-10R)
2017 – Phillip Island 1 - Jonathan Rea (ZX-10RR)
2017 – Phillip Island 2 - Jonathan Rea (ZX-10RR)
2017 – Buriram 1 - Jonathan Rea (ZX-10RR)
2017 – Buriram 2 - Jonathan Rea (ZX-10RR)
2017 – Motorland 1 - Jonathan Rea (ZX-10RR)
2017 – Assen 1 - Jonathan Rea (ZX-10RR)
2017 – Assen 2 - Jonathan Rea (ZX-10RR)
2017 – Donington 1 – Tom Sykes (ZX-10RR)
2017 – Donington 2 Jonathan Rea (ZX-10RR)
Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
4 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Sykes 2013, Rea 2015 & 2016), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
2 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016)
2 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015 & 2016)
Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 100 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 328 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 67 – second overall