2018 Donington WorldSBK Preview Press Releases

Press releases from the organizers and some of the teams in WorldSBK:


A bunch of British heroes

WorldSBK is on the way to the land of hope and glory with records in sight

The WorldSBK grid charges towards Round Six of the championship

There’s no better track to see history be made than Donington Park, as the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship returns to where it all began 30 years ago. Set in the rolling Leicestershire hills, the quintessentially British countryside takes on a new role when WorldSBK bikes roar out of pit lane and down through the cascading Craner Curves. With records to be broken and even more history to be made, the Prosecco DOC UK Round could be one to remember for a long time.

Fresh off the back of a sensational double secured in Italy, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) has now equalled Carl Fogarty’s record of 59 victories, and he will look to go one further this time out at Donington Park. But out of 16 races run around the British track in WorldSBK, Rea has only taken two victories after he had to contend with a strong run of form from his team-mate. Taking the race two victory last season, and seeming to have found a strong set-up from the get go on his ZX-10RR, Rea and his Provec squad will be looking to take the most victories ever in front of the British fans.

The previous king of Donington Park, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was dethroned last season following a string of nine consecutive victories in front of his home fans. Unable to catch Rea in race two, Sykes will be looking to return to the top step here this weekend with the added confidence of his dominant victory in Assen. Holding the pole and circuit lap record at Donington, he’s not a rider to rule out. A consistent podium finisher this season, the Yorkshireman is looking for victories and won’t settle for anything less around the 4.02km track.

Ducati’s Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) has a tough record around Donington Park, as the Welsh rider is yet to win in front of his home crowd with three different manufactures. A difficult track for Davies to master, he has four podiums to his name including race two last year but has never been able to bring the fight to the Kawasaki’s. Continuing to work on the set-up with his Panigale alongside the new regulations, Davies will be hoping to reduce the gap in the championship standings which has gradually began to start growing – now up to 47 points.

Hailing just a stones throw from the historic circuit, Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) will be hoping to put recent results behind him and put on a strong show as his home fans are set to cheer him this weekend. Getting into some issues with the YZF-R1 over recent rounds, and encountering some avoidable mistakes, he has been unable to show his true potential but will look at rectifying it this weekend. With plenty of experience around Donington, Lowes took a podium finish last season – his first here since 2014 – and he will hope to go one step further in 2018.

Continuing to recover from a monster crash around Buriram International Circuit in Thailand, Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) will make his second appearance since the crash following a valiant weekend in Italy. Returning from a pelvic injury at one of the most physical circuits on the calendar, the Irish rider is looking forward to the more flowing nature of Donington Park which also lends itself well to his RSV4. With a podium here in 2013’s race two, he has a varied record but will mainly be focusing on getting the Aprilia back into the top five pace he saw last season.

Another British hero who is set to put on a show for his fans is Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team), as he continues his return from injury following a crash in Spain back in April. Being cautious with his recovery, the British rider attempted a come back last time out at Imola, but he decided to sit out of the round. Heading to Donington Park and hoping to make the race start, Camier will look forward to continuing to develop his Honda CBR10000RR Fireblade SP2 after such a strong start with his the new team.

Coming off the back of his best result of the season, Jordi Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) took a top five around Imola and will be looking to continue this run of form into the UK. Making some strong steps with his new Italian team, the Spanish rider put on an impressive performance at their home race, as the bike began to make some good progress. With a tough record around Donington Park in the past, it will be a testing weekend for Torres.

Preparing to take on Donington Park for the first time since 2014, Loris Baz (GULF Althea BMW Racing Team) will look forward to making an appearance back in front of the British fans despite a tough start to his return. With a best result of seventh so far this season, the French rider has a strong record here - taking a double podium on his last visit - so will hope to make some improvements.

Not only will the British fans have the opportunity to see their regular heroes on track, but a host of wild cards will be hoping to put on a show for the fans. 2017’s podium finisher Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) makes his return once again around Donington Park, alongside 21 year old Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) who has been making the headlines in the UK. Gino Rea (OMG Racing UK) is set to make his WorldSBK debut and Yamaha test rider Niccolo Canepa (Yamaha Motor Europe) will head out on track this weekend.

Don’t miss a minute of the Prosecco DOC UK Round, as riders prepare to take on the circuit of two halves. Lights go out for Race One on Saturday 26th at 13.15 LT (GMT +1), and Race Two at 13.00.


Home Round Approaches For KRT Duo

Official KRT WorldSBK riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes will soon arrive at their home round at Donington Park eager to continue the winning ways they have each demonstrated in 2018.

Three-time champion Jonathan Rea has recorded five FIM Superbike World Championship race wins so far in 2018, including his first double weekend at Imola last time out. His fellow Briton, and the 2013 world champion, Tom Sykes took his first victory of 2018 at Assen in round four. With both KRT riders winning a race at Donington last year the competition for home round success in 2018 is likely to be an enthralling spectacle.

For Rea, there will be an extra edge to this weekend, beyond the natural anticipation felt by all riders racing at their home venue. He will have two chances to be the first rider to reach 60 career race wins in the 30-year history of WorldSBK racing. If he does so, he will set a stand-alone record of career race wins at this level. Currently Jonathan is tied on 59 race wins with four-time champion Carl Fogarty.

Sykes could also set a different stand-alone all-time record, should he win the Superpole qualifying contest in Saturday. Pole position for race one would raise his record to 44 Superpoles, one more than the record he currently shares with Troy Corser. At a circuit he has won nine races at in recent years, there may be no better venue than Donington for Sykes to make pre-race history on Saturday.

As well as much desired race wins to try and achieve at Donington, Rea and Sykes will be hunting for points in the overall championship standings. Rea has led the championship since the second race of round two, and now has a 47-point advantage over second placed Chaz Davies. Sykes is third in the rankings after five rounds, 25 points from Davies.

Donington Park, the first ever WorldSBK race venue in 1988, has hosted 50 individual races, with only Phillip Island (55) and Assen (54) having featured more races over three decades of WorldSBK competition.

Regular BSB Championship competitor Leon Haslam will have his second wildcard ride of the season this weekend, at a local circuit that is almost synonymous with his family name.

After the regular Donington Park race weekend an old WorldSBK favourite – Automotodrom Brno - returns to host the seventh round of the championship, between the 8th and the tenth of June. It will be the first time the Czech circuit has hosted a WorldSBK race since 2012.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “I’m looking forward to racing at Donington this weekend as it’s the closest thing I have to a home round feeling. It’s nice to arrive there on the back of a strong weekend in Imola and we will work hard together to make sure we can fight for victory again. Of course, Donington is a different challenge, with its undulating layout and a mix of fast flowing sectors and stop and go sectors. This always makes it difficult to set up the perfect bike, but we will try to find a compromise. This weekend marks the first opportunity I have to surpass Carl Fogarty’s all time WorldSBK win record. I will have a lot of travelling support so let’s hope that’s enough to get it done.”

Tom Sykes, stated: “Preparations are going well for Donington. It is a special place for me. We have done all right in the recent past, with nine wins on the bounce before race two last year. I think I rode there for the first time in the 2000 season. I had ridden at some other British circuits before, and when I finally rocked up to Donington it was special. It is wider and more open compared to most other British circuits. When I got to Donington as a 14 year old, I remember thinking ‘Wow!’ It lived up to all my expectations, and more. First impressions are important, they say, and Donington’s first impression on me was a big one, and it stuck. When you go round Redgate and head down Craner Curves, under a bright blue sky, it is fantastic. In general we are in good shape for Donington and I am looking forward to going racing there again.”


The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team headed to Donington for Round 6 of the WorldSBK Championship

After taking two podiums at Imola, the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team is ready to resume action and take up the challenge at Donington (United Kingdom), home of the sixth round of the 2018 WorldSBK Championship. On the historic Leicestershire track, that hosted the first ever WorldSBK race back in 1988, Chaz Davies is keen to collect his first ever success in the top class, while Marco Melandri has two wins to his tally but the last one dates back to 2012. For both, as the half-way point of the season approaches, the goal is to beat their closest rivals in the championship and narrow the gap in the rankings.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi, twice seventh at Imola and progressively adapting to the WorldSBK class, will once again join the action with the Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team. After five rounds, Davies (162 points) and Melandri (131 points) are respectively second and fourth in the championship, while Rinaldi is twelfth. The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team and the Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team will resume action Friday, May 25th, at 09:45 local time (CET -1) for the first free-practice session.

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7)

"Donington is a track I really enjoy and, being from the U.K., the atmosphere there is awesome and the home crowd support is always great. My first time out there was back in 1999 and I had some great results with two-strokes, but not yet with Superbike unfortunately. But, we've made improvements every year and it seems that we have been getting closer to our main rivals around there, so the goal is to find the next step and hopefully we'll have some results to cap off the weekend nicely."

Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33)

"I really love Donington as a track and I had some great races there in the past. It wasn't the case last year, but we had just entered a difficult stretch back then while now we know much better our strong suits and where we need to improve. It looks like the weather will be nice, which is a good starting point, and our package is getting dialed in better and better, even though our rivals seem to have further improved. The Mugello test yielded some important confirmations, so I can't wait to ride again."

Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team #21)

"With three rounds under our belts, the team and I are getting more and more experience. Imola represented another positive weekend, and now we head to Donington, a track that I like, with more data available and the goal is always to get closer to the front. We've been improving steadily and we need to stay on this course, working especially on race pace. I'm confident."


Pata Yamaha Ready to Launch Triple-Pronged Assault at Donington Park

Setup

The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team are fully motivated for their home event at Donington Park this weekend, Round 6 of the 2018 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship, as they prepare to challenge for honours with a three-rider lineup in the UK. Michael van der Mark is looking to bounce back from his Race 2 DNF in Imola and return to the form that saw him record a double podium at Assen. Local hero Alex Lowes cannot wait to ride in front of the passionate UK fans at his home round as he looks to repeat his last-to-third podium heroics from Donington last season. They will be joined on track this weekend by official Test Rider Niccolò Canepa, fresh from finishing second in the recent FIM EWC 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring, with the Italian hoping to continue the development of the Pata Yamaha R1 and also fight for a good result.

Following on his double podium at his home round in Assen, Van der Mark rode to strong fifth-place finish in Race 1 at Imola before crashing out of Race 2 while in the hunt for the rostrum. The 25-year-old Dutch rider is looking to build on this pace at a track he enjoys riding and that plays to the strengths of the Pata Yamaha R1, highlighted by his ride to fourth in Race 2 at Donington Park last year when he missed out on the podium by just 0.784s. Van der Mark has also tasted victory at the circuit before, winning the WorldSSP race in 2014, and currently lies sixth in the overall championship standings with 113 points after 10 races.

For Lowes, you could not get much more of a home round than Donington! Born in Lincoln, the 27-year-old British rider only lives five minutes from the circuit and he is relishing the chance to race in front of the British fans. Last year saw him pull off one of the rides of the year in Race 1, as he charged from last to third after being run off track to record his second WorldSBK Podium at Donington Park. After a tough couple of weekends in Imola and Assen that have seen Lowes fight valiantly through adversity despite showing good pace, he is now looking forward to getting to a track he knows suits his R1 and his riding style as he aims to return to the podium. Following his 16-point haul from the last round at Imola, Lowes is currently seventh in the championship standings with 92 points and determined to close the gap to the Championship top 3.

Van der Mark and Lowes will be joined on track at Donington Park by Pata Yamaha Official Test Rider Niccolò Canepa. The 30-year-old Italian, a former MotoGP rider and reigning FIM Endurance World Champion, is excited to get the chance to continue to develop the Pata Yamaha R1 at a track he enjoys riding after impressing during preseason testing. Fresh from securing a podium at the 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring with the GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team, Canepa is looking forward to getting back on the Pata Yamaha R1 at Donington Park ahead of another wildcard at Magny-Cours later in the season.

Located near Castle Donington in Leicestershire, Donington Park hosted its first motorcycle race in 1931. Requisitioned by the Ministry of Defence in 1939 at the start of the Second World War, it reopened its doors to racing in 1973. The 4,023km circuit has 12 corners in total, seven right-handed and five left-handed, plus a start/finish straight of 550m in length, and is known for its fast-flowing corners, dramatic elevation changes and its two hairpins.

The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team takes to the track at their home round for FP1 on Friday at 9:45 am local time (GMT+1) in the UK, with Race 1 scheduled for 1:15 pm GMT on Saturday, and Race 2 at 1:00 pm on Sunday.

Michael van der Mark

Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - 6th - 113 Points

"I am looking forward to racing at Donington Park! It is always special to race in the UK and I am hoping to continue the progress we have made so far this season. After the double podium at Assen, we had good pace in Imola and I feel we can build on that at Donington, a track that suits the characteristics of the R1 and where I have won in the past in WorldSSP. Even the weather doesn't look too bad, so I am looking forward to hitting the track on Friday morning for FP1!"

Alex Lowes

Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - 7th - 92 points

"I really enjoy Donington Park! It's such a fun track to ride, especially the section from Redgate down to Hollywood, Craner Curves, the Old Hairpin and through to Schwantz, it is one of the best sections of track anywhere in the world. It's an added bonus that it's so close to home for me and I love racing in front of the British fans as they're always amazing. I can't wait to get started!"

Niccolò Canepa

Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team Test Rider

"I'm really happy to race again in WorldSBK with the Pata Yamaha Team. I'm the test rider of the team, and I'm really proud that have given me the opportunity to race. The target for the weekend will be to help the team with the development of the bike for the next races but I think that we can fight for a good result. Donington is a circuit that I really like and the atmosphere in England is always amazing! So I start the weekend with a great mood!"


Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team aiming to bounce back at Donington

UK Round

Donington Park, United Kingdom

The Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team are aiming to get their season back on track this weekend as Leon Camier and Jake Gagne prepare to take on the fast and furious Donington Park circuit for round 6 of the FIM World Superbike Championship.

A rigorous recovery regime following his accident in round 3 wasn’t enough to allow Camier to race at the previous round at Imola, however following another two weeks of treatment, the British star is in better physical condition heading into this weekend. Camier is hopeful of completing the whole race weekend, however the real test to gauge his fitness will come during Friday’s Free Practice sessions around the 4 kilometre (2.49 mile) long Donington circuit.

Fronting the other Fireblade, Jake Gagne is facing the challenge of yet again visiting a circuit he hasn’t raced at previously, however the American rookie has proven this season that he is a quick learner on the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 and he aims to be back in the points this weekend.

The Donington Park Circuit is a track of two distinct halves, with the first section comprising fast, flowing corners and elevation changes through sections such as Hollywood and the Craner Curves, while the second half is exemplified by flatter, tighter sections like the Fogarty Esses and Melbourne Hairpin.

Action starts at the Donington WorldSBK round with Free Practice 1 at 0945 local time (GMT +1) on Friday with Race 1 on Saturday starting at 1315 on Saturday and 1300 on Sunday.

Leon Camier 2

I'm looking forward to heading to Donington this weekend for my home race. After Imola I took a couple of days off and since then I've been doing a lot of treatment to help in my recovery. Although I'm still in some pain, I feel better in training and my lung capacity has come on quite a lot so I feel that physically I'm in a better place than I was in Imola. I'll only really know how much better my condition is once I get on my Fireblade, but the goal for me and the team is to try and get through the whole race weekend.

- Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team

Jake Gagne 45

I can’t wait to get back on the Fireblade at Donington! We made some really solid progress on some important points with the bike at Imola and although it was a shame we didn’t get to show what we were fully capable of, I think we’re ready to make some good jumps forward this weekend. I really like the look of the Donington park circuit and the Fireblade should work very well there. Looks like we should have some great weather so I'm ready to hit the track on Friday and get to work.

- Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team

Kervin Bos

Team Manager

We've been working hard since the last round at Imola with some engine and electronics development so although we've had some challenges on track the last few rounds, we're still pushing ahead with our 2018 development programme. Jake hasn't raced at Donington before, but did manage some track time on a CBR600RR in a recent promotional day with the Ron Haslam Race School so he at least knows the basic layout of the circuit. Leon has continued his recovery with lots of treatment after Imola and although he's still carrying his injuries he'll give his everything this weekend in front of his home fans. The weather at Donington can be quite changeable, but right now the forecast looks promising and with the atmosphere from the British fans always being great and the circuit itself having such an amazing layout, the team is really looking forward to racing this weekend.


Gulf Althea BMW is UK bound for SBK round 6

Rome (Italy), Tuesday 22 May 2018

On the back of its home race at Imola, the Gulf Althea BMW Racing Team, with riders Loris Baz and Alessandro Delbianco, now cross the Channel for round six of the 2018 Superbike world championship, taking place this weekend at the historic Donington Park circuit.

The Donington track, located in the county of Leicestershire in England, is 4.023 km long and is one of the historic events on the WorldSBK calendar. During the 2014 edition, the last time Baz rode the Superbike at the English track, he was able to score a double podium, crossing the line in second place in each of the weekend’s races. Delbianco, competing in the Stock1000 category this season, does not know the track at all, but is keen to get back on his BMW after a very encouraging weekend at Imola.

Five rounds into the 2018 championship and Loris Baz is lying tenth in the general standings with 52 points while, over in the Stock1000 class, Alessandro Delbianco is also tenth, with 15 points.

Loris Baz

“I’m looking forward to Donington, I haven’t been there for a long time and really like the track. I was actually very strong last time out and so I have some good memories. We’ll need to see how the undulating track suits the bike, perhaps the first section of the track will be easier than Imola. We’ll be working hard to improve the bike and try to reduce its tendency to wheelie. We remain positive and really want to give 100%, we’re ready for the fight.”

Alessandro Delbianco

“I’ve never been to Donington Park but I can say that I like what I’ve seen of it from playing on the Playstation! I’m feeling excited and optimistic ahead of this next round, after what was a very positive weekend at Imola. I can’t wait to get there and learn the track. I’ll do my very best and we’ll see what we can do.”


#UKWorldSBK

Manufacturers profiles from Donington Park

Take a look at who has prospered and who has struggled in the UK

Aprilia have recorded eight podiums at Donington, but they are yet to win their first race here. They finished second three times, the last one in 2013’s Race 2 with Sylvain Guintoli. Last year their best result was recorded by Tati Mercado, a 7th in Race 1. The second race was a nightmare for Aprilia, as none of their three riders made it to the finish.

BMW recorded their first WorldSBK win here in 2012’s Race 1, a 1-2 with Melandri and Haslam. They were in the position to repeat that in Race 2, but last turn contact between Rea and Haslam knocked out both works BMWs. BMW claimed a third podium spot here in 2013 Race 1, with Melandri taking second after passing Rea and Guintoli. Last year BMW’s best result came from Jordi Torres, ninth in Race 1.

Ducati hold the lead in the standings for the most wins at Donington, but this has narrowed considerably in recent times due to Kawasaki success. The Italian bike has won here 17 times, Kawasaki follows at 15. Their last win came in 2011’s Race 2, with Carlos Checa. Last year Ducati took their podium tally to 53 here thanks to a third place from Davies in Race 2. The lead in Donington podiums for Ducati is huge, as Kawasaki follows at 34. In 2014 Giugliano recorded the last of the 15 Ducati poles here, also a record of the track.

Honda have won here seven, with no less than six different riders: Fred Merkel, Aaron Slight, Colin Edwards, James Toseland, Ryuichi Kiyonari and Jonathan Rea. The only Honda rider who won twice at Donington is Colin Edwards (1999 Race 2 and 2000 Race 1). Their last podium finish at Donington Park was with Rea, who won the race in 2012, Race 2. Last year the only Honda to compete was Stefan Bradl’s, who retired in Race 1 and was 11th in Race 2.

Kawasaki have the first chance to equal Ducati’s win tally here this year, as they have 15 wins to Ducati’s 17. The success has come in recent seasons as before the Sykes-Rea era, the count was 17 for Ducati and just five for Kawasaki. Starting from 2013, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) nailed nine straight wins at Donington and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) took the string to 10 last year in Race 2. It’s a unique sequence of wins for a manufacturer at this legendary track. In the last eight races at Donington, Kawasaki finished 1-2 no less than seven times: in 2014 with Sykes and Loris Baz (both races), in 2015 with Sykes-Rea (both races), in Race 2 2016 (Sykes-Rea), and last year with Sykes-Haslam in Race 1 and Rea-Sykes in Race 2.

The best result for MV Agusta at Donington is a fourth in 2016’s race one from Leon Camier. 2017 saw Camier take two top six finishes with the Italian manufacturer.

Yamaha have won seven times at Donington, the last one came in Race 1’s 2011, courtesy of Marco Melandri. Up until last year that was also their last podium here, but Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) was able to address that finishing third in Race 1. Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) came close to the podium as he was fourth in Race 2.


Mahias in the Mood for Donington Park

Setup

The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team are determined to hit the ground running at Donington Park for Round 6 of the 2018 FIM Supersport World Championship this weekend. Reigning WorldSSP Champion, Lucas Mahias, is aiming to fight back and return to the podium after missing out on the rostrum at the last three rounds and relinquishing his championship lead. His teammate Federico Caricasulo is looking to build on the pace he displayed at his home round after securing his third podium in the last four races at Imola. European Supersport Cup rider Alfonso Coppola is hoping to continue the progress made in his rookie WorldSSP season as he continues to fight for his championship point in 2018.

Imola saw Mahias lose his lead in the overall standings for the first time in 2018 after he crashed out of the lead during the race, although he bravely remounted and charged his way through the field to cross the line in eighth and limit the damage to his championship defence. The 29-year-old French rider is now second overall with 79 points, just two points behind leader Randy Krummenacher despite not having stood on the podium since Thailand, and Mahias is determined to fight back at Donington Park. Last season, Mahias claimed second in the UK after battling for the race win throughout and having rediscovered the feeling with his GRT Yamaha R6 at Imola, his plan is to fight for the win to retake the lead in the overall standings.

Caricasulo pulled off a superb ride at his home round in Imola, battling for victory before securing second at the chequered flag after missing out on victory by just 0.363s. It was his third podium in the opening five races and the 22-year-old Italian is now fifth in the championship standings with 69 points, just 12 points behind the leader with all to play for. After showing superb pace in almost every session so far in 2018, Caricasulo is looking to secure his first victory of the season at Donington Park, a track he enjoys riding, after crashing out of last year's race.

ESC rider Alfonso Coppola has shown superb improvement in 2018 as the inaugural Yamaha R3 bLU cRU Challenge winner continues to adjust to the WorldSSP class after making the step up from WorldSSP300 last season. Learning more every time he hits the track and having significantly decreased the gap to the top riders, the 20-year-old Italian is now looking to collect his first WorldSSP Championship point at a track he completed the perfect weekend at in WorldSSP300 last year, topping both practice sessions, claiming pole position and taking victory as well as recording the fastest lap of the race.

Located near Castle Donington in Leicestershire, Donington Park hosted its first motorcycle race in 1931. Requisitioned by the Ministry of Defence in 1939 at the start of the Second World War, it reopened its doors to racing in 1973. The 4,023km circuit has 12 corners in total, seven right-handed and five left-handed, plus a start/finish straight of 550m in length, and is known for its fast-flowing corners, dramatic elevation changes and its two hairpins.

The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team takes to the track for FP1 on Friday at 10:40 am local time (GMT) in the UK, with qualifying scheduled for 2:15 pm on Saturday and Sunday's race due to start at 11:30 am.

Lucas Mahias

GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - 2nd - 79 points

"I am really happy to be getting back on my R6 for Donington! I had a really good feeling in Imola before and after my little crash during the race, so I am looking forward to riding again. The championship is now very close with the top four riders within six points of each other but it feels way too long since I have been on the podium. Now it is time to finish the mistakes and start our fight back in the championship!"

Federico Caricasulo

GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - 5th - 69 points

"I cannot wait to get back on track, especially at Donington Park as it is a track I love! Last year I recorded a DNF, but after my start to the season and the pace I have shown, I genuinely believe we can be fighting for the victory once more! I am only 12 points off the top of the championship standings now, so every race we must go out with the belief we can win and fight for the best result possible!"

Alfonso Coppola

GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Junior Team

"Donington Park is such a fantastic track with smooth corners and a wide layout that really suits my riding style coming from WorldSSP300! Last year I topped every session on my way to winning the race from pole position, so I am confident I can build on my encouraging results so far this season. Each round I am getting closer and closer to the top 15 and my goal this weekend is to secure my first point-scoring finish!"

Filippo Conti

GRT Yamaha Offical WorldSSP Team Manager

"We are looking forward to Donington! It will be another really important race and we are getting to the stage where every race is crucial in such a close-fought championship. Lucas may not have had the best result in the race in Imola, but he has got the feeling back with his R6 that he likes and when he is relaxed, he is very quick. He has his confidence back and will be trying to get the best possible result in the UK to retake the championship lead. Federico had a great result in Imola and has been quick at every track. He was fighting for the victory in Italy and only missed out on the win by the smallest margin, so he is also full of confidence and has been quick at every track we have gone to in 2018, with both riders genuine title contenders. Alfonso has shown excellent improvement so far in 2018 as he adjusts to the class and has been riding well against riders with a lot more experience than him. He is learning at every round and really enjoys the Donington Park track so we have set him the goal of scoring his first championship point as we look to continue his progress!"


At home with CIA Landlord Insurance Honda

Posted on 23rd May 2018

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda are coming home this weekend for Round Six of the FIM World Supersport Championship at Donington Park in the UK and there’s a new teammate for Andrew Irwin in the shape of British Superstock 600 rider Ryan Vickers.

Thetford youngster Vickers is currently dominating the British Superstock 600 series having taken his third consecutive win last time out at Oulton Park and will replace the former CIA Landlord Insurance Honda rider Niki Tuuli at Donington Park. Vickers said: “I’d like to thank CIA Landlord Insurance Honda and everyone involved in making this happen. It is such a huge opportunity for me to get some exposure on the world scene. It is a big step but my coach Alan Carter and I will work very closely with the team and just keep picking away. We’ve got no expectations this weekend, I’ll get used to the bike, start to pick up some pace and we’ll just do the best we can and see where we end up.”

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda’s Andrew Irwin delivered another strong points scoring result at Imola and with Donington Park being a circuit he knows well from his British Championship days he has his eye on challenging in the top ten in front of his home crowd. Irwin said: “I’m really looking forward to Donington, I’m much happier with how I have been feeling on the bike the past two race weekends in Assen and Imola but I still believe there is much more to come from me. Donington is a track I know well so I believe I should get my best result yet. I’ll treat it like the rest of the races, just keep taking small steps over the course of the weekend and come the end of the race on Sunday it would be really nice to be in the top 10. I know this result won’t be easy but I’ll work hard with my crew to be in the best position come race day. It’s mine and CIA Landlord Insurance Honda’s home round so it should be a fun weekend.”

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “It’s an exciting round for Andrew now coming to a circuit he knows well. He’s been going from strength to strength. Obviously he’s not to get too excited but there’s no pressure on him. It wouldn’t be out of the way for him to get into the top ten but for sure another points scoring finish. We are really happy with Andrew and the job he is doing for the team and we are looking forward to this weekend with him.”

“As you will all now know, Niki Tuuli was offered a ride in Moto 2 and he is no longer with the team. To be fair we did have an agreement with him that he would do Donington Park with us but the team he went to have reneged on that deal so that gave us the opportunity to bring in another rider for our home round. We followed our philosophy of bringing on young British talent whenever we have the chance and Ryan Vickers was brought to my attention, a lot of people speak very highly of him, even Dorna recommended him and my old friend Alan Carter is his coach. Let’s see where he goes, there’s absolutely no pressure on him this weekend, it’s just CIA Landlord Insurance Honda giving a young British rider a shot at world level. Hopefully he’ll get a lot of experience from this, he is a star for the future.”


Okubo And Morais Team Up Again In WorldSSP

After the recent retirement of five-times WorldSSP champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) Hikari Okubo and Sheridan Morais will team up for the official WorldSSP team this coming weekend at Donington Park in the UK.

Although originally from Japan, Okubo has based himself in the UK for the past couple of racing seasons, which makes the Donington weekend another special one for him. His immediate goal is to improve on his career best finish of sixth in a WorldSSP race this weekend.

Morais has ridden in two races for the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team this year already, replacing the injured Sofuoglu at Motorland Aragon and Assen, until Kenan came back for one last weekend at Imola almost two weeks ago. Back on a Kawasaki again, the proven WorldSSP race winner will be all out to make the most of his latest opportunity. Donington will mark his 40th race start in this class.

Donington Park is a popular and almost unique parkland circuit, featuring two very different sections in its layout. The first is flowing, undulating and expansive, where momentum and fast direction changes are all. The second and final section features several hard braking points and low gear acceleration onto relatively short straights.

After the sixth round of the championship takes place at Donington, the seventh will be hosted at a returning old favourite, Brno. Raceday with be on the 13th of June.

Hikari Okubo, stated: “I got top ten finished in Imola round and

It was very important. It meant we could start again in this year.

The UK is my ‘second home’ round because I have stayed in UK for two years now. I like the Donington track. I can make more good races and I need get top a top five finish. I think it’s a not dream, because I think I have this level. I need to think well during the race and push hard.”

Sheridan Morais stated: “Donington is a good track for me so my hope is that I can make up for my ‘lost time’ at Imola, just by the sheer enjoyment that I will have there. If I am able to jump back to front-running pace after missing one round then I believe that we can fight at the sharp end this weekend.”

An excellent sixth place last time out has put Anthony West (EAB antwest Racing Kawasaki) in confident mood for the next challenge at Donington. He is the top ranked Kawasaki rider in the championship standings at present, in ninth place overall.

ESS Rider, Rob Hartog (Team Hartog Against Cancer) leads the ESS rankings, for riders who participate in the European rounds of the championship. In the overall championship, he is

Michael Canducci (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) and Javier Ezequiel Iturrioz (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) will team up for the second time this year when they go to Donington.

Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) will continue his challenge as a full time rider, while ESS runners Wayne Tessels (Chromeburner Wayne’s Racingteam MTM) and Peter Sebestyen (SSP Hungary Team) will also be out for points scores in the UK.


10 facts you need to know ahead of the Prosecco DOC UK Round

WorldSBK riders prepare to take on Donington Park and records could be broken

1. With his double win at Imola, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) is now the undisputed leader of doubles in history with 17, leaving Carl Fogarty and Troy Bayliss with 16.

2. At 22 years, 4 months and 22 days, Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team) became the fifth youngest race leader in the last twenty years at Imola. In this timespan the record belongs to Loris Baz who was 19 years, 6 months and 4 days old when he led - and won - at Silverstone/1, 2012.

3. British riders have won 18 races here and are currently unbeaten in the last eleven: Race 2 in 2012 was won by Rea, then a string of nine for Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and again Rea in Race 2 last year. The last non-British winner here was Marco Melandri (Italy) in Race 1, 2012.

4. In the last three race weekends held here, from 2015-2017, British riders have claimed 17 podiums, leaving only one position for other countries. This was the third spot in 2016’s Race 1, claimed by Davide Giugliano (Italy).

5. This is the best track for Tom Sykes, the only one in which he has won around nine times. At present, only two riders were able to record 10 or more wins at a given track, these are Carl Fogarty and Jonathan Rea at Assen (12 each).

6. Tom Sykes has secured a podium in his last 12 races here. In WorldSBK history only Carl Fogarty managed a longer run of podiums on a given track: 15 at Assen from 1992 Race 2 to 1999 Race 2.

7. The record for podium finishes here, thirteen, is shared by Troy Corser and Tom Sykes.

8. Donington has recently favoured breakaway wins: only two races in the last 18 were won with a margin smaller than one second at the flag (both 2012 ones).

9. Donington was the stage of the maiden win for four time World Champion Carl Fogarty back in 1992, Race 2. Fogarty was the all-time leader for wins from Hockenheim 1999 to the last round at Imola two weeks ago, when he was equalled by Rea in Race 2. In Donington Rea has thus the chance to become the first rider in WorldSBK history with at least 60 wins under his belt.

10. Donington set the stage for the inaugural Championship round, thirty years ago (1988): Davide Tardozzi (Bimota) and Marco Lucchinelli (Ducati) secured one win each on the 3rd of April.


Open paddock offers guaranteed entertainment in the UK

UK WorldSBK welcomes enjoyment for the masses

As fans prepare to take on Donington Park this weekend for the Prosecco DOC UK Round, they have plenty to look forward to on and off track. With six British riders preparing to risk it all in front of their home fans, there will be an open paddock on offer all weekend, and fans will want a piece of their heroes. From concerts to auctions, to the Paddock Show and fairgrounds, MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship action in the UK won’t be one to miss.

Continuing to grow and impress, the world famous Paddock Show rolls into Donington Park and promises to be one of the main attractions all weekend. Welcoming the now traditional Opening Day Show, MOTUL race chat, and the Podium Shows following the race, there is more opportunity than ever before to get in on the WorldSBK action.

But this isn’t all the Paddock Show stage has to offer in Leicestershire, with Friday night’s entertainment of live music from Voodoo Moon and El Duderino to entertain fans still at the circuit or camping throughout the weekend. Saturday offers a chance to bid on a piece of history, with the Two Wheels for Life charity auction taking place at 17.30. Live music will follow from CIA Landlord Insurance Honda plus special guests, Junction and Eddie and the Wolves – running from 17.30h to 22.30h.

As fans are milling around the paddock, they will have the opportunity to head to the Paddock Fan Zone which will be open all weekend. With entertainment stands from MOTUL and Milwaukee, displays with Shad and Acerbis and Prosecco distribution, they won’t be short of entertainment. On top of this, Honda will be putting on a stunning bike display to see their machines in the flesh, and children will have the chance to test their skills on a mini bike track. Whilst checking out the entertainment, there is also the opportunity to buy merchandise for your favourite riders, so you can show your support all weekend long.

Want to impress your friends with an extreme wheelie? Look no further on Saturday and Sunday as you can try your hand at giving it some height on the specialized machinery. If wheelies aren’t your thing, then try your hand at the downforce racing simulator, which provides a realistic experience that even racing drivers have claimed to think it was the real thing. Or want to take even more risks? Then head to the Demon Drome Wall of Death – home of death defying tricks and stunts.

Making it an event for the whole family, there will be a lot on offer for the little ones. Fairground fun will be taking place on Saturday and Sunday, with plenty more than just rides. Inflatable’s, face painting and rides will be operating all weekend meaning the adrenaline doesn’t have to stop with the bikes on track.

As the campsite beings to take shape at the now famous infield area of Donington Park, the atmosphere will be second to none. Soaking up all the British battles on track throughout the weekend, the entertainment will continue through the night as the campers return to views of the Old Hairpin to the Foggy Esses. Offering live music on Friday and Saturday – from bands The Lost Boys, Junction, Manta Ray and Jasper Rocks, WorldSBK fans will be entertained through the evening and into the night.


Source: 
Round Number: 
6
2018

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