Round Eight – Donington Park
Saturday Results / Report
A wet Race 1 proved to be dramatic in the 2019 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship, as Donington Park hosted yet another thrilling encounter.
A frantic start saw Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) take the lead early on and never look back as he romped to a 76th career win, and in doing so also took over the championship lead, as Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) crashed out in dramatic fashion.
It was a blistering opening lap from Jonathan Rea, who leaped off the line and took the lead at Turn 1, the Northern Irishman then opened up a lead of over a second on the first lap.
Pole-sitter Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) held second place, ahead of Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), with the Ten Kate Yamaha of Loris Baz in fourth. Alvaro Bautista was fifth in the early stages but was already losing time to Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team).
As the race settled, Rea was setting a scorching pace, lapping two-seconds quicker than anybody else.
Loris Baz got ahead of Leon Haslam at the Melbourne Loop on the second lap to take second place.
On the fourth lap Bautista began to respond to the challenge from Lowes, managing to pull away a little from the chasing Yamaha man.
Jonathan Rea was continuing to pull away from his pursuers but as the race wore on Tom Sykes got up to speed and started to match the pace of his former team-mate. Sykes had worked his way up to second place on the new BMW but Rea held a comfortable seven-second lead out front. Leon Haslam was in third place ahead of Loris Baz.
At this point the rain started falling heavier and conditions were getting more treacherous which led to a succession of accidents as Jordi Torres crashed on wet grass on the exit of Turn 6, whilst Sandro Cortese crashed at the same corner on the same lap.
However, then the really big news struck, as Alvaro Bautista crashed out in spectacular style at the same point of the track, suffering his first back-to-back crashes of the season.
“Today was a difficult race, and in these conditions I didn’t have much grip at the rear. This morning after FP3 we made a few changes that helped me to improve the feeling in the wet, but it wasn’t enough. At the start I didn’t have a good sensation and I struggled to make the pace. As the laps went by the situation improved, and as a result I could push harder. Unfortunately, I lost the rear at Turn 6 and couldn’t do anything to prevent the crash. Obviously we didn’t expect to finish the race in this way, but tomorrow we have another chance to try and turn the weekend around and get a good result.”
The championship pendulum had now swung to Jonathan Rea, but with more than ten laps left, he still had to remain upright.
As riders ahead fell, other riders took advantage, with Leandro Mercado now elevated into sixth place, Hickman up to seventh and the injured Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) looking set to score good points in eighth.
Jonathan Rea took a third career victory at Donington Park, his 76th in total. Tom Sykes was back on the podium for a second round running, whilst Leon Haslam was third at his home venue to make for an all Briton rostrum.
Once again proving his worth in the wet weather, Loris Baz was fourth, ahead of Alex Lowes, who had a relatively quiet race.
A stunning ride for ‘Tati’ Mercado saw him take his joint-best result of his career and his best result of the 2019 season.
Peter Hickman took a career-best seventh as replacement rider for Reiterberger, whilst behind him was Michael van der Mark, Alessandro Delbianco and Chaz Davies – the Italian getting the Welshman on the penultimate lap.
The championship lead now changes for the first time in 2019, with Jonathan Rea leading Alvaro Bautista by nine-points. A massive turn-around as the Northern Irishman was 61-points behind at one point.
On Sunday we are set for a ten-lap Superpole Race followed by Race Two.
P1 – Jonathan Rea
“I missed my pit board on my first lap but on the second lap I saw that I had quite a big gap already. I have been riding the Kawasaki for quite a few years now, and although we do not get to ride in the wet a lot, the wet setup is pretty good. Even in the change of conditions – completely wet, half wet or a drying track – it seems to be a bike that you can extract a lot of stability out of. So you can stop it well and then use your body weight to get through the corners. I knew if I could arrive at the limit of the package quite early I could take a gamble while the rest of the other guys got up to speed. At the end of the race I thought I should keep pushing on as I knew if there was a lapse of concentration it would be very easy for something to go wrong in these conditions. So I kept going right until the last lap and got it done. But it felt like a really long race! There is still a long way to go but after the Jerez sprint race the gap from the lead to us was 61 points. Now it has flipped over. It is racing and anything can happen.”
P2 – Tom Sykes
“I am really happy. The speed has been there all weekend, certainly in dry conditions. It was just fantastic to claim pole position this morning. In the race in wet conditions, we had some limitations but it’s great to bring it home in second position. It’s still really quite incredible where we are as it is so early in the programme. Credit to the entire BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. What they are doing is outstanding. I’m really happy to now have two podiums on two consecutive weekends. It would be nice for all guys in the garage if we could keep this momentum. As I said, we had some limitations today in the wet and we will try to improve that. In dry conditions, I feel ready to race anyway, so I am really quite relaxed at the moment and enjoy my racing.”
P3 – Leon Haslam
“It wasn’t the start that determined my race although I did get held up a little bit in the first two laps with Tom. As soon as I started to push like I had been doing in practice and qualifying in the rain, I did not have the same feeling. To be honest I felt like I struggled at times today. I got a little bit caught up with Baz and that let Tom get away. The lap times I could do when I got a clear lap were not so bad, but I felt like I was pushing the limit too much to get that kind of lap time. So I backed it down and got third. From quite early on in the race I was trying to just manage it and bring it home on the podium.”
Alex Lowes – P5
“It was difficult today because I felt like I didn’t have any grip on corner entry and exit for the whole race and, for the first five laps, it felt like I didn’t have enough temperature in the tyres. Then I sort of found a bit of a rhythm and caught Alvaro, but the race had broken up by then and I was sitting fifth with a big gap in front and a big gap behind. From then it was a case of bringing it home. It’s a shame because I didn’t feel like I was really racing, but happy to take the points for a top five finish because, as we saw today, it was very easy to make a mistake in the conditions. Hopefully the sun will be shining tomorrow and we can do a bit better.”
Peter Hickman – P7
“I’m happy enough. The race was the first time actually for me to ride the bike in fully wet conditions so it has been a little bit of an unknown for me. It was also different for me to get used to the electronics again. I’m happy that I came away with a good and solid top ten result. The start wasn’t the best; we had a little problem at the start which put us back. If we could have gone way with the front group I maybe could have gone with them a little bit. But we’ve made some improvements, we’ve got some good data and if it rains tomorrow I’m sure we can have a good race again. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s sprint race, I normally don’t do sprint races so it’s something new for me again. Obviously we will start from fourth again after today’s Superpole, which is really strong. If we get a good start and get away in that front pack, fingers crossed, we can get a strong result.”
Michael van der Mark – P8
“We learned a lesson in Superpole this morning but, in the end, the race turned out quite well for us. It was a wet race and, with the injury, I didn’t want to take too many risks, especially as the conditions were particularly tricky today. I got a really good start from way back on the grid and I had good speed, but it was really difficult with so much spray from the bikes in front. It took me some laps to build confidence and that allowed the leading group to get away from me, but I think that was a good thing in some ways, because the goal today was first just to complete the race and then to score points. I had a good rhythm, a few good battles and I’m happy to finish inside the top ten today, as it was way better than we expected coming into the weekend. Now I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s races.”
WorldSBK Race One Results
|1||1 J. Rea||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||0.000|
|2||66 T. Sykes||BMW S1000 RR||+11.348|
|3||91 L. Haslam||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+23.071|
|4||76 L. Baz||Yamaha YZF R1||+29.935|
|5||22 A. Lowes||Yamaha YZF R1||+37.641|
|6||36 L. Mercado||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+46.917|
|7||10 P. Hickman||BMW S1000 RR||+1m00.135|
|8||60 M. Van Der Mark||Yamaha YZF R1||+1m07.062|
|9||52 A. Delbianco||Honda CBR1000RR||+1m10.752|
|10||7 C. Davies||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+1m11.453|
|11||23 R. Kiyonari||Honda CBR1000RR||+1m15.161|
|12||21 M. Rinaldi||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+1m24.259|
|13||54 T. Razgatlioglu||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+1m26.777|
|14||33 M. Melandri||Yamaha YZF R1||1 Lap|
|RET||19 A. Bautista||Ducati Panigale V4 R||13 Laps|
|RET||81 J. Torres||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||14 Laps|
|RET||11 S. Cortese||Yamaha YZF R1||14 Laps|
|1||T. Sykes||BMW S1000 RR||1m27.619|
|2||J. Rea||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m28.612|
|3||L. Haslam||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m29.198|
|4||P. Hickman||BMW S1000 RR||1m29.348|
|5||L. Baz||Yamaha YZF R1||1m29.521|
|6||A. Bautista||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1m29.561|
|7||T. Razgatlioglu||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m29.582|
|8||A. Lowes||Yamaha YZF R1||1m29.627|
|9||M. Melandri||Yamaha YZF R1||1m29.781|
|10||C. Davies||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1m30.098|
|11||J. Torres||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m30.210|
|12||S. Cortese||Yamaha YZF R1||1m30.248|
|13||R. Kiyonari||Honda CBR1000RR||1m30.997|
|14||L. Mercado||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m31.080|
|15||M. Rinaldi||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1m32.602|
|NQ||M. Van Der Mark||Yamaha YZF R1||1m35.216|
|NQ||A. DELBIANCO||Honda CBR1000RR||1m36.136|
|3||Michael Van Der Mark||196|
|12||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||81|
As the bad weather set in, the Italian shone to head an upside-down WorldSSP grid, which left Randy Krummenacher outside of the top ten
In what was a dramatic Tissot Superpole session for the WorldSSP championship, rain came halfway through the session which caused the grid to look a little bit different to how it has looked throughout most of the session. Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) banked an early lap and took the pole position, whilst teammate Randy Krummenacher was caught out and was left rad-faced down in eleventh place.
With just a few minutes of running before the rain came, it was Federico Caricasulo who took his second pole position of the season and the 22nd for Italy in WorldSSP history. The Yamaha rider pushed ahead for a best time of 1’31.092. More than seven tenths back, Misano pole-sitter Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) took a third consecutive front row and a 21st of his career, whilst Raffaele De Rosa (MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse) completed the front row.
In fourth position and heading up row two, Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA), who will feel a little bit robbed by the cruel British weather, after the Frenchman ended Friday comfortably on top. In fifth position, it was a stunning effort from Brad Jones (Appleyard Macadam Integro), who placed his Yamaha in the middle of the second row as the wildcard shone at home, putting his race craft to good use. The 21-year-old debutant is ahead of Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing), who takes his best starting position of the season.
Row three features Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), who has looked somewhat lost all weekend. The Japanese rider is just over a tenth clear of Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) in eighth place, whilst Hannes Soomer (MPM WILSport Racedays) was top Honda, taking his fifth top-ten on the grid of the season with ninth. Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing) made it four Kawasakis and two Brits inside the top ten, as he concluded his Tissot Superpole session in tenth.
Randy Krummenacher was only 11th, whilst Jack Kennedy (Appleyard Macadam Integro) was only able to place 13th after being caught out by the bad weather. 15th place was Austrian, Thomas Gradinger (Kallio Racing), who will have plenty of work to do from row five.
World Supersport Superpole
|1||F. Caricasulo||Yamaha YZF R6||1m31.092|
|2||L. Mahias||Kawasaki ZX-6R||1m31.812|
|3||R. De Rosa||MV Agusta F3 675||1m31.849|
|4||J. Cluzel||Yamaha YZF R6||1’m31.862|
|5||B. Jones||Yamaha YZF R6||1m31.908|
|6||A. Badovini||Kawasaki ZX-6R||1m31.908|
|7||H. Okubo||Kawasaki ZX-6R||1m32.078|
|8||I. Vinales||Yamaha YZF R6||1m32.180|
|9||H. Soomer||Honda CBR600RR||1m32.187|
|10||K. Smith||Kawasaki ZX-6R||1m32.267|
|11||R. Krummenacher||Yamaha YZF R6||1m32.434|
|12||C. Perolari||Yamaha YZF R6||1m32.627|
|13||J. Kennedy||Yamaha YZF R6||1m32.642|
|14||P. Sebestyen||Honda CBR600RR||1m32.684|
|15||T. Gradinger||Yamaha YZF R6||1m32.713|
|16||R. Hartog||Kawasaki ZX-6R||1m33.189|
|17||L. Cresson||Yamaha YZF R6||1m33.701|
|18||J. Danilo||Honda CBR600RR||1m34.845|
|19||F. Fuligni||MV Agusta F3 675||1m34.963|
|20||G. Van Straalen||Kawasaki ZX-6R||1m34.970|
|21||N. Calero||Kawasaki ZX-6R||1m35.247|
|22||C. Stange||Honda CBR600RR||1m35.546|
|23||G. Sconza||Honda CBR600RR||1m36.479|
|24||A. Gyorfi||Yamaha YZF R6||1m38.025|
|25||J. Van Sikkelerus||Honda CBR600RR||1m38.065|
|26||A. Toledo||Yamaha YZF R6||1m38.744|
|27||G. Matern||Kawasaki ZX-6R||1m44.862|
World Supersport 300
As the rain continued to drench the Donington Park circuit, the WorldSSP300 riders took to the track and put in strong lap times, combatting the weather in the best way possible. It was a history-making two Tissot Superpole sessions, as Ton Kawakami (BCD Yamaha MS Racing) took his first pole position, becoming the first Brazilian rider to take a WorldSSP300 pole position and the first pole for a Brazilian rider in the entire WorldSBK paddock.
With Group A taking to the circuit first, the Brazilian rider took advantage of the bad weather, which often acts as a great leveller in motorcycle racing. Kawakami left it late to go to the top, pinching pole position from Indonesian rider, Galang Hendra Pratama (Semakin Di Depan Biblion Motoxracing). Hendra Pratama was demoted to third overall, as Andy Verdoïa (BCD Yamaha MS Racing) went top of Group B but only second overall.
Mika Perez (Scuderia Maranga Racing) moved up the order in Group A and finished fourth overall to the head of row two. Perez is ahead Hugo De Cancellis (Team Trasimeno Yamaha), who suffered a small crash during Group B, whilst he is ahead of Dorren Loureiro (Nutec – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki), who completes row two.
There were numerous shocks in the WorldSSP300 Tissot Superpole, most notably with Scott Deroue (Kawasaki MOTOPORT), who need to go through the Last Chance Race. Ana Carrasco, who won at Misano to go second in the championship, was only 16th on combined times. Having won at Donington Park last season, Carrasco will want to fight hard to try and get back to the front this year.
Perhaps the biggest story of the Tissot Superpole session was that the championship leader, Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team), who crashed heavily at Redgate Corner (Turn 1), needing medical assistance. He was taken to the medical centre for a check-up, with more updates to follow. There were numerous crashes in the sessions, with Verdoïa, De Cancellis, Marc Garcia (DS Junior Team), Bruno Ieraci (Kawasaki GP Project) and Omar Bonoli (Team Trasimeno Yamaha) to name all but a few of the crashers.
In the afternoon, WorldSSP300 action returned for the Last Chance Race, determining the six riders which will go up to join the main grid for the main race on Sunday. It was a fierce race which saw many accidents, although some unexpected names make it through to Sunday action for the first time, too.
With the Last Chance Race getting underway, wildcard Kade Verwey (Team XG Racing) took the lead, putting on a show in front of his home crowd, in a bid to try and make a name for himself and get through to Sunday’s race. However, as he dropped back through the order, he found himself surrounded by faster riders. Attempting to make up time, Verwey crashed but in the process, wiped out joint-second in the championship, Scott Deroue (Kawasaki MOTOPORT), as the Dutchman had to go through the Last Chance Race for the first time.
At the flag, it was Nick Kalinin (Nutec – RT Motorsport by SKM – Kawasaki) who prevailed ahead of the chasing pack, after they had spread out. He won, ahead of Jan-Ole Jahnig (Freudenberg KTM Junior Team), Robert Schotman (Kawasaki MOTOPORT), Manuel Bastianelli (Prodina IRCOS Kawasaki), Paolo Giacomini (Kawasaki GP Project) and Beatriz Neila (BCD Yamaha MS Racing). Giacomini makes it through to the Sunday race for the first time this season.
Supersport 300 Superpole Combined
|1||T. Kawakami||Yamaha YZF-R3||A||1m52.914|
|2||A. Verdoïa||Yamaha YZF-R3||B||1m53.025|
|3||G. Hendra Pratama||Yamaha YZF-R3||A||1m53.047|
|4||M. Perez||Kawasaki Ninja 400||A||1m53.246|
|5||H. De Cancellis||Yamaha YZF-R3||B||1m53.409|
|6||D. Loureiro||Kawasaki Ninja 400||B||1m53.626|
|7||F. Rovelli||Kawasaki Ninja 400||A||1m53.838|
|8||O. König||Kawasaki Ninja 400||A||1m53.917|
|9||D. Otten||Kawasaki Ninja 400||A||1m53.922|
|10||K. Sabatucci||Yamaha YZF-R3||A||1m54.189|
|11||B. Ieraci||Kawasaki Ninja 400||B||1m54.340|
|12||L. Loi||Kawasaki Ninja 400||A||1m54.580|
|13||M. Gonzalez||Kawasaki Ninja 400||B||1m54.638|
|14||V. Steeman||KTM RC 390 R||B||1m54.652|
|15||E. De La Vega||Yamaha YZF-R3||A||1m54.708|
|16||A. Carrasco||Kawasaki Ninja 400||A||1m54.916|
|17||T. Edwards||Kawasaki Ninja 400||A||1m54.990|
|18||J. Buis||Kawasaki Ninja 400||B||1m55.031|
|19||Y. Okaya||Kawasaki Ninja 400||A||1m55.115|
|20||T. Bramich||Kawasaki Ninja 400||B||1m55.290|
|21||O. Bonoli||Yamaha YZF-R3||A||1m55.362|
|22||S. Di Sora||Kawasaki Ninja 400||B||1m55.745|
|23||J. Perez Gonzalez||Kawasaki Ninja 400||B||1m55.873|
|24||B. Sanchez||Kawasaki Ninja 400||B||1m55.897|
|25||K. Meuffels||KTM RC 390 R||A||1m55.944|
|26||D. Iozzo||Kawasaki Ninja 400||A||1m55.962|
|27||M. Kappler||KTM RC 390 R||B||1m55.986|
|28||K. Aloisi||Kawasaki Ninja 400||A||1m56.067|
|29||R. Dore||Yamaha YZF-R3||B||1m56.071|
|30||F. Hernandez Moyano||Yamaha YZF-R3||A||1m56.074|
|31||K. Verwey||Kawasaki Ninja 400||A||1m56.235|
|32||J. Facco||Yamaha YZF-R3||B||1m56.283|
|33||M. Bastianelli||Kawasaki Ninja 400||A||1m56.834|
|34||A. Quinet||Honda CBR500R||B||1m57.069|
|35||K. Hartmann||Yamaha YZF-R3||A||1m57.258|
|36||J. Foray||Kawasaki Ninja 400||B||1m57.294|
|37||R. Schotman||Kawasaki Ninja 400||A||1m57.600|
|38||M. Luna Bayen||Kawasaki Ninja 400||A||1m57.818|
|39||P. Giacomini||Kawasaki Ninja 400||A||1m57.882|
|40||S. Deroue||Kawasaki Ninja 400||B||1m58.158|
|41||J. Jahnig||KTM RC 390 R||A||1m58.286|
|42||A. Pelikanova||Kawasaki Ninja 400||B||1m58.343|
|43||B. Neila||Yamaha YZF-R3||B||1m58.661|
|44||F. De Bruin||Yamaha YZF-R3||B||1m59.060|
|45||T. Finocchiaro||KTM RC 390 R||B||2m00.683|
|46||S. Naud||Kawasaki Ninja 400||B||2m1.342|
|47||M. Pedeneau||Yamaha YZF-R3||B||2m01.376|
|48||M. Garcia||Kawasaki Ninja 400||B||2m01.429|
|49||L. Verwey||Kawasaki Ninja 400||B||2m02.124|
|50||N. Kalinin||Kawasaki Ninja 400||A||2m02.425|
|51||B. Molina||Yamaha YZF-R3||A||2m03.203|
|52||E. Mcglinchey||Kawasaki Ninja 400||A||/|
Sunday Schedule AEST