Donington was one for the record books for Michael van der Mark, who closed out the weekend with a second race win, adding his first ever double win to the weekend tally, and propelling himself into third overall in the standings. It was also one to remember for Kawasaki’s Toprak Razgatlioglu who took his first SBK podium, in second place, having hunted down Jonathan Rea in the closing stages.
A poor start from Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) saw him gobbled up in the mix at the first turn, ceding two places to Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) and Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing).
The Yamaha managed to pick both off in short order however, Haslam at the Fogarty Esses (before the wildcard crashed at Melbourne), and the Italian in lap 2. Meanwhile, the two KRTs held a surprisingly aggressive battle, while the other Yamaha quietly made it through to the leading group from ninth on the grid.
Quickly, one third in, the battle for the race turned into a three-way fight, with Lowes sticking strong but Rea taking ghost shots around Craner and Melbourne. Meanwhile, van der Mark, much like he did on Saturday, stalked the front two, biding his time. At the back, Razgatlioglu and Savadori fought nail and tooth for fourth, a few seconds back on the leading group.
After two perfect thirds to the race, it all came apart for Lowes at the end. On lap 17, Rea found a spot at the Melbourne loop, where so many moves have been made this weekend, and pushed in front from the inside of Lowes, with van der Mark picking off the scraps at Redgate and moving to second. And just like yesterday, one lap later, van der Mark made his race-winning move at that same turn 11. The Ductchman shot off from there, giving his pursuers no option to take away his incredible double.
There was one more surprise left at Donington, however. Amidst the front group bickering, Razgatlioglu found himself with the gap now non-existent. Showing an impressive late-race pace, the Turkish rider picked off Lowes with ease, before setting his sights on the three-time WorldSBK champion. And with one lap to go, he moved up to second. A fitting epilogue to Kenan Sofuoglu’s retirement in the last Round: Turkey has a new hero for years to come.
With Rea finally in third, his worst result since the Thai Round, and Alex Lowes repeating his Saturday performance in fourth, there was another comeback behind. Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) found his way all the way back to twelfth at the start, but a neat ride from the Welshman pushed him back to fifth, ahead of Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), who couldn’t continue his incredible Donington streak and leaves with his first finish outside the podium since 2011.
Savadori made it to the checkered flag in seventh, just ahead of Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team), who pipped Jordi Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) to eighth at the final turns, and leaves the UK Round with two top-ten finishes on his return. Closing the top ten was Loris Baz (GULF Althea BMW Racing Team), with Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) ending a weekend to forget down in eleventh.
Michael van der Mark – P1
“It just incredible, I can’t believe it, I had quite a good race, I struggled a bit but I didn’t feel as good as yesterday. So I followed Alex and Jonny, just used my head and in the last few laps they had a battle and I managed to pull away. To take the first win yesterday and now the double, its just incredible.”
Toprak Razgatlioglu – P2
“Today is my team bosses birthday, so a big happy birthday to him! But this position is very good, I am really happy: It’s my first podium so I am really happy, thank you!”
Jonathan Rea – P3
“It was a difficult race because in the beginning it was very aggressive from all riders. Guys who are not usually near the front were super-aggressive. When I got a track position I could be really smooth and do my own thing. Michael passed me, made a good attack and was able to stretch that gap a little bit. I wasted a lot of tyre and energy trying to get back to him. I also ran into some arm pump under braking at the end so it was hard to start thinking about attacking Michael. I could see Toprak was coming from my pit board but there was nothing I could do about him at that point, as he had better pace at the end. The target here at Donington was to exit the weekend with more than 50 points of advantage in the championship and we exceeded that, so for me it was a positive weekend.”
Chaz Davies – P5
“Today was definitely an improvement since Race 1, though our goal is to finish higher. I felt like I rode a good race overall. When the first drops of rain started to fall, I was fully committed to keep it wide open but there wasn’t enough rain to worry the guys in front of us. I did everything that I could to close the gap from the front, and to some extent I did, but we’ve been struggling a bit too much here. I had to use a little bit of tire to bridge the gap and we couldn’t do better today. Hopefully we can build on what we’ve done here and learn important lessons to apply in Brno.”
Tom Sykes – P6
“It looks like we missed out with our tyre choice today. We continued on the standard rear tyre and we really suffered with traction. The guys in front obviously used the bigger tyre. So I was disappointed with that. I felt we had good speed to be a lot closer but we were battling with Savadori, and the lap times were not great at that stage. I also suffered with the strong winds at the top of Hollywood. I know where to be fast at Donington and I could not hold the throttle like I could in the past, so we need to adjust the bike setup. It was a bit of a mixed bag today and not what I was expecting. Onwards and upwards and we have lots of good tracks coming up.”
#UKWorldSBK at Donington Park: Race 2
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +2.328
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +2.614
Championship Standings after Race 2, Round 6
Jonathan Rea 245
Chaz Davies 181
Michael Van Der Mark 163
Tom Sykes 163
Marco Melandri 136
Xavi Fores 124
Alex Lowes 118
Toprak Razgatlioglu 78
Loris Baz 67
Jordi Torres 64
Leon Camier 56
Lorenzo Savadori 53
Michael Ruben Rinaldi 43
Leandro Mercado 38
Eugene Laverty 37
Román Ramos 32
Jake Gagne 20
Pj Jacobsen 18
Leon Haslam 14
Davide Giugliano 11
Yonny Hernandez 11
Bradley Ray 3
Luke Mossey 2
Ondrej Jezek 2
Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing) took the second win of his FIM Supersport World Championship career with a cool, controlled ride in his first venture to Donington Park in nine years. The German shot up to second at the start, and after taking the lead one third into the race managed to defend his lead professionally to the checkered flag in a three-way battle with Jules Cluzel (NRT) and Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag), second and third.
The race start saw Cluzel shoot off into the lead from pole, building a 0.7 gap with Cortese by lap 1. Defending champion Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) fell to fourth, with De Rosa making the best of the inside line and climbing to third.
After Hiraki Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) crashed out 5 laps in, two packs of three led the race action. Cortese found the moment to attack in lap 8, his one aggressive move through all 20 laps. The German found a gap at Coppice Corner with Cluzel going wide, and sliced in like a hot knife through butter, taking the inside line and rubbing shoulders with the NRT rider. Pushing forward, there was no stopping Cortese with an open track ahead.
De Rosa took advantage of the pair’s squabbles, closing the small gap and setting up a thrilling second half of the race. His moment to push came with five laps to go, pushing up to second over Cluzel after a mistake from the Frenchman. But with one to go, Cluzel struck back, taking another 20 points and confirming that he’s a hot favourite for the title. De Rosa, meanwhile, scores his third consecutive third-place finish, an astonishing feat for the MV Agusta in a Yamaha-heavy top end.
The two WorldSSP leaders up to this point led another stunning battle, but not quite as high up the field as they might have preferred. Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) won this duel the hard way, passing Mahias first at the Old Hairpin, falling back 10 laps later after a huge, race-threatening wobble, before pushing behind the Frenchman again with a lap to go. Fourth and fifth for the pair, respectively, who now fall to third and fourth in the championship, behind the Donington top-2.
Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) struggled to keep up with the leading pace from a seventh position start, and with his sixth place at Donington falls behind in the championship standings.
Ayrton Badovini (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) was the best of the rest at the UK Round, meeting the flag in seventh position, with Thomas Gradinger (NRT) in eighth. Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), returning to racing action at Donington, also made it into the top-ten in ninth, with Andrew Irwin (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) the first of the home riders here at Donington, in tenth.
Aussie Anthony West was 11th.
“It was a really rough and hard race, its so physically hard at this track. But from the beginning onwards I felt quote good and the pace was very high from Jules. After five laps I thought I had to overtake and get my pace because in the last few races I waited and missed my chance. After I overtook Jules and it took some laps but i got my rhythm and I felt great, so a big thanks to my team after the changes we made over night, its a great feeling.”
#UKWorldSBK WorldSSP at Donington Park – Race
Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing)
Jules Cluzel (NRT) +1.377
Rafaelle de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag) +2.676
WorldSSP Championship Standings after Round 6
Randy Krummenacher 81
Lucas Mahias 79
Sandro Cortese 77
Jules Cluzel 75
Federico Caricasulo 69
Raffaele De Rosa 51
Luke Stapleford 45
Niki Tuuli 38
Anthony West 27
Thomas Gradinger 22
…29. Tom Toparis 1
Ana Carrasco (DS Junior Team) held and extended her lead in the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship with a dominant display at Donington Park. The Spaniard was unstoppable at the Prosecco DOC UK Round, taking the first-ever Grand Slam in WorldSSP300 – pole, win, fastest lap and all laps led. Behind, another frantic last lap dash saw her teammate Dorren Loureiro (DS Junior Team) taking his first podium finish in WorldSSP300.
Carrasco knew that, just as at Imola, her pace with an open track ahead was nearly unbeatable. All she needed was a good start, which Carrasco nailed down, shooting ahead while Koen Meuffels (KTM Fortron Junior Team) and Mika Pérez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) got caught up in the podium tussle.
With the Murcian, who now leads the championship by 22 points, racing off into the distance, a thrilling battle for second emerged into the final lap. Scott Deroue (Motoport Kawasaki) had managed to open a gap and controlled his return to the podium midway through the race, but late mistakes, including a last-lap journey through the Fogarty Esses, meant that he dropped all the way back to sixth.
With Deroue out of contention, it was finally Loureiro edging ahead at the flag, with Borja Sánchez (ETG Racing) scoring a second successive podium in third. Enzo De La Vega (GP Project Team) managed his best result of the season in fourth, with Meuffels in fifth.
Jan-Ole Jahnig (Freudenberg KTM Junior Team) made his way to the flag in seventh, with Pérez down to eighth, Galang Hendra Pratama (BIBLION YAMAHA MOTOXRACING) in ninth, and Luca Grunwald (Freudenberg KTM WorldSSP Team), still second in the championship, finishing his Donington weekend in tenth.
Aussie Tom Edwards took his first championship point for the season with a 15th place finish.
“I am super-happy because the weekend was not easy but we were calm and worked really well. A second victory in a row is incredible for us and also for the championship it is really good. It was a difficult race because there was more wind than yesterday and I could not make lap times so easy. I have to say thank you to everyone around me because everyone is pushing for me, and everybody watching at home.”
“That race was definitely so stressful and very, very crazy, especially going into the last lap. We had to catch everyone in the race because were a little bit too far back but I am happy to do it and get my first podium finish.”
#UKWorldSBK WorldSSP300 at Donington Park – Race
Ana Carrasco (DS Junior Team)
Dorren Loureiro (DS Junior Team) 4.602
Borja Sanchez (ETG Racing) +4.965
WorldSSP300 Championship Standings after Round 4
Ana Carrasco 73
Luca Grunwald 51
Scott Deroue 46
Borja Sanchez 42
Dorren Loureiro 42
Koen Meuffels 36
Glenn Van Straalen 36
Mika Perez 32
Jan-Ole Jähnig 27
Nick Kalinin 23
…26. Tom Edwards 1
Markus Reiterberger (alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW) returned to form and the highest step of the podium with a phenomenal display at Donington Park, in the fourth race of the 2018 European Superstock 1000 Championship. Making a near-unbelievably good start, it was Reiterberger’s pace in the second half of the race that proved to be unmatchable, strolling to his third win in 2018.
The German’s closest rival in the title battle and shadowing him on the grid at Donington, Roberto Tamburini (Berclaz Racing Team), had the opposite beginning to his race, falling back to fifth and facing an uphill struggle from there. The Italian managed to climb back to third following a fall by Alessandro Delbianco (GULF ALTHEA BMW Racing Team) and a mistake by Federico Sandi (MOTOCORSA Racing) at turn 11, but Maximilian Scheib (Aprilia Racing Team) proving to be a rival too many.
The Chilean was the only rider to match Reiterberger’s pace in the early stages of the races, but as laps went by Scheib’s Aprilia seemed to struggle more. In the end, however, a fantastic showing of defensive racing gave Scheib second place by 0.018 seconds over Tamburini.
Behind, Luca Vitali (Aprilia Racing Team) took his best result of the season, finishing the race in fourth. He now ties Florian Marino (URBIS Yamaha Motoxracing STK Team) in fifth place in the championship. The Frenchman, second here last year, lost the battle with Vitali both on the track and, for now, in the standings, ending the race in fifth.
Federico Sandi, repeating the Ducati woes in the WorldSBK race, couldn’t fight for his second podium of the season, and leaves Donington in sixth. Seventh went to Riccardo Russo (C.M. Racing), with Jan Buehn (alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW) in eighth.
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