World Superbike 2014 – Round Five – Donington Park

Donington Park will host Round 5 of the 2014 eni FIM Superbike World Championship this weekend. This will be the 22nd time the Superbikes will hit the Leicestershire track, the first of which dates back to April 3rd 1988, when it all started. The first ever event in the history of the series saw local rider Roger Burnett (Honda) taking pole position, while the two races were won by Italians Davide Tardozzi (Bimota) and Marco Lucchinelli (Ducati).

The current layout of Donington Park features a fast, flowing first half of the track and a heavy braking, stop-and-go second one, which make it difficult for teams and riders to find a good overall setup for their bikes.

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) was the absolute master of last year’s event by winning the Tissot-Superpole and both races in dominant fashion in front of his home crowd, as well as setting a new lap record and a best lap for the track. Sykes’ teammate Loris Baz made his WSBK debut at Donington Park two years ago, when he replaced the injured Joan Lascorz.

At the moment Sykes and Baz lie second and fourth in the standings, respectively, behind new leader Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike). The Ulsterman is hoping to keep his winning streak alive, as he stood atop the podium in the last three encounters. Rea has already been victorious at Donington Park (2012, Race 2), at the end of one of the most incredible and unpredictable races of all times. Local rider Leon Haslam from Derby is hoping to step up his game after the good progress made in the one day, post-race official test at Imola last week.

Aprilia Racing Team’s Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri have enjoyed good results at Donington Park in recent years, with the Frenchman twice on the podium in 2013 and the Italian rider able to score two wins (2011 and 2012, Race 1) and two second places (2011 Race 2, 2013 Race 1).

There have been no top 3 finishes so far at Donington Park in WSBK for the Ducati Superbike Team duo

Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies, as the best result was a fourth place claimed by the Italian rider last year, in Race 2. Davies, on the other hand, was edged out by Luca Scassa for the win in the World Supersport race in 2011.

The whole Voltcom Crescent Suzuki Team is looking forward to their home round, with Eugene Laverty and Alex Lowes aiming to get back on podium form after a difficult round at Imola. The only podium finish for Laverty at Donington Park came last year in Race 2, as the Irishman on an Aprilia was third behind Sykes and Guintoli. Lowes dominated last year’s BSB round by edging out his main rival for the title Shane Byrne in both races. Back in 2008, the 23 year old from Lincoln scored his first podium finish at international level here by crossing the line second in the STK600 encounter

MV Agusta RC – Yakhnich Motorsport and Team Hero EBR will continue their learning curve within the Superbike World Championship at Donington Park.

Leon Camier is looking forward to his home round, which he will contest aboard the EVO-spec BMW S1000RR of the BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team, once again as substitute rider for the injured Sylvain Barrier. The battle for supremacy in the EVO class will see David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Team Ducati), like the rest of the field, aiming again for top honours in the new category.

Standings (Round 4 of 13): 1. Rea 139; 2. Sykes 135; 3. Guintoli 123; 4. Baz 119; 5. Davies 87; 6. Melandri 84; 7. Giugliano 69; 8. Laverty 62; 9. Haslam 58; 10. Lowes 50; 11. Elias 50; 12. Salom 34; 13. Canepa 28; 14. Camier 20; 15. Scassa 16; 16. Foret 10; 17. Morais 10; 18. Guarnoni 7; 19. Allerton 6; 20. Bos 5; 21. Corti 5; 22. Fabrizio 2; 23. Andreozzi 1. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 143; 2. Honda 139; 3. Aprilia 133; 4. Ducati 113; 5. Suzuki 92; 6. BMW 26; 7. MV Agusta 5.

World Supersport

The Supersport World Championship enters the fifth round of the season with two riders tied atop of the standings with 65 points, the new leader Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport) and Florian Marino (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki). Van der Mark, who is heading the WSS title race for the first time, was second at the flag in the last encounter at Imola behind teammate Lorenzo Zanetti.

The Italian rider, thanks to his maiden victory in the series, elevated himself to third place in the Championship ahead of Kev Coghlan (DMC-Panavto Yamaha), who left Italy with no points under his belt, Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta RC – Yakhnich Motorsport), Raffaele De Rosa (CIA Insurance Honda) and Roberto Rolfo (Team Go Eleven Kawasaki).

Rolfo scored his best result of the season last time out at Imola, a fifth place, while last year he claimed a historical third place at Donington Park for MV Agusta, their first at international level since 1976.

Three time Supersport World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) has a lot of ground to make up after the third DNF of the year he had at Imola a fortnight ago. The Turk currently sits ninth in the standings 40 points behind the leader.

20 year old British rider Sam Hornsey from Bucknell, Shropshire, will wildcard at the UK Round aboard the Triumph Daytona 675 of the ANVIL Hire TAG Racing.

Standings (Round 4 of 12): 1. Vd Mark 65; 2. Marino 65; 3. Zanetti 49; 4. Coghlan 44; 5. Cluzel 42; 6. De Rosa 38; 7.Rolfo 30; 8. Tamburini 29; 9. Sofuoglu 25; 10. Wahr 23; 11. Jacobsen 22; 12. Menghi 19; 13. Russo 18; 14. Bussolotti 16; 15. Gamarino 16; 16. Leonov 12; 17. Kennedy 10; 18. Gowland 9; 19. Wilairot 9; 20. Nocco 6; 21. Coveña 6; 22. Schmitter 3; 23. Calero 3; 24. Rogers 1. Manufacturers: 1. Honda 86; 2. Kawasaki 74; 3. Yamaha 54; 4. MV Agusta 50; 5. Triumph 9.

European Junior Cup

Spaniard Augusto Fernandez (WIL Sport) heads to Donington Park as the points leader in the Pata European Junior Cup, powered by Honda, after winning his second race in a row at Imola two Sundays ago. Fernandez has an 11 point advantage over compatriot Marc Miralles (Construccions J.Miralles) and 15 on another Spanish rider, Javier Orellana (Europ Food SL). This is the very first time that the one-make, entry-level series of WSBK races at Donington Park.

Standings (Round 3 of 8): 1. Fernandez 63; 2. Miralles 52; 3. Orellana 48; 4. Hubner 40; 5. Harland 27; 6. Grassia 27; 7. Perez 22; 8. Fernandez 21; 9. Soomer 20; 10. London 18; 11. Licciardi 14; 12. Brink 13; 13. Wisdom 13; 14. Van Sikkelerus 11; 15. Hill 8; 16. Gabellini 7; 17. Geissler 4; 18. Zhu 4; 19. Moreno 3; 20. Ortt 2; 21. Patterson 2; 22. Levy 1.

Donington World Superbike Statistical Smorgasbord with Michele Merlino

  • The only win by Jonathan Rea in Donington came in a controversial way, two years ago, in race two: he was fighting with Melandri and Haslam, clashing with the latter on the last turn. Both BMWs were out on the spot and he went on to win. Rea doesn’t count other podiums here, but he always scored points in Donington, finishing lower than seventh only twice: in 2009 in race two, when an off-track excursion put him at the back of the field (he climbed back to 15th at the flag) and last year in race two, when he had traction control problems, which resulted in several mistakes. Last year he was running second for half of the first race, but was eventually passed by Melandri and Guintoli, finishing fourth.
  • Tom Sykes climbed on the podium in half of his races here: a double from pole last year and twice in third (also from pole) in 2012 (behind Melandri and Haslam in race one; behind Rea and Biaggi in race two), and second behind Bayliss at his second race weekend, in 2008.
  • Sylvain Guintoli recorded a constant improvement in Donington; twice eleventh in 2011 (he was suffering from pain in his hand and ankle after his crash in Phillip Island), eighth and fifth in 2012, climbed on the podium in both races last year: third behind Rea and Melandri and second behind Sykes.
  • Two years ago Loris Baz debuted in Superbikes in Donington, when he was sixteenth in race one and scored his maiden points in race two, finishing eighth. Last year he was fifth and seventh: in race one he recorded a remarkable climb through the field, passing seven rivals.
  • Chaz Davies always scored points in his four races here, three times in the top-10 (seventh in race two two years ago, eighth and sixth last year). In 2011 he lost out for only 0.2 seconds to Luca Scassa the Supersport race.
  • Excellent results for Marco Melandri in Donington: winner in race one both in 2011 (his maiden one) and in 2012, second in race two in 2011 and in race one last year, when he was able to overtake Rea and Guintoli to finish behind Sykes. He was fifth last year in race two: he was running third until the last lap, when a mistake cost him two places. The only time he missed out on a points finish here was race two, 2012: he was running second until the last turn, when Rea hit his team-mate Haslam, which fell, taking with him Marco’s BMW.
  • the best result from Davide Giugliano in Donington is a fourth, scored last year in race two. He was sixth in race one and seventh the year before, always in race one, while he was victim of an accident triggered by Checa in race two.
  • One podium out of six Donington races for Eugene Laverty: third in race two last year. Eugene was often victim of bad luck here: he fell in race one in 2011, suffered from setups problems in race two (14th); he was only fifteenth in race one in 2012, crashing out in race two. Last year in race one he was seventh after a mistake on the seventh lap (he was running fourth).
  • Last year Leon Haslam was forced to withdraw for pain in the leg broken in Assen. He counts two podiums in Donington: second behind Ben Spies in 2009 in race two and in 2012 in race one behind Melandri and before Sykes. Leon qualified in second in his last two qualifying appearances here: in 2011 and 2012;
  • Alex Lowes was unbeatable last year in the two British superbike races held here: in both cases he was able to hold off his title rival, Shane Byrne, scoring a double.
  • Toni Elias’ best result in this track, in the MotoGP class, was a ninth in 2005: he was running fifth in 2009, but crashed out. He climbed on the podium in the 250cc class in 2002: third behind Marco Melandri and Fonsi Nieto. He was second from pole in the 2001 125cc race in 2001, beaten by Youichi Ui.
  • Three Supersport races in Donington for David Salom: his best result was a sixth in 2011. David ran here also in Superbikes, finishing 23rd and 19th in 2009.
  • Niccolò Canepa finished on the top-10 once in Donington: eighth last year in race two, when he was the best-placed Ducati at the flag. In race one he was thirteen, just behind the two works Ducatis of Checa and Badovini. Canepa obtained a good result in the 2009 MotoGP race, when he was eighth, behind James Toseland and Marco Melandri and in front of Daniel Pedrosa. Niccolò won the opening race of the 2007 Superstock 1000 championship: his first win in the series.
  • One podium out of eighth races run here for Leon Camier: third in 2011 in race two, behind Checa and Melandri. He didn’t enjoy much luck last year, when he fell in both races. Donington was his debut race weekend, in 2009, when he was 13th in race one and 6th in race two.
  • Little luck for Fabien Foret in his seven Supersport races here: he counts four retirements and a ninth place as best result, scored last year.
  • Sheridan Morais was seventh last year in the Supersport race held in Donington and sixth two years ago.
  • The last race from Claudio Corti in Donington dates back 2009, when he was second behind Xavier Simeon in the Superstock 1000 race. He was second also two years before, beaten by Niccolò Canepa.
  • Two top-10 placements out of eight races run here for Ayrton Badovini: ninth in race two in 2011 and sixth in 2012 in race two. Last year he was eleventh in race one and fell in race two.
  • Christian Iddon last year in Supersport was fighting for the top positions when a contact with Sofuoglu put an end to his winning hopes.
  • The best result by Imre Toth in his three Supersport races in Donington was a sixteenth in 2011; Peter Sebestyen raced here in the Rookies Cup, finishing sixth in the 2008 race.
  • The only international race by Romain Lanusse in Donington was the 2012 Supersport one, when he was 23rd in grid and 19th in the race.

MANUFACTURERS

  • Aprilia never won and never started from pole in Donington, coming close to a win three times, finishing in second place: in 2009 race one (Biaggi), in 2012 race two (Biaggi) and last year in race two (Guintoli). Two second places also in grid: in 2009 (Biaggi) and last year, with Guintoli second and Laverty behind him;
  • BMW scored a double in race one here in 2012 (Melandri-Haslam) and scored a second last year in race one (Melandri), for a total of three podium placements in Donington.
  • Ducati tops the charts for wins in Donington, seventeen, the last one in 2011 in race two with Carlos Checa, who was starting from pole: since then they were never able to climb on the podium or start from the front row on the British track.
  • Seven wins for Honda in Donington, the same of Kawasaki and Yamaha: the last one came in 2012, in race two, thanks to Jonathan Rea.
  • Seven wins for Kawasaki in Donington: the last ones came last year, thanks to a double by Tom Sykes. Kawasaki, always with Sykes, started from pole in the last two seasons here.
  • Suzuki won here in 2001 in race two with Frankie Chili: their last podium came in 2008, race one, thanks to Tom Sykes.
  • Bimota won here twice: with Davide Tardozzi in race one, 1988 (the first ever World Championship race) and in 1989 in race two with Giancarlo Falappa.

Team Previews

Kawasaki Video Preview
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Voltcom Crescent Suzuki Preview

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki is gearing up for its busiest and most significant round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship with its only home race this season at Donington Park, in the UK, this weekend.

The positive showing at the official test at Imola in Italy, following a difficult race weekend last time out, has left Eugene Laverty and Alex Lowes raring to go at the Leicestershire circuit and ready to show the local fans what they can do on their Yoshimura-powered machines.

Irishman Laverty has had a challenging relationship with the Donington circuit since he joined the Championship seven years ago, but a third place podium in last year’s second race has left him hungry for more and determined to advance his Suzuki GSX-R in front of the home crowd. Local rider Lowes took a double win here in 2013 on his way to clinching the British Superbike title and is hoping the knowledge and familiarity of his favourite track will aid his development on the GSX-R1000 during his debut year on the world stage.

Built in the grounds of the Donington Hall Estate, on the Leicestershire/ Derbyshire border, the 4,023m long clockwise circuit has a history dating back to 1931, making it one of the UK’s most well-known and well-loved race tracks. The circuit’s technical layout encompasses 12 corners throughout its undulating design, including favourites such as Craner Curves and the Melbourne Loop, with breath-taking views providing a thrilling ride for racers and spectators alike.

After a day with the fans in aid of Riders for Health tomorrow (Thursday), Voltcom Crescent Suzuki takes to the track for three Free Practice sessions on Friday, the first of which is scheduled for 10:00hrs local time. With a change to the standard European race timetable, Superpole will run at 12:00hrs on Saturday, with Sunday’s two races at 12:00hrs and 15:00hrs respectively.

Eugene Laverty: “Last year I finally scored my first podium at Donington since my move to the World Championships back in 2007. It’s never been an easy circuit for me but last year’s result was encouraging. We’ve had a difficult run lately and it sure would be great to turn things around with a podium finish in front of the home crowd. I’m really looking forward to this weekend and it will be extra special to ride my home race as part of a British team as I know the crowd will be behind us!”

Alex Lowes: “I’m really looking forward to Donington this weekend. It’s only 10 minutes from home for me and having previous knowledge of the track is going to help me get straight down to work from Friday morning which will ensure I get my Voltcom Crescent Suzuki working well ready to challenge at the front on Sunday. Donington has always been a favourite of mine and I have great memories from 2013 so I’m eager to put on a good show for the fans as part of the only British-based team in the World Championship this year.”

Aprilia Racing Preview

Leaving the throngs of fans behind from the Imola round, the World Superbike Championship travels to England, just a shout from the famous Sherwood Forest. The 4,023 metres that make up the Donington Circuit will set the stage this weekend for the fifth round of the 2014 season, which has the Aprilia Racing Team in the thick of the battle for the final victory in both the Rider standings (with Guintoli lying third, just 16 points from the top) and in the Manufacturer standings where Aprilia, reigning World Champion with the RSV4, is defending the title won last season.

The English track has a fast and flowing set up with a lot of up and downhill sections that follow the conformation of the hilly terrain. The section right before the finish is characterised by some violent braking and acceleration sections which have often set the stage for spectacular duels in the final laps of the race. As always, the weather conditions will be a huge question mark which can reshuffle the deck throughout the weekend.

Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli, lying third in the rider standings with 2 race wins under his belt already this season and as many podiums, will be playing on his “home” pitch as he lives just a few kilometres from the circuit. For Sylvain the 2014 season started off the best possible way. His feeling with the Aprilia RSV4 is perfect and the French rider’s ambitions bring him to Donington with a specific goal of earning some important points in the battle for the championship.

Sylvain Guintoli: “I’m very excited to race in Donington, the only UK round in 2014. I live only 30 minutes from the track so it’s like my home race, with many family and friends coming to support. I also love riding this track and had two strong results last year. I am ready for battle”.

Encouraged by the tests held at Imola after the race weekend and spurred on by the desire to redeem himself, Marco Melandri sees Donington as the ideal circuit get his season on track. The extensive fine tuning that Marco and the Aprilia mechanics focused on at Imola produced good signs over the weekend there and a result worthy of the Italian duo seems to be just around the corner.

Marco Melandri: “Donington is a track that I like a lot and one that suits my riding style very well. I’m confident that the characteristics of the English circuit will suit my RSV4 much better than Imola. Let’s hope the weather cooperates because I really want to ride two good races and redeem myself for a period which has been decidedly below my potential”.

Honda Preview

British riders Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) and his team-mate Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) head to the Donington Park round of the FIM Superbike World Championship buoyed by the fact that it is a home round for each of them.

As there is no Silverstone event on the 2014 SBK calendar the Donington weekend will be the only chance for the Pata Honda riders to shine in front of a home crowd and each of them is determined to make the most of the opportunity, particularly after recent upward trends in their on track fortunes.

Rea, born and bred in Northern Ireland, approaches Donington as the leader of the championship after winning the last three races in succession. His career race victory tally rose to 14 after his most recent double win at Imola in early May and as a result Rea takes a four-point championship lead into Donington on a wave of positivity. Jonathan is already a proven winner at Donington, taking the second race in 2012 for Honda.

In a one-day post-Imola official test session Rea continued his good form by topping the testing lap times while evaluating new components and electronic advances as part of the development programme of the SBK-specification CBR1000RR Fireblade.

Haslam, himself a three-time WSBK race winner in the past, has been on a long road to recover his best possible form after suffering a serious left leg fracture more than a year ago at Assen. That injury ultimately prevented him from racing at Donington last year, a fact that is not lost on Haslam as he now has even more determination to show well in his forthcoming visit to his home track.

The name of Haslam is legendary at Donington, firstly because of a local racing dynasty that included Leon’s father Ron and more recently because of the racing exploits of Leon himself.

Making progress in recent races, and particularly at the Imola official tests, Haslam could have no better venue than Donington Park to continue his push towards his first podium finish of 2014. So far Leon’s best result is fifth place at Assen and when added to his other results he currently sits ninth in the championship, with the vast majority of the season still ahead of him.

The Donington Park circuit can trace its history right back to the early years of motorsport but in its modern format it has hosted 42 previous individual Superbike World Championship races, including the first ever WSBK championship event in 1988. Very few WSBK venues have hosted more rounds than Donington Park and few offer better vantage points for spectators.

The main section of the 4.023km track is formed inside a natural amphitheatre that provides many fast and flowing curves, which start off heading downhill, then climb back to the final sector. By contrast this final loop consists of a chicane, two short straights and two tight hairpins. This unusual track layout means finding an absolutely ideal set-up is difficult for all riders and teams.

Six individual Honda riders have won a total of seven previous Donington races, on machinery ranging from vee-four 750s, through 1000cc vee-twins to different versions of the CBR1000RR Fireblade.

After Donington the championship heads off for its second long haul event of a busy season, to the all-new WSBK venue of Sepang in Malaysia, with raceday arriving on Sunday 8 June.

The FIM Supersport World Championship arrives at Donington Park this coming weekend with Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) at the top of the championship standings with Pata Honda team-mate, Lorenzo Zanetti, in third place overall, 16 points behind.

Van der Mark shares an identical points lead with Florian Marino (Kawasaki) but is ahead in the championship rankings thanks to the race win at his home event in Assen two races ago. That victory was van der Mark’s first in the WSS class. Not to be out done, Zanetti emulated the feat at the very next race, his home race in Imola, last time out, with van der Mark coming home in second to round off a fantastic weekend for the entire Pata Honda squad.

Michael is keen to turn around the bad luck he had at Donington last year, riding with a broken foot and then falling, remounting, but finishing out of the points. He is a big fan of the Donington layout and after taking 65 from a possible 75 points in the most recent three races he rivals even his Imola race-winning team-mate Lorenzo for confidence and positivity heading to the UK.

Several other Honda riders in the championship are also capable of taking podium places at least, as Raffaele De Rosa (CIA Insurance Honda) proved by going third at the opening round of the season in Australia. Now sixth in the championship De Rosa has scored well in every subsequent round, and is hopeful about his chances at Donington Park this weekend.

Riccardo Russo (Lorini Honda) remains 13th in the points after finishing eighth at Imola last time out. His team-mate Marco Bussolotti placed seventh at Imola and in doing so put himself 14th in the championship after four rounds, just two points behind Russo.

Some tough luck and an injury early in 2014 have held Irish rider Jack Kennedy (CIA Insurance Honda) down in 17th place as he approaches the closest race he has to his native land. As a former British Supersport challenger and a rider for the British-based PTR Honda team in 2014, Kennedy is looking to Donington to show his true form again after a strong rookie season with Honda in 2013.

Ratthapark Wilairot (Core PTR Honda) is another rider who knows Donington Park very well after competing there in GP races, and another who rides for the overall PTR Honda set-up based in England. Two no-scores so far have kept him in 19th place in the points.

Nacho Calero (CIA Insurance Honda) will go to Donington looking to score more points while Britain’s Fraser Rogers (Com Plus SMS Racing Honda) approaches his home round with a point on the board already and a strong ambition to score some more.

After the Donington round there is a free weekend before the WSS squads head to Malaysia for the sixth round of the championship, at the regular MotoGP venue of Sepang.

Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) “I love riding at Donington in front of the true British fans and I had my first road-racing experience there on a Honda CB500. No one hides the fact that the first part of the circuit makes it one of the best in the world. The last part is a bit of a bus stop and it means you have to compromise to get a good setting for high-speed changes of direction and stability under braking. Our bike is working well in the wet or the dry, which is exciting. We are going to Donington with a positive attitude. For me it does not change my attitude to the work we do whether I am going to a home race or any other race. Even my mood; I do not get any more excited over the home weekend but I do enjoy seeing even more friendly faces around. There are a lot more British fans around, and because I grew up through the BSB system they have always supported me. I am looking forward to going back and seeing them.”

Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) “We have made really good progress over the past few races with the bike but we have not been able to capitalise on that because of various issues which have sometimes thrown spanners in the works. After testing at Imola for a day after the race we have figured out a lot of things about how it went on raceday. When you have time to work with the bike in testing it comes on in leaps and bounds. In the three 45 minute sessions of a race weekend we are a bit behind sometimes. I know the Donington track well but because of the WSB regulations I cannot go there that often. I have been on the podium there on a Stiggy Honda in the past, and again on another bike in 2012. Donington is my home race of course and to have that home support is really nice. The pressure of riding at a British race is not an issue for me.”

Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) “At the last round in Imola all of our team got quite a nice boost with Lorenzo winning and me in second place and I think we can also do really well at Donington. Everywhere we have been we have been fast so I am really looking forward to it again. Last year I was a bit unlucky at Donington but I was riding with a broken foot. This year can be better than that and I love the track, so I cannot wait to get some laps in there. The first part is really beautiful but the last part is really strange. There are many passes made there, of course, but it is completely different from the first part.”

Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) “I had a good time after the race win at Imola and it was amazing to do it at home. Not just for myself but also for all in the team, the sponsors and everyone involved. It was a great sensation. I took just one day off on the Monday and then started to work immediately for the Donington weekend. OK, I have won my first WSS race now, but the most important thing is that it re-opened my opportunities in the championship and now I need to push and focus on all the next races. There is no sense on spending a lot of energy on that one win and then stopping. I have focused on trying to push in all the races. For the past few years I have changed teams, categories, bikes, almost everything each year but this year is the first I have stayed on the same bike, in the same team – same everything. I think our present good position is due to this stability of the whole effort.”

Raffaele De Rosa: (CIA Insurance Honda) “My race at Imola was not so bad except for suffering a penalty and dropping places in the results. Now our bike is better all the time and the settings too. I believe we can have a good race in Donington because I like the circuit there.”

Jack Kennedy (CIA Insurance Honda)  “I am training at 110%, mostly swimming and cycling. The foot I injured in Australia is not uncomfortable on the bike anymore so I am feeling fit and looking forward to Donington. I love the track and the fast flowing nature of the first three sectors. I am happy to go there and we just need a little bit of luck on our side for one weekend. We need some decent points and we showed we could be up the front at Assen. We just need to find the settings to keep us up there for a whole race now.”

Ratthapark Wilairot (Core PTR Honda)  “Donington is a track I know well. I raced there many times and I always enjoyed riding there because the first part of the circuit is special, with spectacular views for the fans. Because the final part of the track is very different it does seem difficult to have good set up on bike. We had lots of information from Aragon so it should be possible to use similar set up and then the team can gather more good information at Donington during practice. The main thing for me is to work hard during all the sessions because it has been a long time since I rode there. It’s important because it is almost like my home race as all my team live in England. I will try my best.”

Eight marques on the world superbike grid for 2014..r to l.BMW, Suzuki, Ducati, Kawasaki, Aprilia, Honda, MV Agusta, Buell
Eight marques on the world superbike grid for 2014..r to l.BMW, Suzuki, Ducati, Kawasaki, Aprilia, Honda, MV Agusta, Buell