THE START OF THE FINAL SPRINT After the first 10 races of the Superbike World Championship, the riders arrive at Donington Park after a one month break for the final sprint which includes four races. Before they go to Vallelunga, then ...
THE START OF THE FINAL SPRINT
After the first 10 races of the Superbike World Championship, the riders arrive at Donington Park after a one month break for the final sprint which includes four races.
Before they go to Vallelunga, then Magny-Cours, and finally Portimao, it's on the East Midlands track that the riders will meet this weekend. Some very good wild card entries will be also ready to go with a lot of motivation, like Tom Sykes, third at Brands Hatch in the first race on August 3, when unfortunately he had to retire because of a punctured radiator. Cal Crutchlow and Leon Haslam will ride for the HM Plant Honda Team, with Neil Tuxworth the Honda UK racing manager in charge, famous in the Superbike World Championship in the past with riders like Colin Edwards, James Toseland, Chris Vermeulen, Carl Fogarty, John Kocinski and others like Aaron Slight.
There are 8 races to go and Troy Bayliss (Ducati) is leading the championship with an 82 points advantage over Max Neukirchner (Suzuki), while Troy Corser (Yamaha) is in third 92 points behind Bayliss. Carlos Checa (Honda) is fourth, 101 points behind, and Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha) is fifth, 104 points behind. So far Bayliss has won 7 races out of 20, Haga 4, Kiyonari, Checa and Neukirchner 2, and Nieto, Xaus and Lanzi 1. Max Biaggi has not yet won a race this season, like Troy Corser, even if the Australian finished 8 times in the top 5 during the last 10 races.
The rider of the Team YZF Yamaha Shinichi Nakatomi will do his best at Donington to score championship points and possibly have a better position in the World Championship standings.
Martial Garcia (team manager): "Shinichi Nakatomi is back from Japan in great shape. But Bernard Gardet, our (excellent) cook since 2001, is not well and we hope he will recover very quickly."
20 and 10 years ago at Donington
April 3, 1988: 1st World Superbike race ever. Winners: Davide Tardozzi (Bimota-Yamaha) and Marco Lucchinelli (Ducati).
August 7, 1988: Waine Rainey became the first rider to use carbon disc brakes (AP Lockeed) during the British Grand Prix. He won the 500 cc GP on a Yamaha.
April 13, 1998: 1st European World Superbike event for Noriyuki Haga who won both races on a Yamaha. The Superpole was cancelled because of a snowstorm.
The 4.203 kms track can be divided in two parts: The first one from Redgate to Coppice is fast, while the second one from the Fogarty Esses to Goddards is slower. The first is the 1977 layout and the second is from1985 when it was decided to make the track longer so he would comply with the homologation rules for Grand Prix racing. The first motorcycle Grand Prix was organized in 1987 and the Superbike World Championship came to Donington as soon as it was created in 1988. For a while, the surface here was quite slippery, but the quality of the grip is now good since the track has been resurfaced in 2004.