WSBK – Mad Sunday at Donington Park! –

Mad Sunday at Donington Park !

WSBK - Mad Sunday at Donington Park! -

Returning to the program this year, the Donington Park event offered its share of surprises. In Supersport, three headliners fell on the first day while in Superbike, it was in the middle of the race that the favorites stumbled…

From Friday morning, the Superbike and Supersport riders understand that the European event will not give them any gifts … A just drying track, an ambient temperature of 8 ° C and an increasingly strong wind: Donington Park has decided to put his guests to the test !

And in these delicate climatic conditions – not to say tricky -, it becomes difficult to post a good time, the limit with which to count floret being harder to pinpoint.

Moreover, the sanctions do not take long to fall since from the first free practice session, Sebastien Charpentier falls heavily and injures himself again in the pelvis, at the level of his pelvic ligaments..

During the same morning, the official Yamaha riders are also sent to the mat by the British track. With a fractured collarbone each, Curtain and Parkes are also forced to forfeit Sunday’s race…

These withdrawals therefore temporarily leave the field open to the second knives! At the end of an eventful first day, Matthieu Lagrive thus signs the best time and Arnaud Vincent, invited to run this event, ranks 4th !

In Superbike, on the other hand, Troy Bayliss took the lead from day one: "I think we won’t really know what’s going on until the last session, the superpole, hopefully conditions don’t change during this one", however tempers the world champion…

But the Superpole will not offer a sensational turnaround: Bayliss crushes the competition by completing his lap launched seven tenths faster than Haga and a full second faster than Laconi, who is third! Toseland is doing a little too much in front of his home crowd and almost losing the front end during his qualifying round … He still closes this first row.

In second row is Lorenzo Lanzi, ahead of Ruben Xaus’ private Ducati, which is closely followed by Max Biaggi’s GSX-R. Falling during the Superpole, Troy Corser inherits 8th place thanks to his best time in qualifying session.

Then follow Muggeridge, Nieto, Neukirchner and Bussei for the third row, Fabrizio, Martin, Brookes and Rolfo for the fourth.

On the 600cc side, the surprise of Saturday comes from the two leading men: Pere Riba and Simone Sanna! A former British Superbike rider, Riba made good use of his experience on Donington and hoisted his Kawasaki to pole position ahead of Sanna’s Honda. Thus, Kenan Sofuoglu achieves "only" the 3rd fastest time ahead of Veneman’s Suzuki..

The second line includes two French: Yohan Tiberio and Fabien Foret, between which Alfonsi slips. Katsuaki Fujiwara closes the second row. Behind the Japanese are the two R6s of the GMT94 team – Checa ahead of Gimbert – while Matthieu Lagrive leads the fourth row. Gregory Leblanc and Arnaud Vincent achieve for their part the 27th and 28th times.

First Superbike race

Bayliss took the lead while Toseland followed in his wake. Regis Laconi is also in the right car and takes the first lap in 3rd position, Xaus and Lanzi on his heels. A few pitches away are Nieto, Corser, Haga and Biaggi.

Very quickly, the Bayliss / Toseland duo broke away from their pursuers and foreshadowed a great battle between the two champions. However, in the sixth lap, Troy Bayliss made a mistake! Victim of a short stall of his rear tire, his Ducati 999 suddenly leaps and sends the Australian into the background…

James Toseland sees the track clear in front of him and the Englishman therefore sets up an excellent series of lap times allowing him to keep out of the peloton.

Behind, the fastest at the start of the race is Troy Corser. The Yamaha rider thus gained five places in the first six laps, leaving Xaus, Laconi and Lanzi to explain themselves. But in two tests (read and), the new R1 has forged a solid reputation as a tire devourer. Corser’s breakaway is therefore closely watched…

At the same time, another driver climbs up the rankings: Max Biaggi! Riding his Suzuki, the Italian makes short work of his compatriot Lanzi. Regis Laconi turns out to be more difficult to surprise, both on the brakes and on acceleration !

At the start of the 9th lap, the French even allows himself to counter the attack of the Italian in the exit of the last hairpin which commands the straight line of the pits. Regis accelerates earlier and harder than Max! However in the following round, the n ° 55 must surrender to a supercharged Roman emperor.

Max wasted no time in securing third place at the expense of Ruben Xaus while in front, Troy Corser kept his excellent pace. This does not prevent James Toseland from increasing his lead over R1 n ° 11: without giving the impression of forcing, the Briton increases his lead to 3.5 seconds in the 12th lap then is content to manage his enemies from a distance..

Still on the 12th lap, Haga overtook Laconi, whose lap times dropped sharply because of his already worn rear tire. Xaus, who is now a few lengths ahead of the Japanese, makes the show with superb glides from the rear but these times are also falling.

Three laps later, Nitro Nori passed the Spanish private Ducati and the distance quickly: would the Yamaha now be able to finish their races correctly? The answer is not so sure because at the forefront, Biaggi literally melts on Corser.

Max redoubled his efforts in the last laps but paid the price for a place on the grid and an average start. Between the 18th and the 22nd lap, the Italian manages to recover two seconds on Corser but that will not be enough.

In the penultimate lap, while he fights both against Lanzi’s return but also against fatigue – he will thank the Mobile Clinic for allowing him to take the start despite his flu – Xaus loses the before and must give up !

In front, James Toseland could not better manage his lead, letting Corser take back a few very negligible tenths. The English therefore crosses the finish line first, followed by Corser, Biaggi, Haga, Lanzi, Nieto and Laconi.

SBK Donington Park first round results:

Pilot Team Time Tours
1 Toseland J. Honda hannspree 35 ‘28,222 23
2 Corser T. Yamaha Motor Italia 35 ‘29.590 23
3 Biaggi M. Suzuki Alstare Corona 35 ‘30.670 23
4 Haga N. Yamaha Motor Italia 35 ‘37.471 23
5 Lanzi L. Ducati Xerox 35 ‘46,250 23
6 Nieto F. Kawasaki PSG-1 35 ‘47.178 23
7 Laconi R. Kawasaki PSG-1 25 ‘58,220 23
8 Neukirchner M. Suzuki Germany 35 ‘58.518 23
9 Rolfo R. Honda hannspree 35 ‘58.747 23
10 Smrz J. Ducati SC Caracchi 36 ‘04.883 23
11 Muggeridge K. Honda Alto Evolution 36 ‘07.611 23
12 Brookes J. Honda Alto Evolution 36 ‘16.267 23
13 Fabrizio M. Honda DFX Corsica 36 ‘19.512 23
14 Bussei G. Ducati Sterilgarda 36 ‘19.624 23
15 Elison D. Ducati Pedercini 36 ‘28.378 23

Best round of the round: 1 ‘31.575 – Bayliss
Best lap in previous race: 1 ‘33.470 – Corser (1996)

Supersport Race

As soon as the red lights go out, Kenan Sofuoglu’s Honda rears up, attesting to the motivation of the Turkish rider. The latter also takes the first turn in the lead and widens an impressive gap in a few turns! Sanna, Riba, Alfonsi pass in front of Tiberio and Veneman: the fight for second place begins between these five men…

At the end of the first round, Kenan is already 1.5 seconds ahead of his opponents who never stop to surpass themselves. Unfortunately the victim of an engine problem, Fabien Foret is completely absent from the debates, relegated to 18th position.

In the absence of three big names – Charpentier, Curtain and Parkes – the battle of the peloton which usually takes place in the background is the first attraction! In the 3rd lap, Robbin Harms passes Sanna not fast enough for his liking and starts to put Pere Riba under pressure…

The next round, Sanna and Alfonsi have to let a particularly incisive Yohan Tiberio pass on the changes of angles. But the public only has eyes for Craig Jones: starting from 19th place, he then points to 8th place and is responsible for setting the mood on the track as in the stands. !

Badly started, Katsuaki Fujiwara is also very fit and goes from 10th place – on lap 4 – to 4th place four laps later … However, during this time, Kenan Sofuoglu sees his lead literally drop and the Turkish slap on his back. handlebars passing in front of the stands !

While he seemed untouchable, the n ° 54 let off steam again on his clutch the following lap just to tell his team of his disappointment … In the space of three laps, Sofuoglu saw his pursuers catch up and threaten him dangerously.

On the 10th lap, Honda rider Ten Kate struggled to master Harms. Moreover, it is with an excess of ardor of the Dutch in the penultimate pin that the Turkish must keep the lead at the start of the 11th lap. !

The fight between Fujiwara, Riba and Harms intensifies in the following turns and allows Sofuoglu to breathe lightly, but another event will allow him to rest more….

In their 11th lap, Lascorz, Talmacsi and Milovanovic fall at the end of the straight line: the red flags are waved, Kenan and his little comrades return to the pits for a 40-minute break.

Second departure: Kenan Sofuoglu again has the best start on his second machine, having abandoned the first and its faulty clutch. The n ° 54 is followed by the animators of the first half of the race: Harms, Fujiwara and Jones.

Just behind, Tiberio passed Giugliano in the pif-paf after a nice slip under braking. But the places occupied by the pilots on the track are not necessarily those they will occupy at the end of the race: it is necessary to take into account the results obtained from the first "round", to the nearest thousandth of a second. !

Thus, Yohan fights with Davide but knows that he has a little more than two seconds ahead of the Italian thanks to his 6th place obtained a few minutes before … Everything is much clearer as regards Sofuoglu who occupies lead the race and took advantage of a tenth lead over Harms before the interruption.

Six laps from the end, a horde of furious people are following Tiberio’s CBR: Sanna on Honda, Roccoli on Yamaha and Veneman on Suzuki. If it is difficult to know where these pilots are really located, the spectacle they offer on the track is beautiful. !

But the fight on the podium does not lack spice. Once again, Sofuoglu saw his lead diminish lap after lap! This time, his mount has nothing to do with it: "I got off to a good start but my forearms got very sore and the last laps were difficult", Kenan explained afterwards..

Harms therefore comes back very hard on the leader with the firm intention of regaining his precious 115 thousandths of a second conceded in the first round, in order to obtain his first victory in the World Supersport. !

Just before the 20th lap, Robbin Harms was called to order by his Honda all the same. The little kick during acceleration just before the straight line allows Sofuoglu to regain a half second lead but there are still two laps to go !

In Old Hairpin, Robbin passes Kenan but the latter instantly retorts! Just behind them, Katsuaki Fujiwara does not let go of a sole and even passes in second position in the pif-paf. The three men are in a pocket square and start the last lap !

Robbin Harms recovers his second place by replicating his attack in Old Hairpin on Fujiwara. Just a few meters away, Sofuoglu grits his teeth and stays in the lead. In the penultimate turn, Harms tries a desperate pass on the Turk and misses the rope…

Fujiwara infiltrates and takes second place, too far from Sofuoglu to attempt anything. Kenan therefore won the European event but, surprise, Fujiwara crossed the checkered flag in third position! In the very last pin, Harms managed to make the interior to Japanese and grab second place.

Overall, the result is identical: Sofuoglu wins ahead of Harms, Fujiwara and stage local Craig Jones. Yohan Tiberio finally finished 7th, David Checa 9th and Sebastien Gimbert 11th. No checkered flag, however, for Leblanc, Vincent, Lagrive and Foret who had to abandon…

In the provisional classification, Kenan therefore confirms his number one status. Fujiwara inherited second place ahead of Harms who suddenly overtook Fabien Foret, Kevin Curtain and Pere Riba. Craig Jones jumped from 13th to 7th place.

Charpentier, defenseless, fell two places – he is 13th – and is now 53 points behind his teammate … Hopefully for him as for the suspense that the Charentais will be able to resume the track from Valence in two weeks! Curtain and Parkes may have to wait longer…

This third event was particularly successful for Honda, which took the top five places and saw its lead in the constructors’ championship increased to 22 points against Kawasaki (48 points). Yamaha now has 44 points, Suzuki 17 and Ducati 14.

SSP Donington Park results:

Pilot Team Time Tours
1 Sofuoglu K. Honda hannspree 33 ‘56,601 22
2 Harms R. Honda Stiggy Motorsport 34 ‘57.365 22
3 Fujiwara K. Honda althea 34 ‘57.944 22
4 Jones C. Honda Revè Ekerold 35 ‘06.816 22
5 Sanna S. Honda Parkalgar 35 ‘08.736 22
6 Giugliano D. Kawasaki Lightspeed 35 ‘09.583 22
7 Tiberio Y. Honda Stiggy Motorsport 35 ‘13,243 22
8 Roccoli M. Yamaha Team Italia 35 ‘13.265 22
9 Checa D. Yamaha GMT 94 35 ‘19.566 22
10 Nannelli G. Ducati SC Caracchi 35 ‘20.453 22
11 Gimbert S. Yamaha GMT 94 35 ‘21.463 22
12 Viziello G. Yamaha RG Team 35 ‘22.654 22
13 Salom D. Yamaha Spain 35 ‘23.113 22
14 Veneman B. Suzuki hoegee 35 ‘26.046 22
15 Riba P. Kawasaki Gil Motor Sport 35 ‘26.049 22
23 Leblanc G. Honda Vazy Racing Team 23 ‘08.219 14
28 Vincent A. Yamaha Tati Beaujolais 16 ‘41.229 10
29 Lagrive M. Intermoto Czech 14 ‘36.485 9
32 Drill F. Kawasaki Gil Motor Sport 11 ‘33,800 7

Carpenter S. Honda hannspree

Enjolras J. Yamaha Tati Beaujolais

Best round of the round: 1 ‘33.848 – Fujiwara
Best lap in previous race: 1 ‘37.565 – Witham (1999)

Provisional SSP classification:

Pilot Team Points
1 Sofuoglu K. Honda hannspree 70
2 Fujiwara K. Honda althea 43
3 Harms R. Honda Stiggy Motorsport 39
4 Drill F. Kawasaki Gil Motor Sport 38
5 Curtain K. Yamaha World SSP 25
6 Riba P. Kawasaki Gil Motor Sport 22
7 Jones C. Honda Revè Ekerold 19
8 Roccoli M. Yamaha Italia 17
9 Veneman B. Suzuki hoegee 17
10 Parkes B. Yamaha World SSP 16


Tiberio Y. Honda Stiggy Motorsport 15
12 Nannelli G. Ducati SC Caracchi 14


Carpenter S. Honda hannspree 13
14 Sanna S. Honda Parkalgar 11
15 Giugliano D. Kawasaki Lightspeed 10
17 Gimbert S. Yamaha GMT 94 8
18 Checa D. Yamaha GMT 94 7
23 Leblanc G. Honda Vazy Racing Team 4
Enjolras J. Yamaha Tati Beaujolais
Lagrive M. Intermoto Czech

Second Superbike race

In the absence of Troy Bayliss injured in the finger, Haga started from pole and retained the lead in the first corner. He is followed by Toseland, Biaggi and Laconi. But Haga and Corser were the most aggressive in the first sequences and the two Yamaha riders quickly joined the British.

A little less time to get into the rhythm than in the first round, Max Biaggi overtook Regis Laconi and chased the leading trio from the 4th lap. But it is in this same lap that the key incident of the race occurs: the abandonment of Toseland !

Betrayed by his mechanics, James could not go around after the first braking of his 4th turn. Extremely confident about his chances of achieving his first double of the season, the n ° 52 sees Corser and Haga escape but above all very big points…

Biaggi is quickly placed behind the two official Yamaha but the fight between Laconi and Xaus who are 2 seconds from the podium is more intense. Surprised by a curve entry of the Kawa n ° 55 very different from that of his Ducati n ° 111, Ruben touches the rear tire of the Frenchman and narrowly escapes a second crash. !

In the 6th lap, however, Laconi is forced to give up his 4th place to the Spaniard. In the following laps, Noriyuki Haga manages to widen a slight gap on his teammate Corser directly threatened by the Roman Emperor.

It was on the 10th lap that Biaggi passed the Australian and started to get back on the leading man. In the next round, Lanzi took his 5th place from Regis Laconi who therefore had a 5-second lead over Rolfo, his closest opponent..

Halfway through, Max returned to Nitro Nori’s pots, taking "old Australian crocodile" Troy with him. In the 15th lap, Suzuki n ° 3 takes the lead in the pif-paf and does not intend to let go … For the third time in six races, Max is able to win a World Superbike victory !

But with two R1s behind him, the task does not look easy and Haga points the tip of his front tire several times. And the guy is right because in the last corner of the last lap, Max cracks and offers Haga a boulevard to put his Yamaha on the best trajectory. !

The Japanese only have to wring out the right grip and thus give his 2007 R1 its first victory in the SBK World Cup! Biaggi for his part climbed on his fifth podium this year and Corser signed his third, the 109th of his career! Behind the three stars, Xaus holds his revenge on his fall in the first round and finishes in front of the official Ducati of Lanzi.

Laconi finished in a good sixth place thanks to softer tires than in the first round, the only problem to be solved is "the grip on the angle", notes the French..

In the general classification, despite his retirement in the second round, James Toseland remains leader but sees Max Biaggi come back to only 5 lengths! Haga performed the best operation of the weekend, pocketing 38 points: he climbed to third place ahead of Corser who, like Biaggi, increased his score by 36 points.

Lanzi with his two 5th place doubles Bayliss who did not score a single point. Thanks to his 7th and 6th places, the French driver Regis Laconi propels himself from 18th to 11th place in the standings, 6 points behind his teammate Nieto.

In the constructors’ championship, Honda remains in the lead with 124 points ahead of Suzuki (110). Yamaha (98) passes Ducati (94), Kawasaki brings up the rear with 40 points.

Next meeting for the Mondial SBK: Sunday April 14 on the track in Valence! An appointment not to be missed because the track having been used twice for tests (read and), the pace of the race should be increased tenfold and the spectacle grandiose…

SBK Donington Park results second round:

Pilot Team Time Tours
1 Haga N. Yamaha Motor Italia 35 ‘26.734 23
2 Biaggi M. Suzuki Alstare Corona 35 ‘26.845 23
3 Corser T. Yamaha Motor Italia 35 ‘27.834 23
4 Xaus R. Ducati Sterilgarda 35 ‘32.661 23
5 Lanzi L. Ducati Xerox 35 ‘36.568 23
6 Laconi R. Kawasaki PSG-1 35 ‘38.937 23
7 Rolfo R. Honda hannspree 35 ‘49.021 23
8 Smrz J. Ducati SC Caracchi 35 ‘56.794 23
9 Muggeridge K. Honda Alto Evolution 36 ‘04.468 23
10 Neukirchner M. Suzuki Germany 36 ‘06.627 23
11 Bussei G. Ducati Sterilgarda 36 ‘08.258 23
12 Fabrizio M. Honda DFX Corsica 36 ‘12.351 23
13 Martin S. Honda DFX Corsica 36 ‘19.281 23
14 Nakatomi S. Yamaha YZF 36 ‘28.403 23
15 Brookes J. Honda Alto Evolution 36 ‘47.320 23

Best round of the round: 1 ‘31.634 – Haga
Best lap in the race: 1 ‘31.575 – Bayliss (2007)

Provisional SBK classification:

Pilot Team Points
1 Toseland J. Honda hannspree 115
2 Biaggi M. Suzuki Alstare Corona 110
3 Haga N. Yamaha Motor Italia 88
4 Corser T. Yamaha Motor Italia 81
5 Lanzi L. Ducati Xerox 66
6 Bayliss T. Ducati Xerox 64
7 Neukirchner M. Suzuki Germany 46
8 Xaus R. Ducati Sterilgarda 45
9 Rolfo R. Honda hannspree 36
10 Nieto F. Kawasaki PSG-1 30
11 Laconi R. Kawasaki PSG-1 24
12 Kagayama Y. Suzuki Alstare Corona 23
13 Smrz J. Ducati SC Caracchi 23
14 Fabrizio M. Honda DFX Corsica 18
15 Brookes J. Honda Alto Evolution 16

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