The fifth round of the World Superbike Championship at Donington saw some of the best racing in the series since it began 25 years ago at the same UK circuit. Both races were exciting to watch with some history being made and the results far from a forgone conclusion right up until the very end of the racing.
Sunday proved to be a very unfortunate race day for Althea Racing’s Carlos Checa and Davide Giugliano at the Donington Park circuit. In race 1 the pair finished in sixth (Carlos) and seventh (Davide) position while in the second race both crashed out at the first corner.
Both Carlos and Davide were caught up in traffic at the first corner, finding themselves in eighth and tenth position respectively at the end of the first lap. The Althea men got past first Davies, then Camier and while Carlos gave chase to Rea ahead of him, his team-mate Davide battled it out with Guintoli.
From mid-race on, Checa began to close the gap between himself and Rea, passing him on the fifteenth lap but Rea soon got back in front and increased his pace in the final stages, meaning that Carlos had to be satisfied with final sixth position. Giugliano, who maintained a strong pace right to the end, followed Checa across the line to close seventh, ahead of Guintoli.
The big news from race one however had nothing to do with Ducati as BMW rider Marco Melandri gave the German manufacturer their first ever World Superbike race victory with his team-mate Leon Haslam making it a 1-2. BMW been racing in the series since 2009.
The race came to a premature end for both Althea men when, caught in traffic at the first corner, both found themselves on the ground as a result of contact between bikes. Carlos was unfortunately unable to continue while Davide returned to the track; after a few laps, and a pit stop, he too retired from the race.
At the end of this fifth round of the championship, current champion Checa now lies in fourth position with 105.5 points behind Rea with 108, Sykes with 123.5 and Biaggi with 128.5. Giugliano moves up to ninth with 50 points. Ducati continues to lead the manufacturer’s championship with 161.5 points, to Aprilia’s 139.
Carlos Checa: “After the result of race 1, which wasn’t bad, I thought I’d be able to do more in the second. I tried to start strong and found a good position but when I got to the apex I saw Laverty in front of me and he braked suddenly, maybe there was a rider in front of him I don’t know. I did everything I could to brake, to stop the bike, but there were riders all around me and I couldn’t avoid a fall. My leg is a bit sore and a little swollen but I’m ok. I need a couple of days to get over this result and then I’ll start preparing for Miller.”
Davide Giugliano: “It’s a shame because the day had started out fairly positively. We had seen in race 1 that we had a strong pace and we were certain that we could do better in the second. I started race 2 convinced that I could be up there with the top four but unfortunately what happened at the first corner penalized me too. We have however demonstrated that we have good pace and now we go on to America, a track that I don’t know, to see what we can do there.”
The racing was a knock out drag down affair for the front 4 or 5 riders in each race and is well worth watching. Check out the race highlights below.
Race 1 – 1. Melandri (BMW); 2. Haslam (BMW); 3. Sykes (Kawasaki).
Race 2 – 1. Rea (Honda); 2. Biaggi (Aprilia); 3. Sykes (Kawasaki)
Riders – 1. Biaggi (Aprilia) 128.5; 2. Sykes (Kawasaki) 123.5; 3. Rea (Honda) 108; 4. Checa (Ducati) 105.5; 5. Melandri (BMW) 97.5; 6. Haslam (BMW) 89; 7. Guintoli (Ducati) 85; 8. Laverty (Aprilia) 65; 9. Giugliano (Ducati) 50; 10. Smrz (Ducati) 44.5;.
Manufacturers – Ducati 161.5; Aprilia 139; BMW 131; Kawasaki 129.5; Honda 112; Suzuki 40.5
Source: Edited Althea Racing Release
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