Brits on top in World Superbike practice at Donington Park
British riders led the way in the first three practice sessions for the eni FIM Superbike World Championship rounds at Donington Park today (Friday).
Tom Sykes, who has won the last four World Superbike races at Donington Park, was the fastest man overall after setting the best time of the day in the third session, having also topped the second practice.
Italian Davide Giugliano, who made a strong return to the championship at Imola last time out, looks like the international rider most likely to challenge the Brits, setting the second quickest time of the day overall, despite a fall at Redgate (turn one) in the final session.
World Championship leader Jonathan Rea was third fastest today with Donington Park-backed Leon Haslam a strong fourth despite carrying rib injuries from his Imola incident. Chaz Davies was fifth quickest ahead of Derbyshire’s Alex Lowes, with Italian Ayrton Badovini and Dutchman Michael van der Mark seventh and eighth. Leon Camier surprised by setting the fastest time in the first session on his MV Agusta machine, and finished ninth in the overall classification for the day, with another Italian, Matteo Baiocco, completing the top-10. A very close and exciting qualifying session tomorrow seems to be in store, with today’s top-13 riders covered by less than a second on the time sheets.
Before the World Superbike ‘superpole’ qualifying session at midday tomorrow, there is another World Superbike free practice at 9.30am.
It’s been a positive day all round for British riders on the international scene, with home grown riders also showing well in the World Supersport championship practice sessions. All four British ‘wildcard’ entrants were in the top-10 today, with Luke Stapleford and Donington-local Kyle Ryde in third and fourth places respectively, with Andy Reid sixth and Sam Hornsey sixth and ninth.
Action resumes tomorrow morning at 9am, with qualifying and the first support races taking place throughout the day. As well as World Superbikes and World Supersport, there is a full race card including three separate Superstock series, European Junior Cup and the Ducati TriOptions Cup.
As well as the on track action there is full schedule of off track activity, with the renowned paddock show open to all spectators throughout the weekend, as well as other additional family activities around the circuit.
Tickets are available on the gate tomorrow for £25 with free admission for children aged 13 and under, with weekend tickets priced at £75. Camping spaces are also still available.