Derby World Superbike stars Haslam and Lowes target home success at Donington
Derbyshire World Superbike racers Leon Haslam and Alex Lowes are hoping for a real home advantage this weekend at Donington Park.
Donington Park-backed Haslam is enjoying his best season in World Superbikes for many years, finishing inside the top four in every race so far this campaign with five podiums and a victory in Australia, while Lowes has also tasted podium success in his second year in the series.
Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea has stolen the march on them so far this season, but Haslam is determined to bring that run to an end this weekend: “It’s going to be super competitive at Donington. I think the circuit will suit the Aprilia Red Devils bike more than it has done at the last few tracks, but at the same time, the Kawasaki has a pretty impressive win record at Donington, especially with Tom Sykes. Jonathan Rea has been able to beat him at every race this year but I expect those two will be challenging for the top spot and I want to be in the fight at the front with them – I’m definitely determined to stop Jonathan’s run!
“We knew the last three tracks at Assen, Aragon and Imola were going to be tough and would suit both Jonathan and the Kawasaki, but I feel we’ve got the most out of each of those circuits with the results we got, apart from the mistake at Imola.”
Haslam suffered one of the biggest crashes of his career at Imola last time out, but he is determined that his injuries won’t affect him this weekend: “The ribs are going to be sore but it won’t be holding me back in any way. As long as we can keep on track of the pain itself with the ribs it shouldn’t restrict me in any way physically and I should be able to perform the way we want to.
“Donington is my home race and the only time I get to race in front of the British fans. Donington has been my local circuit for many years and I therefore know it very well - it’s nice to be able to go out on the first lap and know exactly where I need to be on track. Racing in front of the British fans really spurs you on, it’s nice to know the crowd are right behind you!”
Lowes was the British Superbike Champion in 2013, and is now in his second season of World Superbikes on Suzuki machinery. He’s aiming to claim his third career World Superbike podium finish, at the track where he secured his first 12 months ago: “We’re coming off three difficult races, so it’s got to get better at some point and I feel like I’m riding well enough. If the bike is working well from Friday, we’ll have a chance, and I want to be back in the mix. After a difficult month, it’s great that Donington is the next round!
“There will be a lot of British fans at the circuit this weekend, and I don’t know if it’s because it’s my local track, but I always enjoy racing at Donington and have always gone well there. Racing at home gives you an advantage and it’s going to be a great weekend.
“We’ve got a lot of Brits at the front of World Superbikes and I’d love to be fighting for wins, I’ll be doing my best for the big home crowd. The British riders are always very strong, I don’t think there are many are many riders in the world who can beat us at the moment! I want to be up there mixing it up with the top boys – on our day we’re fast enough to do so.”
There’s not long to go now to secure advance tickets for the World Superbike Championship at Donington Park. Booking tickets in advance saves over 25% on the on the gate prices, and tickets are available from just £10 with free entry for children aged 13 and under when accompanied by a paying adult. Advance tickets go off-sale at 5pm on Wednesday 20 May. Hospitality packages are also available by calling 01332 819506 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.