Donington Park welcomes subsequent chapter of drama in 2022 WorldSBK title race
The historic dwelling of WorldSBK and unequivocally dwelling to a number of the Championship’s best sporting moments, extra feelings lie forward this weekend
Again to the place all of it started, the place on a chilly Sunday in 1988, the Championship was born. The 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship has arrived at Donington Park for Spherical 5 of the season and the Prosecco DOC UK Spherical. The thirty fifth season of World Superbike motion is proving to be among the best but and with a three-way battle for the title clear, different stars purpose to have a say at a spherical that brings seen shocks and surprises. Might this be one of many key turning factors in 2022, or will we see the standard suspects proceed to knock spots off one another?
TITANIC TRIO: is that this the place Bautista is caught?
12 podiums from 12 races in 2022 and main the Championship by 36 factors, Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) has undertaken a extra measured method in 2022 compared to 2019 and it appears to be working. The Spaniard has received six races and is the one rider within the Championship to have completed on the rostrum in each race he’s completed. Nonetheless, Donington Park has been removed from a contented searching floor for Ducati in recent times; no win since 2011 and the Ducati Panigale V4 R has solely had one third place – courtesy of Bautista in 2019’s Race 2. No high two end since 2016, will Bautista change all of that? Teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi had a profitable take a look at at Misano in the course of the break and can look to back-up his findings and step again on the rostrum, while Ducati chase their a thousandth podium place in WorldSBK; they at present have 998.
Chasing down Bautista and heading dwelling to rule the roost, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Workforce WorldSBK) might be eager to proceed his success at Donington Park. A sole win final 12 months and a triple in 2019, Rea’s received superb kind at Donington Park. He’s been testing for the Suzuka 8 Hour race in the course of the hole since Misano and can hope that he can hit the bottom working at a circuit at which he crashed at in 2021’s Race 2, relinquishing the Championship lead. This time, he’s chasing it from Bautista at a circuit the place Rea actually appears to have the higher hand. On the opposite aspect of the storage, Alex Lowes hopes to dazzle at dwelling after a podium in Race 1 in 2021; Kawasaki as a producer are one podium place away from 500 in WorldSBK – will they handle it?
Seeking to construct on a primary victory from the final spherical at Misano, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) hopes that Donington Park lives as much as be the joyful searching floor of years passed by. Together with San Juan, Donington Park is certainly one of simply two circuits the place Razgatlioglu has taken a podium no less than as soon as yearly he’s raced there. In 2018, he took a primary rostrum while in 2019, he battled for victory in Race 2 with Jonathan Rea. Nonetheless, the Turk’s opening lap of Race 1 in 2021 will go down as certainly one of WorldSBK’s most interesting moments as he cruised to 2 wins and the Championship lead. Does extra success await? Teammate Andrea Locatelli will purpose to consolidate his high 5 inserting with a powerful experience this weekend, the place he had a better of ninth within the Superpole Race.
HONDA AND BMW: have Donington Park assessments put them in competition?
In what has been a really robust opening 4 rounds of the Championship, a problem lies forward for Iker Lecuona (Workforce HRC). The Spanish rookie has by no means raced at Donington Park and solely accomplished a observe day on the circuit previous to the spherical. Considered one of simply two riders to complete each race – the opposite being compatriot Bautista – Lecuona is 9 factors from Locatelli within the battle for fourth. Honda solely have one spherical of expertise with their present bike at Donington Park, with a better of fourth with Leon Haslam within the Superpole Race final 12 months, however they’ll hope a pre-round take a look at at Misano can provide them a lift going to the UK. Hoping to be preventing match, Xavi Vierge (Workforce HRC) must get his head across the quirky circuit format in the course of the spherical.
Likewise in a observe day at Donington Park in between rounds, the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Workforce and Scott Redding. Considered one of Redding’s profession highlights got here on the British circuit, when in 2008, he grew to become the then-youngest Grand Prix winner within the 125cc World Championship Grand Prix, aged simply 15. Since then, wins in BSB however no podiums in WorldSBK have come on the circuit, with a better of fourth in Race 2 final 12 months. Illia Mykhalchyk (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Workforce) will as soon as once more be current within the place of double Donington Park winner Michael van der Mark who remains to be recovering from damage; he’s scored factors in WorldSSP and STK1000 at Donington Park earlier than.
INDEPENDENT BATTLE: Bassani continues to shine as wildcards purpose to shock
The Impartial battle is led by Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing), who returns to Donington Park, traditionally a difficult circuit for him, regardless of being high Ducati in Race 1 final 12 months. Eighth general and simply seven factors behind Alex Lowes, he’s 23 forward of Loris Baz (Bonovo Motion BMW), who goals to return to the highest six at a observe he is aware of nicely, having fought for victory in 2014. 11 factors additional again of Baz is Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Workforce), who returns to the circuit at which he received his final podium at 12 months in the past, when he was second in Race 2. Philipp Oettl (Workforce Goeleven) will race at Donington Park for the primary time, while Eugene Laverty (Bonovo Motion BMW) has a podium to his identify on the observe; each full the highest 5 within the Impartial standings.
Roberto Tamburini (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Workforce) is subsequent up in fifteenth place general, with the Italian simply marginally forward of Sammarinese rider Luca Bernardi (BARNI Spark Racing Workforce), who’s made steps of late. Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) will hope to be handed match after being dominated out of Misano, while Kohta Nozane (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Workforce) makes a racing debut on the observe as he missed out by damage in 2021. Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport-Yamaha), like Mahias, hopes to be match after being dominated out in Italy, while the goal for MIE Racing Honda Workforce duo Leandro Mercado and Hafizh Syahrin is factors. Oliver Konig (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) is one other rider hoping to be handed match, while home-hero Leon Haslam returns with the TPR Workforce Pedercini Racing Kawasaki outfit. Two wildcards to control: the long-awaited debut of Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) and the return of Peter Hickman (FHO Racing) on a BMW M1000RR.