Donington Park Here We Come

Press Release | June 23, 2009

The following is from Suzuki…

Team Suzuki Alstare Brux are giving talented American Blake Young a ride on Max Neukirchner’s GSX-R1000 K9 at Donington this weekend, With Max still sidelined through injury, Team manager Francis Batta has decided to give 21-year old Blake a no-pressure ride at the East Midlands circuit after discussions with Young and former World Champion Kevin Schwantz.Blake comes from Wisconsin, USA and is riding the Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing GSX-R1000 in this year’s AMA championship, taking two podiums to date.This weekend, Blake will join regular Suzuki Alstare Brux rider Yukio Kagayama who is carrying on racing despite broken bones in his right heel. The gritty Japanese rider has already defied the pain to race in USA and Misano and is determined as ever to battle for the podium.Yukio

For me, once I am on the bike, I am a racer and I forget my injuries. I have many fans in England and I want to put on a good show for them and do well. Of course, this championship is not so easy and this year is much more competitive than last year. I hope the weather will be better in Donington than Misano and the results will also be better than last year.Blake

I’m really excited to race the Suzuki Alstare Brux GSX-R1000 at Donington Park this weekend. I’ve been racing motorcycles for as long as I can remember. I’ve always wanted to race Superbike and I got the chance to do that with the Rockstar Makita Suzuki team in America. Now, getting the opportunity to do a World Superbike race with the Suzuki Alstare Brux team in Europe is like a dream come true. I’m looking forward to it and want to make the most of this opportunity.The following is from Ducati…The Ducati Xerox Team will cross the Channel tomorrow, just three days after completing Round 7 at Misano, to race this coming weekend at historic Donington Park, the scene of the first ever Superbike race held back in 1988 and won by now Ducati Xerox Team Manager Davide Tardozzi.In an effort to strike a compromise between 2007’s April appointment and last year’s September date at Donington, the organisers this year settled on June for the annual World Superbike event, perhaps in the hope of more favourable weather conditions. Last year heavy rain overshadowed Sunday’s proceedings, causing many riders to crash out. Noriyuki was one of those who did not enjoy 2008’s appointment, when he suffered a technical problem in Race 1 and was penalised in Race 2, resulting in two DNFs and zero points. Michel also took a fall in Race 1 on a slippery track but made up for this somewhat by finishing race 2 in fifth position.One of the shortest circuits on the World Superbike calendar (4.023 km), Ducati has had great success at Donington, having celebrated race wins in the past with various riders including Corser, Hodgson, Fogarty (still today the rider who has won more races at Donington than any other rider, with a total of six wins) and, most recently, with Troy Bayliss and his 1098 F08 last year. The circuit featured on the calendar each year from 1988 to 2001 before an five year absence and a reappearance on the 2007 schedule.Just two days ago Noriyuki and Michel had some atypical weather to do deal with at the Misano World Circuit but were not deterred, Michel finishing the two races in third and second place, Noriyuki in fifth and third.Noriyuki has finished on the podium in 12 of the 16 races held so far and Michel in 10 which means that Ducati Xerox Team have been on the podium in 100% of the races, represented either by Haga or Fabrizio or by both.Noriyuki Haga (1st in championship, 292 points)

Noriyuki has not yet been able to replicate his double win of 1998 at this British track.”Last year I didn’t have much luck at Donington at all, but if I put that aside, over the years I’ve done ok there and have had some race wins. I’m still in the lead but I’ll be doing all I can to extend the advantage I have. I realise that some of the Brits will be up there fighting for the podium places at their home track but I’ll be giving them a run for their money.”Michel Fabrizio (3rd in championship, 237 points)

Roman rider Michel has finished on the podium in the last eight consecutive races and is hopeful for a continuation of that success.”Well, after the results in Misano, two more podiums, I can’t help thinking about the title but I realise that to be in the running I need to secure more race wins, so that’s my aim, starting from this weekend at Donington. The best I’ve done there until now is 5th but I’d always done badly at Misano too, and then that changed this year, so we’ll see if I can make a similar improvement in the UK.”The following is from BMW…Round nine of this year’s Superbike World Championship takes place at Donington Park, GB and hopefully the weather will be better than last year when rain effected both races and caused many retirements. The 4.023 kilometre circuit hosted the first ever WSBK race back in 1988 and is currently undergoing several modifications for the F1 race in 2010.At the moment, Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport are not having a good run of luck, though Ruben Xaus leading in the damp at Misano last weekend provided the team with a ray of sunshine, in what became a difficult weekend. But, with Misano just a memory, it’s time for Ruben and Troy to think ahead, get back to business and battle for the top ten once more this weekend.Ruben

It was a great feeling leading a race last weekend, even though the final result was not the best. Last Friday’s practice in Misano was definitely a positive day for us and it is a pity that the weather did not allow us to continue our progression on Saturday and Sunday. But we learnt a lot more about the bike and have some ideas about what has to be done. Unfortunately, having another race so soon does not give our team enough time to prepare some solutions and new ideas and we will have to use Friday afternoon to try out many things. But that’s the way it is at the moment and it is up to me and Troy to do the best we can and think positively about the way ahead.Troy

The best thing I can do is forget Misano and concentrate on Donington and that’s what I am doing. Crashing out before the first race race in Misano was very unfortunate because I think I would’ve managed OK in the wet on the bike. Donington is a tough track and it’s certainly going to give us something to think about, especially in the first two sessions. We have a lot of work to do, as usual, but if we can get a good set-up early on and qualify better in Superpole, then we can chase a far more positive result.

By Press Release