The fifth round of the World Superbike championship took place today at Donington Park but for Team SBK Ducati Alstare, on track with three riders this weekend, it was a somewhat difficult day; while Canepa brought his 1199 Panigale home in eighth and thirteenth place, Badovini finished race one in eleventh position and Checa, after suffering with severe pain in his shoulder during race one (in which he finished twelfth), decided not to participate in the second race.
Race 1 - Warm and sunny conditions for race 1 today with temperatures of 15˚C and a track temperature of 26˚C. Starting from ninth on the grid, Canepa was eighth at the end of lap one, followed by Checa and Badovini, placed eleventh and twelfth. Towards mid-race Niccolo' made a small mistake, going long, which relegated him to thirteenth place, immediately behind his two team-mates. Lapping at a similar pace to each other during the second half of the race, Ducati Alstare's three flag bearers were unable to close the gap that had opened ahead of them meaning that they crossed the finish line in eleventh (Badovini), twelfth (Checa) and thirteenth (Canepa) position.
Race 2 - Due to severe pain in his left shoulder both during and after race 1, Checa decided against riding in race 2.
The track temperature had increased to roughly 40˚C for race 2. At the end of the opening lap Canepa was in eleventh place, ahead of Badovini, twelfth, and immediately behind Cluzel. On lap seven Badovini unfortunately made a mistake that caused him to lose several positions. From that point on he started to push to make up lost ground but as he entered turn 2 he lost the front which sadly brought his race to a premature end, although fortunately the Italian rider was not hurt in the crash. Canepa, lapping with the same pace as Cluzel immediately ahead of him, finally got past the French rider on lap seventeen, moving into eighth place as a result. He managed the final part of the race well, keeping his closest rival firmly behind him to cross the line in final eighth position.
Carlos Checa: "Seeing how the first race went, and the pain that I had in my shoulder both during and after the race, we decided that it was best not to force things by participating in the second. To tell the truth I thought things might be worse today, at what is one of the most physical tracks but, having said that, I need more time to recuperate and get my strength back as I'm suffering particularly in the changes of direction and when entering left-hand turns, where it's important to have both arms at 100%. Of course it's not an injury that affects me in my day to day life but at 300km/h it really hurts. Now we have two weeks, in which I'll continue with the various treatments in preparation for Portimao where I hope to be stronger. From the next round I'd like to be able to focus more on the sporting side of things and less on health issues."
Ayrton Badovini: "In the first race I lost too much ground in the opening laps and after that there was no way to reach those ahead of me. I felt we made a good step between race 1 and race 2 - in the second I had similar pace to the group ahead of me but unfortunately I lost the front entering turn 2. I didn't hurt myself but it was a pity because I wasn't doing badly. Now I want to continue with our work to better understand what works and what works less well, in order to make less mistakes during the weekend and to be faster in the next races."
Niccolò Canepa: "Considering that these were my first races I'd say that we are coming out of this weekend with a fairly positive outlook. We've worked well and if we'd had more time on track on Friday then I think we could have done better. We're not far off I don't think, with a bit more time to set the bike up for me and my riding style we could probably have done more. I'm just sorry for the mistake in race 1 but these things can happen in racing. I'd like to thank Francis Batta, Ernesto Marinelli and the team for giving me this opportunity and thanks also to Ducati's development team who've worked so hard for me this weekend."
Race 1 - Sykes (Kawasaki); 2. Melandri (BMW); 3. Guintoli (Aprilia).
Race 2 - 1. Sykes (Kawasaki); 2. Guintoli (Aprilia); 3. Laverty (Aprilia)
Riders - 1. Guintoli (Aprilia) 173; 2. Sykes (Kawasaki) 169; 3. Laverty (Aprilia) 149; 4. Melandri (BMW) 127; 5. Davies (BMW) 112; 6. Baz (Kawasaki) 95; 7. Rea (Honda) 89; 8. Fabrizio (Aprilia) 86... 13. Badovini (Ducati Alstare) 37; 14. Checa (Ducati Alstare) 33... 18. Canepa (Ducati Alstare) 11.
Manufacturers - 1. Aprilia 208; 2. Kawasaki 180; 3. BMW 175; 4. Honda 96; 5. Suzuki 82; 6. Ducati 65