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World Superbikes at Donington - less than two weeks to go!

Monday, June 24 2019

The Motul FIM Superbike World Chanpionship at Donington Park is less than two weeks away, and the championship race is closer than it's been all season after a dramatic weekend at Misano.  

A double victory for Kawasaki's reigning four-time champion Jonathan Rea, and a Superpole race triumph for Ducati's championship leader Alvaro Bautista, means just 16 points separate the duo heading to Donington Park. Both riders suffered crashes in an eventful weekend, but Rea's double meant he more than halved the gap to his main rival.

Rea triumphed in a soaking wet race one at Misano on Saturday, a contest that had to be restarted due to the conditions. He took the lead after fellow Brit Alex Lowes crashed out at half race distance, with Bautista taking third. 

Rea crashed in the Superpole race while leading, handing the initiative to Bautista. The Spaniard had just taken the lead when Rea's Kawasaki flipped him off, though he was able to remount and powered to fifth place, with Donington locals Alex Lowes and Leon Haslam claiming podium finishes. 

Fortunes were reversed in race three, as Bautista crashed out of the lead, allowing Rea through. The Northern Irishman had a battle on his hands though, fighting off Toprak Razgatlioglu by just 0.3 seconds as they crossed the finish line, with Haslam on the podium again with third. Bautista remounted his bike and claimed a lowly 14th place. 

Rea commented: "Winning two races at Misano was good for us, especially the two important races. Unfortunately in the Superpole Race I made a big mistake in turn ten, when I lost the front. But I restarted to finish fifth which was all important for the weekend. Race Two was a tough one because the temperature was hot. I was very unsure of the pace. I felt like it was slow but I did not want to push any faster. I saw Alvaro go down very early in the race and the conditions out there were very tough, especially for the front tyre.

"The rear was just not digging in and going forward, it was just spinning so much - but we won, which was the main thing. It was a super-nice day for Kawasaki because we put three bikes on the Race Two podium. Team Suzuka! Donington next and we will go to every track with an open mentality."

Bautista added: "I'm happy but at the same time very angry with myself about the results of today's two races. It went well in the morning's Superpole Race because we were on really top form. After a good start I immediately took the lead, and set the pace right down to the chequered flag. In Race Two it was very hot and the track didn't have as much grip. On lap two, I didn't do anything strange at turn four, but just lost the front and crashed.

"Pity because our potential was obviously to fight for the win. Maybe the error came about because I was too confident after the win in the Superpole Race, but in any case we must have a good look at the data because I've made two similar mistakes in the last two races, and that's not good. We have to understand why so as not to repeat the same mistakes and lose more points."

With just a handful of points between Bautista and Rea in the championship, the Donington rounds on 5-7 July will be unmissable. Rea has race-winning experience at the circuit, while Bautista has not raced at the East Midlands circuit for a decade. 

Tickets for the Motul FIM Superbike World Championship at Donington Park on 5-7 July are available in advance from £25 for adults, with free admission for children under 13. For more information or to book, click here