Six Brits have it all to play for at Donington Park World Superbikes
|Published: 12th March 2011 18:56|
Donington Park will host the second round of the 2011 World Superbike Championship in just over two weeks time. With everything still to play for, the six Brits on the grid are busy preparing for battle and hoping to impress in front of the home crowd on Sunday 27 March.
The Brits have it all to play for at Donington ParkLocal lad Leon Haslam got off to a flying start at Philip Island, Australia, securing his first podium of the season to finish round one as the highest-placed British rider. The former British Superbike Champion has a solid WSBK track record at Donington having secured a second place in 2009 behind eventual champion Ben Spies. With a new team and the home support behind him, he could go one better in 2011.
Despite a tough time in Australia after a series of crashes left him with multiple injuries, Jonathan Rea battled to secure fourth place in race two. "I was completely drained after Philip Island, but I've since had the all-clear from my doctors and I have a spring in my step again", said the Northern Irishman. "I should be back to full fitness in time for Donington and I plan to come back fighting."
Yorkshireman Tom Sykes will join Rea and Haslam on the grid. After a determined start to the season that left him in eighth place in the standings, down-to-earth Sykes is playing his cards characteristically close to his chest ahead of Donington. "The competition is very tough and I am realistic," he reveals. "I am a racer and I want to progress but it is early days on a new bike so we need to give it time."
An impressive World Superbike debut saw Northern Ireland's Eugene Laverty finish fourth in race one. The newest addition to the line-up - who races under the Irish flag - is looking forward to the second round. "We've clearly got a competitive package and I'm very positive for Donington," he said.
Leon Camier had a difficult start to the season, battling through the two races at Philip Island despite being diagnosed with glandular fever just days earlier. The 24-year-old - who claimed a victory at Donington Park during the 2009 British Superbike Championship - is resting to regain his fitness ahead of the second round "I'm really looking forward to racing at Donington Park again; it's such a legendary track and I've always enjoyed riding there," he said earlier this year.
Last but not least in the British line up is fan favourite and former World Superbike champion James Toseland, who is riding with a new team for 2011. "Philip Island was an important learning weekend for us all and we'll be looking to come back at Donington Park much stronger", said the Yorkshireman. "Historically, the home track has not been a lucky one for me, but I'm hoping to change that this year."
While paddock passes give race fans a chance to bump into the British heroes during the race weekend, the best way to guarantee a meet and greet is to come to the open paddock autograph session on Thursday 24 March from 2pm. See www.facebook.com/doningtonparkracing and follow us on Twitter @DoningtonParkUK for more info.