2011 World Superbike
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.
Local lad Leon Haslam got off to a flying start at Philip Island, securing his first podium of the season to finish as the highest-placed British rider. The former BSB champion has a solid WSBK record at Donington having secured a second place in 2009 behind eventual champion Ben Spies.
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.
Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda CBR1000RR) says: "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. 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.
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R) says: "The competition is very tough and I am realistic. 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.
Eugene Laverty (Yamaha World Superbike YZF-R1) says: "We’ve clearly got a competitive package and I’m very positive for Donington."
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.
Leon Camier (Alitilia Aprilia RSV4) says: "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.
James Toseland (BMW Motorrad S1000RR) says: "Philip Island was an important learning weekend for us all and we’ll be looking to come back at Donington Park much stronger. Historically, the home track has not been a lucky one for me, but I’m hoping to change that this year."