2011 World Superbike Preview: Donington Park

donington_parkThe World Superbike Championship returns to Donington Park after a year absence this weekend for the second round of the series. Donington Park is a special track in World Superbike history, as it hosted the first WSBK race more than 23-years ago.

Heading into round two, Carlos Checa is the man to beat. Checa rode head and shoulders above the competition in round 1, claiming both race wins and a perfect 50 points. But Checa says that he wants to forget about Phillip Island, so he can go into Donington Park fresh and determined.

“I want to forget the past and pretend like the wins at Phillip Island never happened,” Checa said. “We’ll start this weekend with the same program and the same determination as ever, like it was the first race of the season.”

Checa was perfect upfront, but 2011 Champion Max Biaggi was one step away from perfect. Biaggi finished runner-up to Checa at both Phillip Island races, scoring 40 points during the weekend. But if Biaggi wants to get to the podium this weekend, he’ll have to fight through a slew of British riders racing at their home track.

“We must not underestimate the thick patrol of English riders,” Biaggi said. “They always find some special motivation when they are playing on their home turf.”

Leon Haslam, Leon Camier, Jonathan Rea, Eugene Laverty and Tom Sykes will all be riding in front of a home crowd this weekend. James Toseland would be looking at home track advantage, but a wrist injury will keep Toseland on the sidelines this weekend.

Donington Park will also see the return of Chris Vermeulen. Vermeulen missed the final four races of the 2010 season, as well as the season opener. But the Australian is finally ready to take to the track again, and he’ll be looking to make a splash this weekend at Donington Park.

2011 World Superbike Standings Heading Into Round 2 – Donington Park

  1. Carlos Checa, 50
  2. Max Biaggi, 40
  3. Marco Melandri, 27
  4. Leon Haslam, 27
  5. Michel Fabrizio, 18
  6. Jonathan Rea, 17
  7. Noriyuki Haga, 16
  8. Tom Sykes, 15
  9. Eugene Laverty, 14
  10. Jakub Smrz, 14

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

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