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WSBK Donington – Final Rider Quotes

Today’s ninth round of the WSBK Championship at Donington Park saw Ben Spies take both races and is now just 14 points behind World Superbike Championship leader Noriyuki Haga.
Ben Spies, (1st, 1st)“It was a picture perfect weekend.
It was a tough race, Max was there the whole time but we were able to do quick laps to stay ahead, the last three laps I rode as hard as I could just to make sure of the win.

In the second race I knew Nori had a big crash and I hope he’s ok.
It’s not the way we want to win it but you have to take the points when you can.
It was a good second race for us though.

The track was hot and a bit slick so we made some changes to the bike which made it better from race one.
It was a good job for Leon, getting on the podium at his home round was great, I know how that feels.
It was tough being out on my own, I had to focus lap to lap to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes.

I can’t thank the Yamaha guys enough we changed a lot of things around and they came and delivered me two really good bikes to win on.
”Max Biaggi (2nd, 21st)“During the second race, I felt the vibrations a lot more.
It was probably because of the fact that there wasn’t as much grip on the track which would also explain why there were so many falls.
I started off well and I was able to keep up with Spies’ pace, but during the fourth lap I entered the U turn the same way I always do and about halfway through, I lost the front tyre.
I managed to keep the motorcycle running, but re-entering from outer kerb area, I was hit by another driver and ended up with this minor injury to my foot.
I’m disappointed because I could have had another spot on the podium.
”Noriyuki Haga (3rd, DNF)Race 1: ”I’m very happy to have made the podium today because we knew it would be a very difficult weekend.
I am proud to have reached the 100 podium mark! At the start of Race 1 I did all I could to stick with Max and Ben but, even though I was pushing, today they seemed to have a small advantage and I was unable to do better than third.
”Race 2: Haga, after today’s accident, was unavavilable for comment at time of print.
Michel Fabrizio (12th, 3rd)“Race 1 was very difficult, I had a problem with the gears and because of this I lost several positions.
I couldn’t do much to improve the situation and in the end I could only bring home three points.
Before Race 2 we decided to go out with the second bike.
I again made a bad start but immediately started to work to regain ground.
I spent most of the race battling it out against Byrne and Haslam, just managing to pass Shakey near the end.
I’m happy with my race 2 result but I am of course sorry for Nori.
I saw the accident and it reminded me of Troy’s crash in the same place two years ago, both serious.
”Leon Haslam (4th, 2nd)“After going to all these foreign countries it is so good to be back home and taking a good result in front of the English fans.
To get the reception I got here today is just amazing.
I was pushing for a good result here today and to be on the podium in the second race is just great.
I had a few chatter issues in both races, but I managed to hold them off.
Everyone seemed to be struggling with the grip in that second session.
I felt pretty good on the first and second sector, but the Ducatis were really strong on the last split, so I had to work hard to keep them behind me.
The pace was not that good, but I managed to hold it up and bring the bike home in second.
I am looking forward to our test in Brno and am ready to make one more step ahead now and get on top of that podium.
” Shane Byrne (5th, 4th) “In race 1, I could’ve at least fought for the podium with Haga.
Instead I encountered brake issues after three laps and so I couldn’t be as effective under braking.
In the third split, with two slow corners, I lost 6-7 tenths.
In race 2, the problem was fixed and despite a bad start I managed to get back in the fight for the podium in the tenth lap.
Unfortunately, this time it didn’t go as I was hoping but I still proved that I have what it takes to fight for the top spots”.
Shinya Nakano (6th, DNF)“The results of Race 1 were good, considering the problems we encountered during the warm-ups, and even though I lost a lot of ground at the beginning.
Instead, I started off much better in Race 2 and I realised that I would be able to keep up with the leaders, but during the second lap, I lost my rear tyre and flew into the air.
Luckily I’m fine, even though I’m disappointed about how things ended up.
On Wednesday we’ll do the test runs at Brno which will help me improve my feeling and develop the RSV4 for the next round.
”John Hopkins (8th, DNS)“First of all I want to apologise to the team and sponsors for not being able to ride the second race today.
I got off the line really good in the first race but just poked around on the first lap and was not as aggressive as I normally am.
But as the adrenaline kicked in I picked my way up to gain as many positions as possible.
Halfway the race the pain kicked in and I struggled to move on the bike.
From the whole of turn one to the end of the straight I just had to sit still on the bike and not put any pressure on my left leg.
It is a good result for the condition I was in today.
I have five days of testing coming up now and I am just really happy to be having fun on a motorcycle again.
Even though I was in a lot of pain today, it was the best race I have had in the last two years.
I have a lot of fun on the bike again, and that’s when you start getting faster.
” Tom Sykes (DNF, 5th)“I found a good race setting in warm up this morning and was ready for the first race.
I was very confident with my pace in the race but frustrated with my row three start.
I was just breaking into a rhythm and unfortunately arrived into the last corner just a bit too hot and lost the front over the bumps, I couldn’t believe it as it was my first DNF of the year so I was looking to improve in race two.
I had big issues with a lack of braking which held me up.
I’m really gutted as I think it cost me a podium, and capped off a bad weekend for the points.
I really thought we could come away from the weekend in fifth.
On the plus side I think we’ve seen some more of the old Tom Sykes this weekend, consistent in practice and qualifying and fast and consistent in race two.
I’m hoping to take this to Brno and make it work there.
”Jonathan Rea (7th, 15th) “I knew we were going to struggle here, but I didn’t think it would be this hard.
Donington is a very difficult place to find the right set up because you have the fast-flowing first section and then a series of first-gear corners at the end of the lap.
We changed quite a bit after the first race – the rear linkage and some other things.
The bike was very different to ride but I was still struggling in the last sector where I’ve been having problems all weekend.
And that’s where I crashed – off the brake, off the throttle, and just lost the front.
I picked it up and collected a point, which could be important at the end of the season.
We’ll aim to find a good base setting for this new suspension when we test at Imola in a couple of weeks, and take the rest of the season from there.
”Ryuichi Kiyonari (10th, 7th) “The first race here was very difficult after the problems we have had during the weekend, so we made some changes to the rear for race two.
In fact, it was quite a big change and we altered three things with the rear shock.
On the sighting lap it felt quite OK but during the race it was better but not perfect.
I hope that the test at Imola will allow us to fully test these new parts to get a better setting for the bike so I can make better results for the rest of the season.
”James Ellison (DNF, 8th)“The start of Race One was pretty messy.
There was a lot of fairing bashing so it was quite difficult to get a clean run to the first corner.
We had a new engine for the race, and once I’d figured out how to ride it, I got my head down to chip away at the guys in front.
I was looking forward to a good race, passing Hopkins and Checa cleanly.
I’m so frustrated not to have finished.
I lost the rear of the Airwaves Yamaha going into McLeans, but luckily I was ok for Race Two.
Before the second race we made some adjustments to the engine to prevent another similar crash, but again, it took some time to get used to.
I knew I had to be more aggressive off the start and tried to pass as many people as possible into the first corner.
Once I got behind Tom Sykes, the plan was to stay behind and challenge later on.
But my tyres started to wear and I couldn’t do anything about it.
This weekend has been good preparation for the rest of the BSB season, which is our main priority.
I know I need to improve my riding to preserve the tyres.
I’m looking forward to getting to Knockhill and making use of everything we’ve learnt.
”Leon Camier (13th, 6th)“Race One was tough.
I struggled with braking, steering and a lack of grip.
Plus my start was horrendous.
The take-off point of the clutch was different and put me into a massive wheelie.
It was difficult to pass with a lack of grip and brake problems, but I had to take the chance whenever I could.
I was a lot happier with Race Two.
I still suffered with brake problems but I just had to ride around them and overtake at every possible opportunity.
My start was only slightly better compared to Race One, but still pretty terrible.
To make my way up to 6th from 20th is a big achievement, and it’s thanks to the Airwaves Yamaha team for all their hard work.
Both James and I gave them a lot of re-building to do over this weekend and they did a mega job.
”Carlos Checa (11th, DNF)“It’s a real shame because the bike was definitely easier to ride faster in race two.
I was trying to keep the pressure on but just lost the front at Redgate and that was the end of the race.
I’ve hurt my ribs a bit but it’s not too bad.
The first race was very difficult also, even though the start was not too bad.
We need to spend some time working on the new components, so it is good that we have the test in two weeks.
”Ruben Xaus (15th, 9th)“That was a tough weekend and I really know that I have done two hard races today.
At the moment, the bike is very demanding physically and mentally and it requires a lot of concentration.
I am happy to get a top ten finish, but I would be more happy if Troy and I would be getting top six finishes for sure.
Today our bike was good in the fast corners, but we lost out on the slow ones.
My riding style is more aggressive than Troy and for that you have to be 100% fit.
Troy is not 100% fit yet, so he is having a harder time getting the bike round the track at the speeds he would like to do.
I see positive signs ahead and I am looking forward to the next two tests.
”Troy Corser (DNF, 20th)“For me, it was a terrible day and not such a good weekend.
All weekend, I have being having a problem because of the lack of grip and today it was as bad as it has ever been.
The bike felt hard to ride today and I got a lot of wheelspin and found it hard to stop it wheelieing.
In race one, the bike just jumped out of gear when I tried to backshift from third to second and I was forced into the gravel and had to lay the bike down.
Fortunately, I didn’t hurt myself at all, but it was an unnecessary crash.
Race two was all about grip, or lack of it.
But I kept going, even though I was losing places, because I wanted to give the team as much telemetry info as possible.
”Yukio Kagayama (17th, 13th)“This weekend was not an easy one because we had problems with rear grip.
We tried many different things over the weekend (suspension, geometry, gear ratios), but we were not able to improve the bike.
We also tried a different swinging-arm for race two, but no big change, although he feeling was a bit better.
All in all it was a frustrating time for me and my team.
I know that they worked as hard as they could and I know that I rode as hard as I could, but we did not get any good results.
I am a very experienced rider and my team is very knowledgeable, but we still could not find any solutions.
I am sorry for Francis and the whole team, because our results today were no better than a privateer.
”Matthieu Lagrive (16th,12th)“I was fighting with good riders like Lanzi, Kagayama, but I do not have the experience yet to really compete with them.
I am OK, for me the team was really good, the settings were good and we know which direction to go in to have a top ride next time as well.
I prefer to finish the first couple of Superbike races to make sure all is OK and when I grow in confidence I will try to push more.
”Blake Young (25th, 17th)“Race two was obviously better for me than race one, but I would’ve liked to have done better still.
I made pretty good starts in both races, but it’s difficult in the early stages of the races because everybody is dive-bombing each other! Once the packs split up a bit, it was easier for me to get a good rhythm.
This has been a great learning experience for me and I would like to do it again.
The team have been great and I would like to thank Francis Batta and Alstare for giving me this tremendous opportunity.
”Broc Parkes (18th, 14th) “We got some points at the end.
The first race we got a really bad start but a good pace, and came from 29th to 18th.
It was a difficult weekend chassis wise and we haven’t been able to find a set-up on the bike that handled well.
Second race we had a much better start but in the middle it started jumping out of gear, selecting neutrals, coming in and out.
I think I chose the wrong tyre for race two compared to race one, because the lap times were not quite as good.
That was just because of the slight change in track temperature, I think.
”Jamie Hacking (21st, DNF)“In race one I wasn’t comfortable starting that far back after seeing how crazy the starts are, so I backed off a bit and was last away.
I played catch up as far as I could and then I had really bad arm pump from hanging on so hard.
I struggled from then on.
We had some discussions about doing the approach to Coppice a different way in race two, and I gave it a try and the bike ran off the racetrack into the gravel trap.
I had it pretty much saved but it finally spun out and toppled over.

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