Preview - Donington Park

The arrival of Airwaves Yamaha is expected to provide the weekend with an interesting dimension as they assume the role Yamaha's satellite team. With up-and-coming star Camier tipped for big things in the future, this is the ideal opportunity for him to judge himself alongside any potential future rivals while he capitalises on his stunning start to the 2009 British Superbike campaign.

Team-mate Ellison is a stalwart at big events and his fourth place finish with the unfancied Hydrex Honda last season should also ensure that he is a frontrunner this weekend too.

Andrews, meanwhile, makes a welcome – if belated – World Superbike appearance at Donington Park with the ever improving MSS Colchester Kawasaki. Having proven to be a match for the Yamahas, Hondas and Suzukis in BSB on occasion this year, there will be many eyes on Andrews to see if he can cause a bit of embarrassment for the somewhat inconsistent factory Kawasaki outfit…

With the British contingent showing exactly what they were capable of in unfamiliar company last season, it is little surprise that the Donington Park round is being anticipated as one of the toughest rounds to predict this year.

Of the three title challengers, Spies is arguably in a good position to make headway on championship leader Haga. It was at Donington Park that Spies made his MotoGP debut last season, while Yamaha WSB come to the circuit armed with plenty of data from the very cooperative GSE-run Airwaves team.

By contrast, Haga has some indifferent memories of the circuit having failed to finish either race in 2008 (he was disqualified from the second), while Fabrizio hasn't shone on British soil in the past either.

Nonetheless, Haga and title chasers Spies and Fabrizio are expected to be amongst the favourites regardless, even if there are still plenty of other people looking to get in their way.

Key amongst the other challengers is expected to be last year's winner Kiyonari, who showed exactly what he can do around a familiar circuit by claiming a dominant victory in wet conditions. He could have made it a double – to go with his two wins at Brands Hatch – too had he not succumbed in race one. With the Ten Kate Honda on the ascension, Kiyonari could be on hand to spoil many parties come Sunday.

Elsewhere, Max Biaggi and Troy Corser were podium winners at Donington Park 2008, although they face a trial in replicating that form their new Aprilia and BMW teams this year.

Others to look out for include increasingly prominent privateer Jakub Smrz, the man responsible for ending Ben Spies' lengthy run of Superpoles at Misano, as well as Gregorio Lavilla and Yukio Kagayama, both former front runners at BSB level.

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Sykes, race 2, French WSBK 2015

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Hedgeholer - Unregistered

June 25, 2009 11:36 PM

Haslam seems to be being slightly overlooked. Again. This could be a costly error for some. He, and Shakey again for that matter, could do very well indeed if the conditions are damp.

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