Qualifying came to mean little after a mad scramble on the grid as the rain at Donington Park made conditions trecherous and tyre choice difficult for the opening race of round ten, the secoond Showdown stop as the paddock returned to Donington Park.

Ryan Vickers had looked to have stong pace but only quaified fifth. A last minute tyre change brought the LAMI OMG Yamaha rider his second win of the season by a gap controlled by the #7 from the front after streaking ahead from lights out.

‘Give me a hard wet on the rear - and I can go out with confidence then’

Vickers explained how the last minute change came about:

“We went out on our sighting laps on full wets and the harder rear. A the time, I think it was still spitting with rain coming out of Coppice, I know what it’s like when you’re on a dry tyre… when you see rain you honestly don’t know how much to commit to each corner.

I knew it wasn’t going to be easy on a drier tyre, like an inter, like most of the people went with.

It was the last minute change of rear tyre which made all the difference:

“I couldn’t make that decision, it wasn’t raining at the time, it was drying in front of us. I said to Dave, my crew chief ‘ you make the decision, go with what you think’ and he went - ‘inter’ so the boys stuck the inter in, inter rear was into the bike, everything was all good, and it just started, very slightly, spitting with rain. I just said to him ‘give me a hard wet on the rear’  and I can go out with confidence then. It’s a ten lap race”.


Vickers went on to explain how the actions of other on the grid informed his choices, starting with teammate Kyle Ryde, who was struggling to get a feeling with his intermediate tyres after the sighting lap, but stuck with them:

“If it’s spitting with rain it’s going to take him (Ryde) more than three laps to get confident, so I said, if I can do five laps and get a bit of a gap, I’ll be surprised if they can catch the gap back, luckily we made the right decision”.

Haslam going for an intermediate rear also gave Vickers the courage to push hard, expecting the B<w rider to need to show more caution in the corners:

“The wet was spinning, it wasn’t great with grip. We made the right decision we got into the front. It was nice - as we pulled off the grid everyone in front of me was either on full inters or Leon was on the wet front, inter rear so I thought, he’s going to be strong on the brakes, but he’s going to be hesitant turning in”.

The win was Vickers second, by a clear margin only reduced from it’s five second high when he pushed less towards the end of the race. Behind the podium battle was raging.

‘Eight people come past me all on wets! They just disappeared!’

Leon Haslam fought his tyres to come home second,on his home track, with his experience of the circuit playing into his hands.

A full change to wets was left too late, but getting to put one wet tyre in allowed Haslam to push, even when he struggled to get heat into his intermediate to make it work for him, eventually making his questionable tyre selection work:

“It was a very late decision. At the time, when we did the change, I probably would have gone full inters but then I knew the rain was coming, we didn’t have time to change the front. All my opposition as inters front and rear, so we kept the inter rear and as soon as we started the race I knew I had, basically made a mistake should I say - eight people come past me all on wets! They just disappeared!

Another change in weather allowed the Rokit rider to get back into the race:

“Luckily it dried up, it was less hard rain, in the middle of the race I got a little bit of temperature into it. Obviously managed to catch them back up, thought ‘oh we’re looking good now’ and it started to rain again!”

By then Haslam had worked out enough to pass his nearest two rivals and bring home the BMW second, leaving Luke Mossey and Jack Kennedy to duel it out for third.

‘Absolutely made up to get my first podium since 2017, it’s been a long time coming!’


Both Mossey and Kennedy had made huge gains on their grid placings thanks to their tyres Mossy started 14th and Kennedy was even further back in 21st, going on to make up the joint most places over the duration. The Mar-Train rider was starting to see mistakes creep in as his Yamaha was losing grip, which allowed the #12 the chance to pounce for a long awaited rostrum return:

“It’s been six years…since my last superbike podium, pretty made up for the Tactix Lloyd and Jones team, you know, It’s been a tough year. We were not the worlds best funded team, to reward the guys with a podium, it’s great for end of season”.

If the weather was causing stress for most, Mossey was using it to his advantage and took every possibility the weather afforded him:

“It was tricky conditions, a bit more of a leveller when the conditions are like that, we made the right call on the wet tyres, it was between me and the crew sort of juggling which way, which direction to go with, finally came to the decision of going on the wets and obviously it paid off.”

After working his way to the front, the BMW rider was not going to waste his opportunity for a podium and saw his chance right at the end of the final lap:

“There was no way I was not going to try - I saw him in front of me, he had a moment coming onto the back straight so I overtook him and I knew he would brake later than me going into the chicane.

Through that whole race I was weighing up where I could overtake him and I knew I was stronger going into the last two corners so I had a go at the Melbourne Loop and went too deep and he got back underneath, it was a bit of a block pass going into the last turn, but we pulled it off. Absolutely made up to get my first podium since 2017, it’s been a long time coming!”

The result benefited Haslam massively in the title hunt. Neither of the Ducati riders in the lead in the title hunt scored - Glenn Irwin placed 23rd and Tommy Bridewell 24th after their intermediate tyres left them skidding on track and running off into the gravel. That along with Ryde finishing twelfth allowed Haslam to move into third and cut the gap to the leaders to 55.5 points.