Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Ducati Racing)
- During his previous season with Ducati back in 2019, he claimed third place at Donington Park as his best result at the historic venue.
- During the short break ahead of the UK Round, Bautista participated in a test in Misano and explained that he was focused on trying things instead of performance.
- He leads the Championship standings with a 36-point advantage over Rea.
- After the first Donington Park race in 2019, Bautista relinquished the Championship lead he had occupied since his debut at Phillip Island and went back to the top only this year after the Aragon round.
“Our target is to go to Donington, with no expectations. I remember three years ago with Ducati we had some issues and I struggled more than at other rounds to be more competitive. But fortunately, now it’s different. I know the bike and the tyre much better. Also, the bike improved a lot compared to three years ago. We’ll try to give the maximum in all the circumstance, as we know the weather is always a bit tricky there. It’s probably the most difficult track for Ducati and me. Also, English riders are very fast there.”
Championship P2 – 184 points
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
- Six wins make Rea the second most successful rider at Donington Park (Tom Sykes holds the record with nine wins). With 13 podiums at the British track, he is also the second rider in terms of podium places.
- He is the only rider to have recorded nine fastest race laps at Donington Park.
- In 2021, he stood twice on the podium with a second place in Race 1 and a victory in the Tissot Superpole Race.
- Rea took part in a Kawasaki private test at MotorLand Aragon stated in an Instagram post that he and his team were “improving the bike in hot conditions”.
“Donington Park is a very special race for me because it’s my home round. I have a lot of really nice memories there. I love the circuit, especially the first couple of sectors as it’s very fast and flowing. And then the last sector which is quite different. For setting the bike up is also a compromise because while you look for agility and handling in the first sector, you have to have a very stable bike that is good on the brakes for the last sector also. I think this circuit suits our bike quite well. In the past we’ve been very strong there. I’m really expected a lot of support from home. I’m looking forward to the weekend. After Misano, it’s going to be nice to get back to a track we can be strong at. And, of course, the target is to get as many points as we can but I hope I can make all my home fans proud and put on a great show.”
Championship P3 – 141 points
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK)
- Razgatlioglu claimed five podium finishes out of eight races run for at Donington Park so far.
- In 2021, he won two races out of three, with a sixth-place finish in the Tissot Superpole Race. In Race 1, he claimed victory despite starting 13th on the grid after a superb opening lap.
- He scored his maiden WorldSBK podium at the British track in 2018 Race 2.
- He currently stands in third place in the Championship standings 43 points behind Rea and 79 points behind Bautista.
“In Misano on Sunday, we made a big improvement with the bike set-up and I enjoyed the Superpole Race a lot – first win of the season was good but I need more! I am happy to be riding like my style and enjoying, also the race pace was incredibly fast, so I hope we can continue in Donington and fight for the wins again. I love Donington track, it is one of my favourites with hard braking and nice high speed flow in the other part – also, very nice memories from last year and before. We finished Misano in a good way and I am feeling ready for the UK round. I have a lot of motivation to win and I am excited to jump back on my R1 again on Friday morning.”
Championship P4 – 108 points
Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK)
- It will be Locatelli’s second visit at Donington Park in WorldSBK. In 2021, his best result was a ninth place in the Tissot Superpole Race.
- Fourth in Championship standings, Locatelli is only 33 points behind his teammate and reigning WorldSBK Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu.
“We’ll try to arrive in Donington ready to take a good result and also to try to improve at this track because it wasn’t my best track last year. But I’m confident we can find some improvement for this year.”
Championship P5 – 99 points
Iker Lecuona (Team HRC)
- Lecuona will race for the first time at Donington Park.
- Ahead of the UK Round, he participated in a Donington Park track day, whilst he was also on track alongside the factory Ducatis at Misano.
“There’s been a month between the Italian round and the UK event, but it hasn’t exactly been short on action. I’ve had some quite busy weeks in fact, with a test at Donington, one at Misano and one in Japan for the Suzuka 8 hours! As for Donington, I’m very happy we went so that I could get a first taste of the track. It’s different and also tough physically speaking, with some totally blind corners, but it is also a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the layout to be honest and would put it up there among my favourite tracks in the world. We had good weather and basically used the session to learn the track so that when we get to the race weekend, we’ll be able to focus fully on the bike right from first practice on Friday.”
Championship P6 – 92 points
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Ducati Racing)
- Rinaldi’s best result at Donington Park is his eighth place in Race 2 in 2021.
- He tested at Misano a few weeks ago and was under the lap record by more than three tenths.
“I think that after the race we did in Misano, and also after the test we can make a good race at Donington Park. In theory, it’s not the best track for us but now we’re in good shape and I think we can fight for the podium there.”
To keep an eye on:
Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) will race at Donington Park for the first time with BMW. Ahead of the UK Round, he had the opportunity to test new parts with BMW at a Donington Park track day. In 2021, his best result was a fourth place in Race 2.
Leon Haslam (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) will race with the Italian team for the second time this season. In 2021, he finished fourth in the Tissot Superpole Race with Honda.
After being ruled out of his first scheduled wildcard appearance of the season at the TT Circuit Assen, Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) will make his long-awaited WorldSBK debut at the Prosecco DOC UK Round.
Peter Hickman (FHO Racing) will also make wildcard appearance at Donington Park, his sixth WorldSBK race and his first one since the 2019 UK Round. His best result at the track was a seventh place in Race 1 2019.
1. Alvaro Bautista (ESP) Ducati (220 points)
2. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Kawasaki (184 points)
3. Toprak Razgatlioglu (TUR) Yamaha (141 points)