Over a month since the last Misano round, Kawasaki Puccetti Racing is ready for round five of the Superbike and Supersport World Championships, taking place this weekend at the Donington Park circuit in the UK. The track, located in the county of Leicestershire, has often favoured Manuel Puccetti’s riders in recent years. In Superbike, Leon Haslam finished second in 2017, as did Toprak Razgatlioglu in 2018, while the Turkish rider won the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup race in 2017.
In Supersport Kenan Sofuoglu reached the top step of the podium in 2015, 2016 and 2017. In 2016, both Kawasaki Puccetti Racing riders reached the podium, with Randy Krummenacher finishing third. Lucas Mahias also scored a third-place finish in 2019.
And it is Lucas Mahias who will be back aboard the Italian team’s Kawasaki ZX-10RR in Superbike this weekend. The French rider has now fully recovered after fracturing the fifth metacarpal on his right hand in a crash on the first lap of the Superpole Race at Estoril and hopes to regain the feeling with his bike in England.
In Supersport, both Can Oncu and Yari Montella have been championship frontrunners so far and currently lie fourth and sixth respectively in the general standings. The English track will be a new experience for both, but the team has a lot of data relating to the track and this will facilitate the work for the Italian and the Turk.
The Donington Park circuit is located in Castle Donington in the East Midlands, not far from Sherwood Forest. It was constructed in 1931 to stage motorcycle races. After the second world war, the circuit was reopened in 1977 thanks to Tom Wheatcroft, a motorsport enthusiast, who also transferred his personal car collection to the site, which is now known as the Donington Grand Prix Exhibition.
In 1988 the circuit stages the very first WorldSBK round, an event that has been held at the track on a regular basis ever since, for a total of 58 races. Over times, the track has been modified, going from 3149 metres in length in 1988 to 4023 metres today. The track incorporates twelve corners, seven of which right-handers and five left.
“I’m really excited to get back on track after this injury and can’t wait to be back on my Ninja. I watched the Misano races from the garage and it was really hard not being able to race, but I feel good now and have fully recovered. I’ve worked hard over the last month and am fully fit. I really like the track and don’t mind the British weather either. It’s really hot here in France right now, so I’m hoping for some cooler weather in the UK. My goal for this round is to regain the feeling with my bike and work right from free practice to adapt it to the English track. I hope to do well and will be giving it my all of course.”
“After a month’s break, I’m happy to be racing with my team and my Kawasaki again. I don’t know the English track, so I’ll need to work hard right from first practice to get to grips with it. My team knows it well though, and this can really help me. In the last races, we didn’t score the results we deserve and so I hope to achieve solid results at Donington”.
“I’m curious to learn the Donington track, one that looks tough but also a lot of fun. I know my team has done really well at this track in the past and so they also have a lot of data, which will be very useful in helping me to be competitive right away. I think we can do well, also because we’ve been consistently improving recently. We need to carry on working on the set-up of our ZX-6R to achieve the kind of results that both me and the team deserve.”