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#GBRWorldSBK: Which is the manufacturer to beat at Donington Park?

Ducati leads for wins in Donington with 17, two more than Kawasaki, but their last victory at the UK race track came quite a long time ago, in 2011 Race 2, with Spanish rider Carlos Checa. Among the tracks in the current calendar where Ducati has already won, this is the most distant in time together with Portimao. Last year Ducati came away from Donington with no podium placements. It is a rare sight here, as Ducati claimed 53 podium spots, which is a record value for Donington, and previously their last weekend with no podiums in the UK was back in 2014. In that same year, Davide Giugliano recorded the last Ducati Superpole here. They amassed 15 Superpoles at this track, more than the sum of their rivals (11: Kawasaki 7, Honda 2, Suzuki and Yamaha 1).

Kawasaki is second only to Ducati for Donington wins (15 to 17), and last year they missed a great chance to equal that prestigious tally, as two Kawasakis finished twice in second and in third behind race winner Michael Van der Mark. In Race 1, Rea was second ahead of his team-mate Sykes, while in Race 2 Toprak Razgatlioglu finished ahead of Rea. Their success came in recent times, as before the Sykes-Rea era, the count was 17 wins for Ducati and just 5 for Kawasaki. From 2013 to 2017 Kawasaki won 10 straight races at UK race track, which is a record sequence for this track: 9 with Sykes and 1 (2017 Race 2) with Rea. From 2014 to 2017, Kawasaki recorded seven 1-2s here out of eight: in 2014 with Sykes and Loris Baz (both races), in 2015 with Sykes-Rea (both races), in Race 2 2016 (Sykes-Rea), and 2017 with Sykes-Haslam in Race 1 and Rea-Sykes in Race 2. Kawasaki is the team to beat in qualifying as they recorded the last four Superpoles, from 2015 onwards, all made by Tom Sykes.

Honda won seven times in Donington, with no less than six different riders: Fred Merkel, Aaron Slight, Colin Edwards, James Toseland, Ryuichi Kiyonari and Jonathan Rea. The only Honda rider who won twice at Donington Park is Colin Edwards (1999 Race 2 and 2000 Race 1). After their last win with Rea here in Race 2 2012, they are yet to record a podium finish at Donington. Last year Leon Camier was the best Honda rider in both races with a 10th and an 8th places. The last top-10 placement in Superpole for Honda in Donington came in 2016, with a 7th position by the late Nicky Hayden.

Last year Yamaha returned on the higher step of the podium at Donington Park, after a long gap since Race 1 2011 when Marco Melandri won the last race for the Japanese manufacturer at the British track. Michael van der Mark recorded a sound double, and it was a historic moment for Yamaha, as they stopped the record of 10 consecutive wins set by Kawasaki in the previous five years, after the achievements of Haga in 1998 and Spies in 2009. Yamaha won 9 times here, and they can become just the third manufacturer with 10 Donington wins after Ducati (17) and Kawasaki (15). Despite nine wins, they recorded the Superpole just once here, in 2009 with Ben Spies. Yamaha claimed 21 podium placements in Donington, just one short of Honda. Only Ducati (53) and Kawasaki (38) recorded more Donington podiums.

BMW recorded their first WorldSBK win here in 2012, Race 1, a 1-2 Melandri-Haslam. They were in the position to repeat that in Race 2, but a last turn contact between Rea and Haslam knocked out both BMWs. BMW claimed a third podium spot here in 2013 Race 1 with Melandri taking second after passing Rea and Guintoli. Last year Loris Baz was able to claim a front-row grid spot for BMW with the third time in Superpole: he was then 7th and 10th in the races.

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