In a very close FP2 session almost all of the top riders improved their best lap times, with Rea just 0.079 seconds from pole and Haslam only 0.126 back from the fastest rider.
Both sessions were held in relatively warm conditions, with the afternoon track temperature rising to an unusually high 43°C at this British circuit. The fastest 13 riders finished within a second of the top rider after two 50-minute sessions at the relatively short 4.023km long track.
The very nature of the Donington layout breaks the track into two distinct parts, with a fast and undulating main section, then a final sector with three instances of heavy braking and slow corners.
Rea and Haslam will continue to find the best set-up possible for each of these track characteristics. The Donington asphalt has been resurfaced in a few narrow but key corner apex or entry sections, adding to the complexity of pre-race preparations compared to 2018.
The final FP3 session will take place on Saturday morning, followed by Tissot Superpole qualifying and then a full 23-lap Race One, scheduled for 14.00 local time in the UK.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I was able to do a long run this afternoon and I felt great physically, which was a positive after the first day. The bike was more difficult to ride this morning and I struggled to get any weight onto the front to help the bike turn, especially in the fast areas. I also went back a little bit with my riding position, because I felt I had so much weight on the rear of the bike. I was getting traction but it was not finishing the corner in the best way. This afternoon I felt very comfortable, my rhythm was much faster and I was doing it comfortably - which is always nice here. We are not far away for the first day, really, so we will keep working.”
Leon Haslam, stated: “The track felt quite different because I don’t think I have ever been here when it was hot! I know this track so I know where I need to be and where I am struggling with the set-up. We made a positive step from this morning’s session in that area, so we are closing the gap. Getting the bike to stop and then squirt out of that last section was my main priority and we bridged the gap to the front to about a tenth. We made a good step from the morning to the afternoon.”
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) showed strong single lap and race pace from the start today and was the top ranked Ninja ZX-10RR rider of all; third. This is the track he scored his first WorldSBK podium finish at last year and he has arrived ready for another strong weekend in the UK. Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was tenth in his Ninja while Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was 14th fastest of the 18 riders at Donington – and just 1.196 seconds from the very best Friday time.
2019 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018
2019: Races 19, Wins 4, Podiums 16, Superpoles 3
Career Race Wins: 75 (60 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 150 (108 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 19 (15 for Kawasaki)
2019: Races: 19, Wins 0, Podiums 4, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 5 (0 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 43 (5 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 3 (0 for Kawasaki)
6 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Tom Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
4 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017 & 2018)
4 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018)
Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 131 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 403 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 84 – second overall