Can the Ducati rider be stopped going into Donington?
Getting into the swing of the 2017 season, the European Superstock 1000 Championship heads to their fourth round at Donington Park and stunning racing action is guaranteed around the Leicestershire circuit. Dominance continues to be the key in the STK1000 series; with riders clearly beginning to feel comfortable on board their bikes and finding the correct set up is key to taking the lead and breaking from the ruthless pack.
Leading the championship is Italian Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it – Junior Team), who returned to the top of the podium in front of his home crowd last time out at Imola. With a 16 point lead in the standings after just three races, Rinaldi is the man to beat heading into Donington. However having only recorded a top five finish at the circuit last season – 10 seconds off the winner – can the Italian bring his pace forward from the opening rounds to tackle the tough Donington Park.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) sits in second position in the championship standings with 54 points – his racing number. Taking his first win around Assen for round two, the Turkish rider secured another podium last time out and will be hoping to impress in front of the British fans.
Lap record holder Roberto Tamburini (Pata Yamaha Official STK1000 Team) is still searching for his first race win of the season, after taking two podium position finishes so far this season including an Italian dream in front of his home fans last time out. Taking pole position at Donington Park in 2015 with BMW, the Italian missed out on the victory but has proved he enjoys battling around the 4.023km circuit. Team-mate Florian Marino (Pata Yamaha Official STK1000 Team) has finished on the podium two times out of three so far in 2017, as he continues to adapt to the pace of his YZF R1. But with a steady pace around the British circuit so far in his career, fans will be promised close and tense racing for the podium fight.
With 34 riders lining up on the grid around the British circuit, it is set to be a stunning weekend of racing action for the STK1000 riders. With the key to the key to the weekend finding out who can stop Rinaldi and bask in British glory, they descend on a circuit which holds so much history for the championship.