Van der Mark and Lavilla among personalities discussing favourite races!
Five more characters from WorldSBK and MotoGP™ talk about their favourite WorldSBK races of all time
In the latest article from the favourite races series, five more personalities from the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship paddock explain their all-time favourite WorldSBK race. All five races have been selected for their drama and excitement and now you are able to watch them on WorldSBK.com.
2014 Champion Sylvain Guintoli selected Race 2 from Losail in 2014 as his favourite race; a tense title decider between himself and Tom Sykes (now BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team). Sykes led the Championship by 12 points going into the weekend with Guintoli in second. He said: “My favourite race by far is the race in Qatar in 2014. It was a special race for me as it was the last race of the championship: I was 12 points behind Tom Sykes, so I needed to win both races to get the Championship. It was all about the finale.
“It was a weekend full of emotions, of course I had to win the first race and start the second race where I had to win too, or at least beat Tom. So, it was very, very intense races, a very emotional weekend for me. I'll remember it forever. My family was there, all the kids... everybody was around! So, there it was, a very special race for me!”
For Dorna’s WorldSBK Executive Director from the Sporting and Organization Departments, Gregorio Lavilla, it was Albacete 1998 Race 1 for his favourite race. It was his first year in WorldSBK and was leading the race until the last few laps. He said: “Albacete 1998. It was my first year in SBK®, a privateer team, pouring rain with Dunlop tyres suspected not to be as good as Michelin wets. Leading all race until last laps but finishing third just behind two specialists in Pierfrancesco Chili and Troy Corser.”
Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) selected his first WorldSBK win as his favourite race, where he won Race 1 at Donington Park in 2018. It was a rollercoaster weekend for van der Mark after being ill and not taking part in Free Practice 1. He said: “Race 1 at Donington stands out for obvious reasons. It was my first WorldSBK race win and it was completely unexpected. I was sick all weekend and I didn’t even ride in FP1 because of the weather, then I finished last in FP2, which wasn’t a great start!
“I felt a bit better on the Saturday and managed to qualify sixth in Superpole, securing a second-row start. In the race Johnny Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) came really close to catching me at the end but couldn't quite do it. It was amazing to take the first victory for myself and, of course, the first victory for Yamaha since their return to WorldSBK in 2016. The whole team did an amazing job that weekend and the win was definitely worth the wait!"
MotoGP™ race winner Alberto Puig selected Race 1 from Monza in 1997 as his all-time favourite WorldSBK race, a race that had an epic battle for the lead between John Kocinski, Aaron Slight and Carl Fogarty. He said: “I remember I saw one race between Kocinski and Fogarty. I remember there was a very good race there. I didn’t follow 100% the races of Superbike but I remember that time, it was many years ago. It was a good one. There was some nice racing there and also the track, Monza is a dangerous track, difficult… it was quite tricky. But it was nice.”
For RTVE journalist Marc Martin, Magny-Cours Race 1 from 2011 is his favourite race. Carlos Checa secured his only WorldSBK title becoming the first Spaniard to win a Championship in WorldSBK. Martin said: “My favourite one would be Magny-Cours 2011 when Checa became World Champion, because of what it meant to Spain, that for the very first time a rider from Spain won the Championship. After the second place of Ruben Xaus in 2003, the title of Checa was the culmination of a long journey in WorldSBK. The title of Checa inspired and motivated the entry of more Spanish riders, who began to see that in WSBK was “life” beyond MotoGP™”
You can check out Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3 and Volume 4 of this series for more classic races!
You can watch more exciting World Superbike action with the WorldSBK VideoPass!