The Prosecco DOC UK Round is approaching, which means this year’s classics need some warming up with some showdowns of old…
As the fifth round of the 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship approaches at Donington Park, we’re looking back through the archive and picking out some of the best moments in WorldSBK history at the circuit. Having been born at the Leicestershire venue in 1988, the Championship has seen timeless classics right throughout and the 2022 Prosecco DOC UK Round promises to be no exception to the rule. Having already looked back at the epic 2000 battle in Race 2, it’s now time for another classic.
In 2007, there was much hype coming into the Donington Park round as Britain’s James Toseland led the Championship standings aboard his Ten Kate Racing Honda. The British rider had never done the double but after winning Race 1, he was right in contention to send a packed Donington Park absolutely crazy. However, it wasn't to be as a rare mechanical problem took the British rider out on the exit of Turn 1 on Lap 4, with Yamaha riders Noriyuki Haga and Troy Corser narrowly avoiding him.
This left a huge land of opportunity for the chasing pack as Toseland’s 25-point lead in the Championship could be completely wiped out if Max Biaggi on the Alstare Suzuki won, whilst Haga was 52 points back, meaning a win for him would put him back into contention. With Haga taking over the lead and teammate Corser in second, it was Biaggi who was closing in and on Lap 10, went through on Corser for second place at the Melbourne hairpin before setting off on closing down the 1.4s gap that Haga had pulled out. On Lap 14, Biaggi was right there and made his move on Haga at the Foggy Esses but then went wide at Melbourne, allowing Haga back through as Corser now made it a three-way fight.
Biaggi finally got through at the Foggy Esses the following lap and despite continuously running deep at the Melbourne hairpin, looked like he had it covered. Onto the last lap, Haga was right there and at the final corner, Biaggi went wide, throwing away the victory as Haga sliced under him and out-dragged the rookie to the line. It was a first win of the year for Haga and his last win in the UK, where he was a popular figure. Biaggi was now five points adrift in the title race, as although he lost the win, he made up big ground on Toseland.
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