Well, I really enjoyed my very first visit to Donington Park for the visit of the World Superbike Series. On a fortunately dry and sunny, if slightly blustery Saturday, my wife and I rode up to Leicester on my Honda Super Blackbird and booked into the Premier Inn hotel we were staying in for the duration. After a quick refreshment of a cup of tea we then rode the 19 miles to the track for a recce before retiring back to the hotel for dinner and a rest. After breakfast on Sunday we rode back up to Donington Park and boy, was I delighted we were on the bike because the queues to get in were long and the bike park we were aiming for is right round at Redgate. My wife was amazed at how small a gap in the queuing traffic I could get us through but I thoroughly enjoyed that particular experience which was just as well because I was at the front of a long column of bikers following me through it. No pressure then. Then we were in and parked up with the mass of other bikers and suddenly I was standing on the spectator banking of a circuit I've been longing to get to for AGES! I know of all the history of Donington Park, it's pre-war history of the visits of the German 'works' Mercedes and Auto Union teams and then the subsequent renovation and re-opening by Tom Wheatcroft. Now I was there and it was great.
just part of the bike park
The racing was great too. We watched the first World Superbikes race from Redgate,
the World Supersports race from the Old Hairpin,
the National Superstock 1000 on the walk from McLeans to Coppice,
the second World Superbikes from the Fogerty Esses,
the National Superstock 600 just before the Melbourne Hairpin and the National Mini Twins back at Redgate. So a complete but relaxed tour of the circuit to take in all various viewing spots. A first World Superbike win for BMW (by Melandri) and a 1-2 in the first race and then what should have been another BMW 1-2 in the second race with a win by Haslam thwarted at the last corner on the last lap when Haslam got nudged by Jonathon Rea, crashed into team-mate Melandri and Rea took the win! Both races were full of exciting dices and overtaking. Sam Lowes took his first win in the World Supersports on Sunday. All in all a great day's racing.
On Monday's trip back we were under threatening skies, which eventually opened up on us as we turned South onto the A34 and by the time I got down to the Winchester end, the water was just beginning to leak into my left hand glove. Oh the joys of biking .
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