The opening race of the UK Round of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship was contested today at the Donington Park Circuit in central England, with Stefan Bradl forced into an early retirement after two thirds of the encounter.
The race got underway after a touching minute’s silence for the late Nicky Hayden, which took place on Donington’s start/finish straight. Nicky’s Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 #69 was surrounded by all Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team members, with an ocean of people made up of riders, fans, press and organising staff gathering around it.
Under a cloudy sky and with strong winds blowing across the 4.023km British circuit, the 27-year-old German rider maintained his position at the start, and by lap nine he was up to to 14th. With a clear track ahead, Stefan had to defend hard from a resurgent Davies, who had crashed out of the lead the lap before. After heading a group of three riders battling for 15th place, Bradl started to lose ground and ultimately returned to the pit-box at the end of lap 16, where he retired from the race.
On-track action for the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship at Donington Park will resume tomorrow morning at 9:50 local time (GMT +1) for the traditional 15-minute warm up, with the second encounter of the weekend to begin at 15:00.
Stefan Bradl 6
There was a lot of wind out there and that surely added some extra challenge to the race. Already from the start I could not ride the bike the way I wanted and then I had a near highside at Turn 1, after which I found it almost impossible to keep going. We’re not sure what happened yet, but the team is looking into it and I hope we can bounce back for race two.
First of all I would like to thank Dorna on behalf of the whole team for the amazing job they did for the minute’s silence. It was really a great tribute to Nicky, it couldn’t have been done any better and it was really good to see the fans involved as well. Regarding the race, unfortunately things didn’t go the way we wanted but we’re now investigating to find out what the issue was, so that we can get ready for tomorrow.