A tough weekend of work and effort for the Kawasaki World Superbike Team could not put Broc Parkes and stand-in rider Jamie Hacking into Superpole after final qualifying today. Parkes came closest, missing by two places after two days of track time which were occasionally disturbed by changeable weather, and not for the first time in 2009. He is 22nd on the grid at Donington, looking to make up a significant number of early places in tomorrow’s two WSB races, at track he knows well.
Hacking, having only his second WSB race outside of the USA, was 25th in qualifying, at what is a very particular and sometimes peculiar race circuit. Donington is actually the second home race of the year for Hacking, as he was born in the UK, and still has family in his native Lancashire.
The 4.023km long Donington track features a first part which is flowing and undulating, and one final section which has three heavy braking areas, including a chicane and two hairpins. Set-up is always a compromise at such a track, but so far the ideal compromise is proving elusive.
Broc Parkes: “It’s been a really challenging weekend so far; the bike has been difficult to turn into corners here, and that has slowed us up. We have tried a few things on the bike but we still have that issue, for some reason. It’s the first time this year we have been out of Superpole, and of course all the other teams are also stepping their game up.”
Jamie Hacking: “At the moment the bike does not turn in that well and doesn’t give you that much confidence in the front. This track is brilliant, the way it is all put together is very neat, but when you are fighting something it doesn’t make for a good lap. The cambers here make things a little more difficult as well. I am sure we can try something new tomorrow in warm-up.”