Donington Park, May 27, 2018 – Ondřej Jezek, the sole Czech rider in the World Superbike Championship, competed in the sixth round of the 2018 series. He leaves the Leicestershire track after a series of high adrenaline moments but also faith in another positive step forward in the seasons development. Friday’s practice was run on a very wet track, which saw Ondra take a fall. Due to the inherent risk caused by the conditions he was not able to run at full potential. In spite of this there were promising signs, as evidenced in isolated split times showing that he was capable of approaching his target group of the top ten riders. On the dry Saturday morning, Ondra set his best Donnington lap time and confirmed the improvement during that afternoon’s first Superpole by securing seventeenth place on the grid. In the first race of the weekend he crossed the line in eighteenth place and on Sunday, in spite of fighting with front brake issues, finished the second race of the weekend in seventeenth. Overall feelings from the British race weekend were mostly positive. As Ondra himself said “In contrast to the previous races of this year’s tough season, there have been moments this weekend where the bike performed and I could concentrate just on racing. I see this as another positive move forward and genuinely believe there will be more to come which will be reflected in results”.
A promising Saturday
On Saturday, after a long wait, Ondrej felt a turning point, for the better. It seemed that the new engine and the teams hard work in electronic set up based on data obtained from Imola, had a positive effect. “Today we have seen great improvement, on the third lap of morning practice I set my best ever Donington time and in superpole I was held up by Xavi Fores on the final lap, otherwise it could have been even better.”.
Ondra started Saturday’s race well and in the opening stages outran Rinaldi. “I stayed behind Torres and Melandri and was about to overtake them but the bike started to slide and bucked me three times, so I calmed down and rode with my head. Still, I was happy, finally, I approached the group I want to be racing with. Now we just need to improve by a few tenths and things will be a lot happier”.
Sunday’s start of the race was complicated by Rinaldi, who barged his way in front and Ondřej, in response to the unexpected manoeuvre, lost position. “Several riders passed me at that moment and unfortunately the bike was losing out in acceleration on the straights again. I’m guessing that the electronics were causing the drop in performance. On top of this my front brake started to fail and as a result I had a few off track excursions. In the first half of the race it was as if every time I weighted the bars the brake pads got knocked off the disc and the brake failed. Anyway, I was happy to end the race on a positive note beating Canepa on the final lap
Next time Brno
Ondra will not have to go far for the next race. On June 8, the Superbike paddock convenes at the Brno circuit. Czech fans will be able to watch the world’s fastest riders on production based motorcycles fight it out, right in their own back yard. The native of Brno, who in the past took third place in the Superstock 1000 World Championship as well as victory at Imola in the same series, will for sure enjoy his home race. In spite of having had a tough start, in facing technical problems after changing both team and brand of motorcycle for the 2018 season, Ondrej looks forward to performing in front of his home crowd together with the ongoing shared commitment and belief of Guandalini Racing team.
Seventh Round of The World Superbike Championship shall be held 8-10 June in Brno, Czech Republic.
Race 1 Results – Donnington Park UK:
1. M. VAN DER MARK NED Yamaha YZF R1 time: 1’28.087
2. J. REA GBR Kawasaki ZX-10RR + 1.136
3. T. SYKES GBR Kawasaki ZX-10RR + 2.193
4. A. LOWES GBR Yamaha YZF R1 + 6.642
5. L. SAVADORI ITA Aprilia RSV4 RF +7.331
18. O. JEŽEK CZE Yamaha YZF R1 + 47.849
Race 2 Results – Donnington Park UK:
1. M. VAN DER MARK NED Yamaha YZF R1 time: 1’28.195
2. T. RAZGATLIOGLU TUR Kawasaki ZX-10RR IND + 2.328
3. J. REA GBR Kawasaki ZX-10RR + 2.614
4. A. LOWES GBR Yamaha YZF R1 + 2.894
5. C. DAVIES GBR Ducati Panigale R + 4.797
17. O. JEŽEK CZE Yamaha YZF R1 + 47.350