That last time the Superbike World Championship was at Donington was a tremendous occasion for Team Alstare Suzuki. That was in 2001, when Italian Pierfrancesco Chili took runner-up spot in the first race and then followed it up with a sensational win in the second. Since then the midlands circuit has been off the calendar, but this year it is back in favour. The event will be particular noteworthy because it will be a celebration of the twentieth year of the Superbike World Championship – and especially important bearing in mind that the first ever WSBK race took place in Donington.

Although Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra riders Max Biaggi and Yukio Kagayama are no strangers to Donington, neither of them have ridden there in a World SBK race. Max has ridden at Donington in GPs – the last one being in 2005 – and Yukio last raced there in the 2004 British Superbike Championship.

“I like Donington because it is quite a fast track, but now that I am on Superbike I will have to learn it all over again. It’s going to feel very different on my Alstare Suzuki GSX-R1000 compared to the last bike I rode there, so we will have to start the first practice trying to find a good set-up for the bike. We did a lot of work at the recent Valencia tests and accumulated a lot of information. Hopefully, we can put it all to good use at Donington and take some podiums.”

“For me, the last time I raced at Donington seems a long time ago. That was in BSB, but this time it is the World Championship and it will be much harder for sure. At our recent tests, my shoulder was still very sore, but now that I have had some time to rest it, I think it will be in much better condition for the race. I will not know how strong it is until first practice, but I am hoping that it will be OK and not give me too much trouble. I have many fans in England, so I want to push hard and get a couple of podiums.”

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