BSB: Riders pleased with Donington schedule changes

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The decision to move Monday’s opening Bennetts British Superbike race to Sunday afternoon has been well-received by riders as race bosses face the challenge of working with the weekend’s challenging weather forecasts.

With weather warnings in place for Easter Monday, race direction have opted to rejig the schedule to see the opening Bennetts BSB race of the year take place tomorrow afternoon with qualifying now moved to the morning.

Monday’s forecast is now looking much more favourable in the afternoon, so with a reduced schedule to run series bosses are hopeful of still running a full race schedule across the weekend.

After a difficult opening day, some of the series’ leading riders have spoken out in support of the decision given the challenging circumstances faced.

“It’s good to have two days to go at it,” said Leon Haslam, who topped the timesheets on the opening day. “If the weather is shit on Monday and we can’t race, at least we get a go tomorrow and the weather looks ok for then. It’s really tough as it’s really cold.”

“It was definitely the right call to move the race to Sunday,” added James Ellison. “The race organisers didn’t want to speculate too much and left it as late as they could to make the decision. They’re in close contact with the airport, which is next door, and while they weren’t overly worried about the weather Stuart didn’t want to chance it with a hectic schedule on Monday. If we get a race under our belts tomorrow and we don’t get a second one on Monday, at least we’ve been able to get out once. It’s definitely the right decision and the safest decision, we’ve just got to play it by ear now.”

Reigning champion Shane Byrne said: “The organisers of this championship are very pro-active and work as hard as they can to make us safe as possible. I went to see Stuart and the race direction team after the second session this afternoon to express concerns about a particular section of the track and they are already working on sorting that.

“Judging by the looks of the weather reports, Monday looks like it could be difficult so to get one race out of the way is a really good idea.

“If it’s safer and it’s done for the right reasons then they deserve a pat on the back for changing the schedule to make it as safe as possible.”

“I know the fans who were coming on Monday might be disappointed to lose a race, but sometimes these decisions have to be made for safety reasons,” added Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon. “Hopefully we will be able to race both days, but I think the good thing is that this decision has come early so everyone knows what they are doing and I commend the organisers on that.”

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing