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World Supersport 2013: Donington Park Race Report – MV Agusta’s First Podium in World Championship 37 Years

Mon, 27 May 2013

Yakhnich Yamaha rider Sam Lowes won his World Supersport Championship-leading third win of the season, finishing ahead of Mahi Racing India Kawasaki‘s Kenan Sofuoglu, but the biggest news coming out of Donington Park was the third place finisher, Roberto Rolfo of the ParkinGo MV Agusta team.

Rolfo finished third despite starting 16th on the grid, earning the first podium in a World Championship race for MV Agusta since Giacomo Agostini won the 1976 500cc German Grand Prix at Nürburgring.

Lowes took the early lead from pole position followed by Kawasaki Intermoto’s Florian Marino and Sofuoglu. Sitting in fourth was Rolfo’s ParkinGo MV Agusta teammate Christian Iddon who started seventh on the grid.

Unfortunately for Iddon, the front wheel of his MV Agusta F3 675 caught the rear of Sofuoglu’s Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R on Lap 2, causing him to slide off the track. He tried to rejoin the race but was forced to retire while Sofuoglu lost a couple of positions.

The Turkish rider recovered however, moving into second place on Lap 5. By then however, Lowes had a comfortable 4.472-second cushion. Lowes continued to lead the rest of the 22-lap race for his third win of the season.

Meanwhile, Rolfo began to worm his way to the front. After finishing the first lap in 15th place, Rolfo gained speed and by the midway point had moved into ninth place. On lap 12, Rolfo gained another two positions and on Lap 14 he landed in fifth place.

Another two laps later, Rolfo went past PTR Honda‘s Sheridan Morais and Pata Honda‘s Lorenzo Zanetti to move into third place for good.

“I am delighted and thrilled with this first podium result for the F3 675!” says Giovanni Castiglioni, president and chief executive officer of MV Agusta. “It has been a great challenge to bring this important brand back on the race track. The amazing thing is that this podium was conquered on the same day as the Claudio Castiglioni Memorial organized by the Lombardia Moto Club Cagiva yesterday at our plant in Schiranna. I would like to dedicate this success to my father, the man from whom we inherited our great passion for racing.”

For Rolfo, the podium was an excellent conclusion to the weekend after a disappointing showing in qualifying.

“I’m really sorry I made mistakes during the qualifying on Saturday,” says Rolfo. “If I had been able to start further towards the front perhaps I wouldn’t have had the chance to get to first place anyway, but I sure would have had an easier time of it during the race, perhaps even made it one step higher on the podium. I promised everyone a comeback yesterday, but even I didn’t expect this fantastic result!”

2013 WSS: Donington Park Top Five Results Pos. Rider Motorcycle Gap 1 Sam Lowes Yamaha YZF-R6 - 2 Kenan Sofuoglu Kawasaki ZX-6R +11.105 3* Roberto Rolfo MV Agusta F3 675 +14.528 4* Lorenzo Zanetti Honda CBR1000RR +19.999 5 Luca Scassa Kawasaki ZX-6R +20.120 2013 WSS Championship Standings after 5 Rounds Pos. Rider Team Points 1 Sam Lowes Yakhnich Yamaha 95 2 Kenan Sofuoglu MAHI India Kawasaki 65 3 Fabian Foret MAHI India Kawasaki 61 4 Lorenzo Zanetti Pata Honda 53 5 Michael van der Mark Pata Honda 49

[Source: WSBK]

By Dennis Chung

See also: 2014 MV Agusta F3 800 On the Way, John Surtees to Lead Classic Vehicle Parade Fundraiser, Austin Kicks Off MotoGP Weekend!.