A great performance of Tom Toparis on his first experience at Donington Park. The Australian managed to score a top-five finish in the first British Supersport race of the season, although unfortunately the Benro Racing rider was injured in race 2 with a broken wrist after early crash.
Benro Racing made their official British Supersport championship debut at Donington Park this weekend. For Tom Toparis, the track was also new. Friday's free practice sessions were all about getting to know the track and making quick steps forward. This worked out very well, the Aussie managed to improve his lap times constantly during the day. Toparis ended in twelfth position at the completion of Friday. The Benro Racing rider showed an impressive performance in qualifying; he improved another second faster than Friday and he was fourth on the grid for the first race of the season.
Before the first race, the team made some changes on the bike, but in the end not all of them worked out as planned. After a difficult first few laps, Toparis lost the connection with the riders in the front positions. The Benro Racing rider worked his way back and in the end of the race he finished in fifth position. A great result on a completely new circuit for the team. The grid for the second race was determined by the fastest lap times of each rider in the first race. Toparis had to start from the fourth row on the grid in twelfth. The start and the first lap was great, after a lot of overtaking, Toparis was already in fourth position by lap 2. Unfortunately it went wrong in the last chicane when he lost the rear and highsided coming onto the main straight. Toparis suffered a broken wrist and several bruises to his shoulder. Early next week the Australian will be further examined in a Dutch hospital.
Tom Toparis: "We were getting stronger and stronger as the weekend went on. Together with the team we worked very hard to learn the Donington Park circuit as quickly as possible, and that went very well with a fourth place in qualifying, and a fifth place in the first race. I knew I had some work to do in race 2, coming from 12th on the grid. I had a very good start in the second race and gained a lot of positions. Unfortunately, I made a mistake on the second lap and this resulted in a bad ending on an otherwise great weekend for us. I'm gutted for the team, especially after all the effort they’ve put in these past 2 weeks to make it to the first race of the season. We will do everything we can to be back racing as soon as we can! Thanks to all the team and our great sponsors.”