Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes dominated at his home track of Donington over the weekend, winning both races in round seven of the 2016 Superbike World Championship at the UK circuit. The wins bring Sykes to second on the championship leader board with 237 points – just ahead of Ducati’s Chaz Davies (231 points) – at the half way mark in the season. Sykes still has a way to go to overhaul reigning world champion and team mate, Jonathan Rea, who sits on a comfortable 293 points after a season start of solid victories.
WorldSBK Race One: Sykes Takes Race One As Drama Unfolds Around Him
Kawasaki rider Tom Sykes has taken victory in race one at Donington Park, his seventh in a row at his home track. Ducati’s Davide Giugliano came home in second and reigning champion Jonathan Rea completed the podium in third in a drama filled race.
Ducati rider Chaz Davies won the start from the middle of the front row, diving down the inside to take polesitter Tom Sykes into turn one and leading the pack in the initial stages. After a mistake from Sykes saw the Yorkshireman demoted to fourth, the two Ducatis were chased by Jonathan Rea for the race lead, with Sykes fighting to recover.
Drama for both the race and title fight hit soon after as Davies lost the front end of his Ducati, sliding out of the lead and leaving teammate Davide Giugliano to fend off the KRT attack led by Rea. The reigning champion then made a mistake of his own at turn 12 and found himself chasing down a five second gap to the frontrunners, first getting past Lorenzo Savadori.
As Davies fought back into the top ten and then suffered another crash to end his race early, Tom Sykes caught Giugliano and a close battle ensued for a number of laps, with the Yorkshireman eventually taking over at the front and making the move stick. The six-time winner at Donington then concentrated on making a gap and crossed the line 2.8 seconds clear of the Italian to take his seventh win in a row at the Derbyshire track. Reigning champion Rea completed the podium in third.
Lorenzo Savadori, after an incredible front row start on his Aprilia, rode a solid race until a mistake in the last few laps saw him caught by Nicky Hayden and Leon Camier and the Italian got bumped down to sixth. MV Agusta rider Camier fought with the American in Camier’s home race, eventually diving up the inside and just beating Hayden over the line. Sepang winner Nicky Hayden, after graduating from Superpole 1, struggled for pace throughout some sessions, before finding good consistency in the race and moving up from his grid spot.
Althea BMW rider Jordi Torres, after a good start, then found himself hunted down by Honda rider Michael van der Mark as the Dutchman fought back from a difficult qualifying. Only separated by two tenths for a number of laps, Spaniard Torres just held off the attack of the Honda rider as the pair crossed the line in seventh and eighth respectively. Karel Abraham came home in the top ten for Milwaukee BMW in their home race, ahead of Pedercini replacement rider Ant West, who completed the top ten despite contact with Alex De Angelis as the San Marinese rider tried a move up the inside. Cameron Beaubier, after an impressive qualifying as replacement rider at Pata Yamaha, sadly crashed out and will be hoping to make amends in race two.
WorldSBK Race 1 Results: 1. Tom Sykes – Kawasaki 2. Davide Giugliano – Ducati 3. Jonathan Rea – Kawasaki
Australians: 10. Anthony West – Kawasaki 14. Josh Brookes – BMW
WorldSBK Race Two: KRT Duo Duel It Out At Donington
An incredible start for the Kawasaki Racing Team pairing of Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea saw the two Brits escape the field at the start, launching a twenty lap tussle that eventually saw Sykes earn an eighth victory at the Derbyshire track. Reigning champion Rea crossed the line in second to take another podium and keep his incredible haul of points for the title increasing, and Ducati’s Chaz Davies found redemption after a tricky race one in which the Welshman suffered two crashes, completing the podium in third.
Sykes was the pacesetter throughout the weekend and the Yorskhireman’s Kawasaki wasn’t beaten into turn one in race two, but teammate Jonathan Rea got an incredible start from the second row to set off in Sykes’ wake. Staying with his teammate, Rea made some moves to take the lead but a small mistake at the final turn saw Sykes regain the lead and then find the legs to pull away to cross the line two seconds clear.
Aruba.it rider Chaz Davies made amends for his race one after a difficult Friday with technical problems and locked out the podium in third, with teammate Davide Giugliano having some issues and unable to repeat his podium from Saturday. The Italian Ducati rider came home in seventh.
Lorenzo Savadori had another impressive performance onboard the IodaRacing Aprilia and converted his front row start into a repeat of the rookie Italian’s best ever fourth finish claimed earlier in the season, ahead of MV Agusta rider Leon Camier, riding at home, who put in a sterling ride to bring the Italian marque home in illustrious company in the top five.
Honda’s Nicky Hayden had a good start and hunted down Giugliano and Savadori in the initial stages, before encountering a drop in pace and eventually succumbing to Camier in the closing stages and coming home in sixth. Teammate Michael van der Mark dueled with Milwaukee BMW rider Josh Brookes and beat the Australian over the line to take eighth
Brookes, who has a lot of experience at Donington, moved up through the field to finish in ninth and top BMW at the Milwaukee team’s home race. The top ten was completed by stand in rider Cameron Beaubier riding for Pata Yamaha in place of injured Sylvain Guintoli, with the American putting in a calm and solid performance to gain some good points for the team.
Round 8 sees WorldSBK back on track at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on the Riviera di Rimini from 17th – 19th June as Ducati race at home once again.
WorldSBK Race 2 Results: 1. Tom Sykes – Kawasaki 2. Jonathan Rea – Kawasaki 3. Chaz Davies – Ducati
Australians: 9. Josh Brookes – BMW 12. Anthony West – Kawasaki
Championship Standings After Round Seven
1. Jonathan Rea – 293 points (Kawasaki) 2. Tom Sykes – 237 points (Kawasaki) 3. Chaz Davies – 231 points (Ducati)
World Supersport: Reigning Champion Puts On A Masterclass
The most successful World Supersport rider of all time – Kenan Sofuoglu – has taken another win in 2016 in a supreme display at Donington Park in the UK. The Turk lost the lead off the line before hunting down Honda rider PJ Jacobsen to retake the lead and subsequently pulling away from the chasing pack. American Jacobsen crossed the line in second for another podium finish, and second Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider Randy Krummenacher completed the podium in third in another impressive ride in his rookie year in WorldSSP.
A battle of the Brits raged just behind the podium finishers as front row starter Luke Stapleford battled Friday’s fastest Gino Rea, before GRT rider Rea managed to pull away and bring his MV Agusta home in fourth, just ahead of the Triumph of Stapleford on home turf. Lorini rider Ayrton Badovini, after an amazing duel to the finish in Sepang, dueled once again at Donington but this time with ATK 25 rider Alex Baldolini. The duo were then joined in the fight by local rider Kyle Smith.
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda rider Smith, who won the race in Assen, got past Badovini with only a handful of laps remaining, then setting his sights on next Italian Baldolini. The Brit managed to fight off both to cross the line in P6 for another good haul of points, with Baldolini just behind him and a last minute move from MV Agusta Reparto Corse rider Jules Cluzel seeing the Frenchman take P8 from Badovini on the final lap. Cluzel had a difficult qualifying and is suffering effects from his crash in Jerez in 2015, with the result proving an impressive comeback ride for the Frenchman to finish in the top ten.
Lorenzo Zanetti, after a duel with his MV Agusta teammate Cluzel, completed the top ten for the Italian marque. The top FIM Europe Supersport Cup rider at Donington Park was once again Alessandro Zaccone for San Carlo Team Italia, with the young Italian impressing in his debut WorldSSP outings.
Round 8 will see WorldSSP back out to battle at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on the Riviera di Rimini in June, as Sofuoglu sets his sights on the ever-closer fifth WorldSSP crown.
WorldSSP Results: 1. Kenan Sofuoglu – Kawasaki 2. PJ Jacobsen – Honda 3. Randy Krummenacher – Kawasaki
Australians: 19. Aiden Wagner – MV Agusta 28. Lachlan Epis – Kawasaki