A perfect weekend for reigning champion, Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes, taking the double at round five of the world superbike championship at Donington overnight to regain the world championship lead.
Race one – Reigning champion Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) has won the opening race after a titanic battle with his team mate Loris Baz at Donington Park.
Fighting back from a disastrous start Sykes gradually clawed back the deficit to claim his 17th career victory, the third so far this year, ahead of the young Frenchman, with fellow Brit Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) taking a well deserved 3rd at the flag.
Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) crashed out of the leading group on the 16th lap leaving the two Kawasaki’s to fight it out, much to the delight of the crowd. Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) was a lonely 4th ahead of Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team) and Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team).
David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) was classified as the first of the EVO riders, finishing in 10th overall.
Christian Iddon (Bimota Alstare) and Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) crashed out of contention early on, thankfully without injury.
1 / T. SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 34’23.929
2 / L. BAZ / FRA / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 1.538
3 / A. LOWES / GBR / Voltcom Crescent Suzuki / Suzuki GSX-R1000 / 6.394
4 / M. MELANDRI / ITA / Aprilia Racing Team / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 11.875
5 / C. DAVIES / GBR / Ducati Superbike Team / Ducati 1199 Panigale R / 14.514
6 / J. REA / GBR / PATA Honda World Superbike / Honda CBR1000RR / 14.708
7 / S. GUINTOLI / FRA / Aprilia Racing Team / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 18.483
8 / L. HASLAM / GBR / PATA Honda World Superbike / Honda CBR1000RR / 29.295
9 / T. ELIAS / ESP / Red Devils Roma / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 31.291
10 / D. SALOM / ESP / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO / 46.953
11 / N. CANEPA / ITA / Althea Racing / Ducati 1199 Panigale R EVO / 47.170
12 / F. FORET / FRA / MAHI Racing Team India / Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO / 1’02.583
13 / J. GUARNONI / FRA / MRS Kawasaki / Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO / 1’06.195
14 / A. ANDREOZZI / ITA / Team Pedercini / Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO / 1’11.244
15 / C. CORTI / ITA / MV Agusta RC-Yakhnich M. / MV Agusta F4 RR / 1’12.643
16 / R. LANUSSE / FRA / Team Pedercini / Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO / 1’22.209
17 / A. YATES / USA / Team Hero EBR / EBR 1190 RX / 1 Lap
18 / I. TOTH / HUN / BMW Team Toth / BMW S1000 RR / 1 Lap
19 / S. MORAIS / RSA / IRON BRAIN Grillini Kawasaki / Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO / 2 Laps
Race two – The second race of the day for the eni FIM Superbike World Championship was once again a close encounter, with reigning World Superbike Champion Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) coming out victorious to take an impressive double in front of his home crowd, just like one year ago.
The 23 lap race then saw a three way fight between Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) and the Kawasaki Racing Team duo Loris Baz and Tom Sykes, with the #1 eventually pulling away in the final laps to claim his 18th career win in the series. Thanks to a masterful performance in both of today’s outings, Sykes now lies on top of the standings, 26 points ahead of Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) and teammate Loris Baz.
Tom Sykes: “Maybe race one was the best race of my career. We had a problem on the first laps of race one and Loris came quite aggressively in turn one. I lost some positions and in the first half a lap, on full lean angle the bike was cutting the power. I almost came into the pits but the Ninja cleared itself and after that the bike was working very well. In race two I knew Loris would have a good pace and Sylvain always goes well round Donington. I just kept pushing and took the lead and then the win. It is great to take another double and also take the championship lead again.”
The leading bunch of riders locked together in the early stages until a clash between first race podium finisher Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) and Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) at the Melbourne Hairpin split the group. Both riders eventually remounted their bikes, with Lowes recovering several places to end up 9th.
Alex Lowes: “Leading my first World Superbike race was mega! Race 1 was good, although I struggled a bit towards the end. It’s the home race for both the team and myself, so I’m pleased with the result. I’m really disappointed about the second race, I had a good pace and I could have had another top 3 finish. I tried my best and I got away with a ninth place, even though my bike was damaged. We have proved we can run at the front and we’ll move on with the confidence gained here at Donington.”
Just as in race one Loris Baz took second position with Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) taking the last podium place after a much stronger second race for the Frenchman.
Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) recovered from his crash earlier to claim 4th.
Other factory Ducati rider Chaz Davies was a lonely 5th ahead of Rea who finished 6th. David Salom added to the celebrations for Kawasaki in the EVO category, by once again being the best classified rider, finishing a credible 10th overall.
Aaron Yates (Team Hero EBR) and Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) fell before half distance, neither rider sustaining any injury. Laverty however was able to remount and salvage 3 points.
As in the opening race, Leon Camier (BMW Motorrad Italia) and Geoff May (Team Hero EBR) were not on the grid, Camier nursing an injury sustained in yesterday’s Tissot-Superpole, May unable to take part due to an ongoing technical problem.
The championship heads to the new SBK venue of Sepang in Malaysia, with raceday on 8th June.
1 / T. SYKES / GBR / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 34’14.134
2 / L. BAZ / FRA / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R / 3.678
3 / S. GUINTOLI / FRA / Aprilia Racing Team / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 7.376
4 / D. GIUGLIANO / ITA / Ducati Superbike Team / Ducati 1199 Panigale R / 10.827
5 / C. DAVIES / GBR / Ducati Superbike Team / Ducati 1199 Panigale R / 15.140
6 / J. REA / GBR / PATA Honda World Superbike / Honda CBR1000RR / 17.975
7 / L. HASLAM / GBR / PATA Honda World Superbike / Honda CBR1000RR / 33.737
8 / T. ELIAS / ESP / Red Devils Roma / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 40.362
9 / A. LOWES / GBR / Voltcom Crescent Suzuki / Suzuki GSX-R1000 / 41.465
10 / D. SALOM / ESP / Kawasaki Racing Team / Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO / 48.929
11 / N. CANEPA / ITA / Althea Racing / Ducati 1199 Panigale R EVO / 49.229
12 / C. CORTI / ITA / MV Agusta RC-Yakhnich M. / MV Agusta F4 RR / 57.984
13 / E. LAVERTY / IRL / Voltcom Crescent Suzuki / Suzuki GSX-R1000 / 1’00.751
14 / J. GUARNONI / FRA / MRS Kawasaki / Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO / 1’01.697
15 / A. ANDREOZZI / ITA / Team Pedercini / Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO / 1’03.349
16 / S. MORAIS / RSA / IRON BRAIN Grillini Kawasaki / Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO / 1’03.820
17 / M. MELANDRI / ITA / Aprilia Racing Team / Aprilia RSV4 Factory / 1’05.485
18 / F. FORET / FRA / MAHI Racing Team India / Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO / 1’11.049
19 / R. LANUSSE / FRA / Team Pedercini / Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO / 1’15.943
20 / I. TOTH / HUN / BMW Team Toth / BMW S1000 RR / 1 Lap
After a thrilling 20 lap World Supersport race at Donington Park, Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) has taken his second win of the season after a tense final three corners saw him fend off Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta RC-Yakhnich Motorsport).
Kev Coghlan (DMC-Panavto Yamaha) was back on the podium, taking the final place on the rostrum after being in the leading fight until the closing stages.
Former World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Team India Kawasaki) suffered another technical problem while leading but unlike in recent races the Turk was able to bring his machine home in 4th at the flag, unlike Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) who retired after his engine let go at Coppice Corner while the Italian was fighting for the lead.
Florian Marino (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) was classified 5th after working his way through the field from his lowly grid position. His team mate PJ Jacobsen was 6th.
Wildcard rider Sam Hornsey (Anvil Hire TAG Triumph) finished a respectable 16th overall.
1 / M. VD MARK / NED / PATA Honda World Supersport / Honda CBR600RR / 30’47.132
2 / J. CLUZEL / FRA / MV Agusta RC-Yakhnich M. / MV Agusta F3 675 / 0.114
3 / K. COGHLAN / GBR / DMC Panavto-Yamaha / Yamaha YZF R6 / 1.266
4 / K. SOFUOGLU / TUR / MAHI Racing Team India / Kawasaki ZX-6R / 1.556
5 / F. MARINO / FRA / Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres / Kawasaki ZX-6R / 7.472
6 / P. JACOBSEN / USA / Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres / Kawasaki ZX-6R / 10.557
7 / J. KENNEDY / IRL / CIA Insurance Honda / Honda CBR600RR / 13.952
8 / R. TAMBURINI / ITA / San Carlo Puccetti Racing / Kawasaki ZX-6R / 14.783
9 / R. DE ROSA / ITA / CIA Insurance Honda / Honda CBR600RR / 15.363
10 / R. ROLFO / ITA / Team GO Eleven / Kawasaki ZX-6R / 16.585
11 / M. BUSSOLOTTI / ITA / Team Lorini / Honda CBR600RR / 22.829
12 / R. WILAIROT / THA / Core PTR Honda / Honda CBR600RR / 24.005
13 / R. RUSSO / ITA / Team Lorini / Honda CBR600RR / 38.908
14 / A. NOCCO / ITA / San Carlo Puccetti Racing / Kawasaki ZX-6R / 45.198
15 / V. LEONOV / RUS / MV Agusta RC-Yakhnich M. / MV Agusta F3 675 / 46.175
16 / S. HORNSEY / GBR / ANVIL Hire TAG Racing / Triumph Daytona 675 / 54.335
17 / T. COVEÑA / NED / Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres / Kawasaki ZX-6R / 59.218
18 / F. ROGERS / GBR / Com Plus SMS Racing / Honda CBR600RR / 1’08.703
19 / C. GAMARINO / ITA / Team GO Eleven / Kawasaki ZX-6R / 1’11.424
20 / A. IVANOV / RUS / DMC Panavto-Yamaha / Yamaha YZF R6 / 1 Lap
Javier Orellana (Europ Food SL) has come out victorious in the 10 lap Pata European Junior Cup race, held in drying conditions today at Donington Park. The 16 year old from Mallorca, Spain, who is currently contesting his third season in the series, was able to take the lead and to get a small margin on the five-rider chasing pack on the last lap, crossing the line ahead of Angelo Licciardi (S.E.F.A.B Racing), Augusto Fernandez (WIL Sport), Illan Fernandez (Evo Kids Racing) and Mika Perez (Cuna de Campeones). Orellana now lies second in the standings, six points behind leader Augusto Fernandez.
Results: 1. Orellana 10 Laps/40.230 km in 18’44.629 average 128.778 kph; 2. Licciardi 0.719; 3. Fernandez 0.899; 4. Fernandez 0.933; 5. Perez 1.138; 6. Miralles 1.933; 7. Van Sikkelerus 35.261; 8. London 40.947; 9. Wisdom 41.319; 10. Geissler 1’07.937; 11. Soomer 1’09.634; 12. Drayton 1’16.712; 13. Van Schoonhoven 1’17.226; 14. Moreno 1’28.573; 15. Levy 1’43.976; etc.
Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) and his team-mate Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) were unable to capitalise on the excitement of racing at their home round this weekend, with Rea finishing sixth on two occasions and Haslam scoring a best of seventh in race two. Haslam had returned to real form in Superpole, finishing second in wet conditions but on raceday he only improved on his race one eighth place by one position.
Rea had arrived at Donington on the back of three race wins in succession, but on what he felt was a low grip circuit in the dry and occasionally sunny conditions of raceday he could not find the drive grip to let him compete at the very front. He had qualified eighth in a wet Superpole contest on Saturday, after finding some set-up issues on the dry first day, which featured three practice sessions, not the usual two.
Rea finished 14 seconds behind double race winner Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) in race one and then almost 18 seconds back in race two.
Rea lost the championship lead he had earned with a double win at the previous round in Imola, but he is second equal in the points rankings after Donington, alongside double second place man today, Loris Baz (Kawasaki), but with Rea ranked higher because of his race wins. Haslam is now eighth in the points standings.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) won his second race of the year in impressive style after taking pole in wet conditions on Saturday for the fourth round of the FIM Supersport World Championship. His victory takes him to a clear 14-point championship-leading advantage over Florian Marino (Kawasaki) who was fifth at Donington.
Imola race winner Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) was desperately unlucky to have a technical issue prevent him from challenging for a podium finish at one of his favourite circuits. He had to retire on lap 15 and he is now fifth in the championship, 41 points from his team-mate van der Mark.
Van der Mark shared the podium with second place rider Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta) whom he beat in a tough final lap fight, with Mikey only 0.114 seconds ahead at the flag after a clever last corner manoeuvre. Kevin Coghlan (Yamaha) finished third.
Van der Mark took the lead on lap 16, having been down in sixth place at one time and in a group behind the leaders. The Dutch rider worked his way forward at strong pace that gave him the race fastest lap on lap seven, if not the lap record.
The next best Honda finisher after ‘Mikey’ was Irishman Jack Kennedy (CIA Insurance Honda) who made great progress on a dry track from a lowly wet qualifying position of 18th to go seventh. This was his best finish of the year and it moved him into the top 15 in the championship.
Raffaele De Rosa (CIA Insurance Honda) placed a strong ninth in the race after qualifying 22nd, and Marco Bussolotti (Team Lorini Honda) was 11th.
A promising race for Ratthapark Wilairot (Core PTR Honda) ended up in 12th place after he ran off the track on two occasions trying to pass riders off line. Riccardo Russo (Team Lorini Honda) was one place behind the Thai rider.
At his home round Fraser Rogers (Com Plus SMS Racing) was 18th; Nacho Calero (CIA Insurance Honda) was a non-starter after a fall on Saturday.
Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) – Race result: 6th / 6th Championship position: 2nd – “It’s not been the perfect weekend after Imola, but I think we were ready for that. We really struggled on Friday with a few things and the low-grip nature of Donington caused us to suffer quite a lot throughout the weekend. In both races it was a struggle, and it’s difficult for me to understand how the bike was so good in Imola and why we struggled more here. But finishing two 23-lap races will give the guys some great data to take away and look at, so when, in the future, we arrive at circuits that aren’t so grippy, we can have an idea of how to maximise a result. We finished quite far from the race winners today and it’s not the best situation. But we can leave Donington with some positives and we’re all really looking forward to the next few races.”
Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) – Race result: 8th / 7th Championship position: 8th – “I was happy with qualifying in the wet but the races have not been good at all. Finishing eighth and seventh is only slightly offset by the fact that Jonathan had the same problems this weekend. In race two I caught up in some carnage with a couple of incidents at the hairpin and ended up dropping from third to about twelfth. That finished the afternoon for me, really, which is disappointing at my home round. Looking at the times we were doing they’re not far off what I was doing two or three years ago. It’s been frustrating, of course, but I have a lot of faith and confidence in the team and Malaysia is a new track for everyone, so I’m looking forward to the next round.”
Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) – Race result: 1st Championship position: 1st – “It has been amazing because all weekend we were really fast and yesterday we took pole position in the wet. In the race my start was not really good and also in the first few laps I struggled with grip. Late on in the race, when I got my own pace, I was faster and faster and I caught the group in front. I passed them one at a time and slowly, but when I managed to pass them all I could go away. The last few laps were a nice fight with Jules Cluzel, although I made a few mistakes. In the last few corners I did not want to fall because the championship is very important but it was a nice battle. I am happy and thankful for the team because they worked really hard, especially after I had a silly crash in warm-up. My bike was very good in the race.”
Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) – Race result: DNF Championship position: 5th – “I’m really disappointed and angry, but I know this is racing. I started really well and know that I had potential to fight for the win. I pushed to stay with the first group and had everything under control. I was waiting for the last three or four laps before I wanted to push but the bike broke before then. Everything was OK before then and the bike felt great and it’s important to be fighting for the win. But this is racing. I think I can fight at every race now, even if I like some tracks more than others. I’ve had two DNFs now and Mikey’s win today didn’t help the in championship but fighting for the win is important for my career.”
Jack Kennedy (CIA Insurance Honda) – Race result: 7th Championship position: 15th – “We started 18th off the grid and I had an OK start and made a good few places up. I was in the battle for about eighth to 12th but by the time I had got there the group at the front had just pulled a gap. I tried all race to bridge that but it just wasn’t happening. I was matching some of the times to the leaders but I just wasn’t quick enough to get to them. I was happy to be that consistent all race and match the times but we just needed a better qualifying position to be up there. The best points score and finish to date so let’s try and improve on this one.”
Raffaele De Rosa (CIA Insurance Honda) – Race result: 9th Championship position: 6th – “I am disappointed not to have qualified better because I think I could have run at the front and challenged for the podium. My qualifying crash also injured my left hand and that did not help in the race. I am so disappointed as we had the pace and the ability here – but now I am looking to the next round and will do my best there.”
Ratthapark Wilairot (Core PTR Honda) – Race result: 12th Championship position: 18th – “I made a good start and no problems to stay in the group near the front. In this race today the bike was improving I felt the set-up was improving and I could ride better and feel the tyres. But here I tried many lines but for this track I think it is not possible to try too many different lines. I made two mistakes and ran off the track then got back on. If I had done it only once I feel we could have finished top ten, because my pace was not so bad.”
Voltcom Cresecent Suzuki Report
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes thrilled the home fans today with a podium in the opening eni FIM Superbike World Championship race at Donington Park in the UK; and then heroically-charged from the back of the field to a top-10 position after a crash in race two.
Lowes consolidated a quick first-race start on his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R1000 by aiming straight for the front, taking the lead before the first lap was completed – and holding it for two laps – before a battle between Kawasaki’s Loris Baz and Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli relegated him to third. Mid-race saw Lowes battling for second on a number of occasions before settling in to a rhythm; and then taking a comfortable third place.
In the second race, Lowes ran fourth for the opening laps before a coming-together with Aprilia’s Marco Melandri on lap five. He re-joined at the back of the field, and, maintaining his original pace, began the task of cutting his way through the pack. Lowes produced a stunning ride in-front of the cheering home crowd – even taking two riders at once on lap 14 – and finished the race in an impressive ninth place to score seven valuable championship points; and also setting the fastest-lap of the race (1’28.554) along with recording the highest speed-trap-time of the race (273,7kph).
Eugene Laverty had a similar battle in the day’s second outing: He fell on the same lap, just moments after his team-mate, but raced his Suzuki GSX-R1000 from 22nd to secure 13th – and three points – at the chequered flag. After a promising start, Laverty leaves Donington with little to show for the weekend’s hard work – a crash also cutting short his first race at lap five – but will re-group for the next Championship outing in Sepang in a fortnight’s time.
Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes took a double victory as a rain-hit Donington Park gave way to a pleasant and sun-filled afternoon of racing for the 30,000-estimated spectators.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki will now look to prepare for the forthcoming flyaway race at Sepang, Malaysia, on June 8th.
Alex Lowes: “Race one was good. I struggled a bit at the end, but the start and leading my first World Superbike race was great! It’s nice for the team at the home race as well, so I’m really pleased with that. I am disappointed with the second race: The bike improved a lot and we had made some good changes; so thanks to Lez for that. I had good pace and I could’ve had another podium. I tried my best and got a ninth place, pushing really hard right to the end even though my bike was badly damaged. We’ll move on with the confidence gained this weekend as we have proved we can run at the front. My starts were better and I mixed-it-in with the top boys so I’m looking forward to the rest of the year. I’ve got some solid results now and I can’t wait for Sepang!”
Eugene Laverty: “The tough run continues. Race one we were looking strong but I made a mistake; through the chicane I dug my knee into the grass and it ripped me from the bike and I had a huge crash. In the second race your guess is as good as mine! I was just cruising because I needed to stay on-board to get a decent finish, and suddenly I lost the front. It’s disappointing because the potential is so good.”
Paul Denning- Team Manager: “It’s been an impressive weekend‘s work for Alex, his crew and for the Voltcom Crescent GSX-R. The first race was exactly the right balance between pushing hard when he needed to and settling for a fantastic podium at the end of the race. Race two was a huge disappointment but a better performance in many ways: The accident was pretty-much unavoidable, and with a heavily-damaged bike – which in most circumstances a rider would call ‘unreadable’ – clawed his back from dead-last to ninth place; and even on the last-lap of the race was the fastest rider on track. Race two was a definite podium at worst and a hard fight for the win at best. It didn’t happen, but that shouldn’t detract from what was a stunning day’s work.
“The story for Eugene was very different, unfortunately. We’ve had a difficult run over the last few weeks and the potential we’ve seen in practice hasn’t translated into results. The starts weren’t a problem today; we got away and soon battled through to the front group, but mistakes in both races meant that Eugene wasn’t able to capitalise. We will go to Malaysia with the target of rebuilding Eugene’s confidence, finding the sweet-spot in the bike for him; and capitalising on the obvious potential.”
Team Hero EBR Report
Team Hero EBR secured their best result since arriving in the World Superbike championship with Aaron Yates claiming 17th in race one at Donington Park earlier today.
The weekend wasn’t without incident, as an ongoing technical issue prevented Geoff May from starting either race.
In race one, Aaron brought the EBR 1190RX home in 17th position after getting the better of Imre Toth and Sheridan Morais in the closing stages.
Race two saw slightly warmer conditions and once again an encouraging performance by Aaron in the early stages as he was able to circulate at the same pace as a number of riders. He was however unable to finish the race after falling on lap 11, thankfully without injury to himself or too much damage to the bike
The team will now focus on the first ever World Superbike event at Sepang in Malaysia in a fortnight with the hope of continuing the progress made at Donington Park.
Giulio Bardi – Team Manager: “All in all I can say is that I am satisfied about this racing weekend because we made a good improvement with the bike and this is the most important target for us right now. In a fortnight we will race in Malaysia and I am sure that we can make a further step forward with both our riders.”
Geoff May: “I am sorry I couldn’t take part in the races. It is not so easy to sit and watch the other riders on track. Anyway I know the team is working hard with my bike and all I want to do now is focus on the next race in Sepang.”
Aaron Yates: “We did a great job during throughout weekend. I felt the bike improving after every session and I think this is what really matters at this stage. I am sorry for the crash in race 2 because I wanted fight till the end but the 17th in the first race is encouraging.”
Two great wins from Sykes came in very different circumstances, with Tom way down in 11th place in race one for a time but fighting his way back in brilliant style to hold off Baz by 1.5 seconds at the flag. In race two Sykes had a slightly better start off his third row starting place, and pushed on to take the lead on lap 11 and eventually run clear to in by 3.6 seconds.
Tom’s brilliant wins put him back in front of the championship chase after five rounds and he now has an impressive 26 point advantage over Jonathan Rea and his own team-mate Baz, who each have 159 points.
For Loris Donington could have delivered him his first and second wins of the season but for his world championship winning team-mate, but the development of Baz from potential challenger to consistent championship threat gathers pace every weekend. He led race one for a total of 15 laps and only gave way to Sykes in the very last lap, after some tough passes and re-passes between the top two Kawasaki riders.
David Salom scored two more wins in the Evo category, finishing to non full Superbike rider in each race, and taking an overall tenth place both times. He now has 12th place in the overall championship, on 46 points, but in the Evo championship he extended his lead to eight points over Niccolo Canepa.
Next up is Sepang, in Malaysia, on June 8th, for an all-new adventure for the SBK paddock.
Tom Sykes: “Yes, maybe race one was the best race of my career. Winning the world title will always be the most emotional one but in terms of performance today maybe the top of the list now. We had a problem on the first laps of race one and Loris came quite aggressively in turn one. I am not complaining but this took away my natural line and I got put onto the marbles. I lost some positions and in the first half a lap, on full lean angle the bike was cutting the power. I almost came into the pits but the Ninja cleared itself and after that the bike was working very well. I was in tenth or 11th position early on and I was very motivated to move back to the where I feel we should be at the front. It was difficult to pass because a lot of guys were using their fresh Pirelli tyres to their full advantage and after six laps I really started to make a plan of attack to win. In race two I had a good start but I knew Loris would have a good pace and Sylvain Guintoli always goes well round Donington. Sylvain led for half the race but I just kept pushing and took the lead and then the win. It is great to take another double after Aragon and also take the championship lead again. The summer weather really arrived back at Donington for my home round today.”
Loris Baz: “I was happy to be on the podium in race one not disappointed not to win it. I led for some time and I tried to get away. That was the target and I made a good start. I could not make it stick and I could not get away. I tried my best to pass Tom back where I could but I almost lost the front. It was a good race and I am happy for the team. It was clean passing but I just lost the front when I passed Tom. We are racing and on the limit. In race two it was almost the same as race one in that Tom was just too fast in the second part of the race. I could not do anything about that but it was a rewarding day and it is good to leave here 1-2 in the championship with Tom. We can all have a big smile on our faces.”
David Salom: “I was double best Evo rider today and it was a good result. In the first race I passed Niccolo Canepa in the last corner and won the race. In the second race I pushed hard and with three or four laps to go my hand felt not so good, I was in too much pain and I had no more to give. At the end Niccolo could not get past me and we took another Evo win. We are first in the championship, a few points more ahead, and congratulations to Kawasaki and the team for these good results in Donington.”
Aprilia Racing Report
A nice third place for Sylvain Guintoli closes out the weekend for Aprilia Racing at Donington in the English round of World Superbike. With this result the Frenchman stays in the top part of the championship standings at 11 points from second place and 37 from the leader. It was a shame that during the first race while duelling with Baz he ran straight on and was relegated to a seventh place finish
Sylvain Guintoli: “Race 1 did not go as I had hoped. I started off well, pushing hard, but then I wasn’t able to keep the pace and I was really struggling. Then the team did a great job for Race 2. The bike changed a lot and my pace improved compared to the first race. I pushed hard to get away from Davide Giugliano but I wasn’t able to keep up with the two front runners. Anyway, this podium, on a track that is certainly not one of my favourites, tastes like victory to me”.
Marco Melandri, after finishing Race 1 in fourth place, seemed better in the second race and even able to battle for one of the top positions. A good start (from the third spot on the front row of the grid) had him duelling for first place with team mate Guintoli. However, in the fourth lap contact with Lowes, who came from behind and bumped him full on, forced him into a crash, taking him out of play. Marco courageously made up positions but only after a long stop which relegated him to the bottom of the final standings.
Marco Melandri: “I can’t help but be disappointed. In Race 1 I struggled to go fast, but in Race 2 I’m sure I could have taken a spot on the podium because with the changes we made the conditions were a lot better. Unfortunately things didn’t go well and it wasn’t my fault. On the positive side we collected some important information about how to adapt the bike to my riding style. Now I just want to take things one race at a time, trying to improve constantly so I can get the good results that I know I am capable of”.
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