Tom Sykes dominates Donington race one as others make mistakes
Kawasaki rider Tom Sykes has taken victory in Race 1 at Donington Park, his seventh in a row at his home track. Ducati’s Davide Giugliano came home in P2 and reigning Champion Jonathan Rea completed the podium in third in a drama-filled race.
Ducati rider Chaz Davies got the best launch off the line in Race 1 from the middle of the front row, diving down the inside to take polesitter Tom Sykes into Turn 1 and leading the pack in the initial stages. After a mistake from Sykes saw the Yorkshireman demoted down to P4, the two Ducatis were chased by Jonathan Rea for the 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 T12 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. Defending title holder Rea completed the podium in third after some difficult moments that saw the reigning Champion unable to close down on the two leaders.
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 P6. 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 P7 and P8 respectively.
Karel Abraham came home in the top ten for Milwaukee BMW in their home race just head of Pedercini replacement rider Ant West. Westy completed the top ten despite contact with Alex De Angelis as the San Marinese rider tried a move up the inside which pushed West off the circuit, and all the way back to 19th before the Queenslander valiantly battled his way back forward through the field in a very impressive display of controlled aggression.
Josh Brookes claimed 14th and showed plenty of sparks of promise for better results tomorrow.
Cameron Beaubier, after an encouraging qualifying as replacement rider at Pata Yamaha, sadly crashed out and will be hoping to make amends in Race 2 and come home in the points.
WorldSBK 2016 – Donington – Race One Results
- Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team
- Davide Giugliano Aruba.it Racing – Ducati + 2.869
- Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team + 9.808
Championship Standings after Race 1
- Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team 273
- Chaz Davies Aruba.it Racing – Ducati 215
- Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team 212
WorldSSP: Sofuoglu Tops Tissot-Superpole
Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider Kenan Sofuoglu has taken pole position at Donington as the Turk continues to prove the benchmark within the WorldSSP field, with the front row completed by Honda rider PJ Jacobsen, ahead of Profile Racing rider Luke Stapleford, who took the final place on the front row at his home race.
Superpole 1 for World Supersport got underway at Donington Park with a big name in the field hoping to graduate to Tissot-Superpole 2, after MV Agusta Reparto Corse rider Jules Cluzel had a difficult run in practice sessions for Round 7, including some technical issues. In his final effort in the session, Cluzel took the top spot in the last few seconds, only to see his time impressively bettered by eventual Superpole 2 graduates Alex Baldolini and FIM Europe Supersport Cup rider Alessandro Zaccone. The Frenchman is still battling to recover fully from a big crash at Jerez at the end of 2015, and will start the Race at Donington from P13.
Tissot-Superpole 2 got underway with a wave from Gino Rea as Friday’s fastest man left the pits to begin his home qualifying session of the season, with compatriots Luke Stapleford and Kyle Smith also in the top ten and looking to challenge at home. The initial leader in the session was Sepang winner Ayrton Badovini, before times started to tumble and Kenan Sofuoglu began his assault for pole. The Turk remained on top for the majority of the session, with Luke Stapleford the first challenger to his crown, before Honda World Supersport rider PJ Jacobsen took P2 from the Brit and his Triumph Daytona.
In the final few minutes, the reigning Champion kept his grip on pole position, and will start Round 7 ahead of key title rival Jacobsen in P2. Stapleford, after good pace in 2015 at Donington as a wildcard, kept his Triumph on the front row at home and will start from P3.
Alex Baldolini, after graduating from Superpole 1, heads up the second row from Kawasaki Puccetti Racing’s impressive WorldSSP Randy Krummenacher. Ayrton Badovini continues his settling into the Supersport grid with a second row start, ahead of home talents Gino Rea and Kyle Smith, who are sure to be the first to push in front of their home crowd.
MV Agusta Reparto Corse’s Lorenzo Zanetti will begin the Race from P9, with top ESS rider Ilya Mikhalchik locking out the top ten in P10. The WorldSSP Race will get underway on Sunday 29th of May at Donington at 12:00 local time (GMT +1) as the home heroes take on the podium regulars.
WorldSSP Tissot-Superpole Donington
- Kenan Sofuoglu Kawasaki Puccetti Racing 1:30.298
- PJ Jacobsen Honda World Supersport Team + 0.224
- Luke Stapleford Profile Racing + 0.379