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Donington WSBK: Sykes makes it eight in a row

Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes held off the challenges from his team-mate, Jonathan Rea to take an historic World Superbike victory at Donington Park. It is his eighth consecutive win at the circuit, and he has done the double here every year since 2013, and he is now second in the overall championship standings.

Rea did push his title rival hard and did get into the lead on lap eighteen only for him to experience a false neutral with his bike and he ran wide allowing Sykes to retake the front and the eventual race win. Aruba.it Ducati’s Chaz Davies was unable to catch the Kawasaki’s but had consistent pace and ended race two on the third step of the all British rostrum, with Ioda Racing’s Lorenzo Savadori and MV Agusta Reparto Corse’s Leon Camier rounding up the top five.

Rea did set a new lap record at the track after a 1’27.605 on only his first lap, and went 0.04 seconds quicker than the previous record which belonged to his team-mate. Initially it was Sykes who got the hole-shot after a solid start followed by Davies, Rea and Giugliano. But Rea was on the chase and as Davies ran wide it allowed a resurgent Rea to go into second at Goddards on only the opening lap.


Giugliano meanwhile was getting eaten up by Hayden, Savadori and Camier and fell back four places at Coppice on lap four of 23. But with twenty laps to go the Kawasaki’s pulled away from the rest of the pack. With seventeen rotations left the dicing duo had a 1.6 second advantage over Davies, who had the former MotoGP champion, breathing down his leathers. But as the Welshman set his fastest lap of the race, Sykes and Rea edged away even further and the gap from second place to third was up to four second.

Elsewhere the fight for fourth got more interesting with Savadori edging ahead of Hayden on lap twelve with Camier two seconds behind. Milwaukee BMW’s Josh Brookes was soaring through the grid and after beginning thirteenth after only the first lap was gaining pace and past Fores, Torres and Pata Yamaha’s MotoAmerica champ, Cameron Beaubier to sail into ninth, and he had Honda’s Michael Van Der Mark as his next target.

A rotation later the reigning British Superbike champion was on the back wheel of the Dutchman and at the Melbourne Hairpin overtook Van Der Mark to go into eighth, but soon the Honda man was back in front of the Australian. Further up the track Italian, Savadori was nearly matching the lap times of Davies and on lap eighteen was only two seconds away from the Ducati rider.

At the front Rea was getting ever closer to his rival, and made a pass at Melbourne Hairpin to go into the lead for the first time, but went wide at Goddards moments later and Sykes slipped back into the P1 position with four laps remaining.

Camier had still not given up on chasing down Hayden and kept getting stronger in the last half of the race, and at Redgate on the final lap the MV Agusta had more speed than the Honda and Camier crossed the finishing line in fifth, followed by Hayden, Giugliano, Van Der Mark, Brookes and Beaubier completing the top ten. Torres, West, Ramos, Fores and De Angelis were the final points finishers this afternoon.

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