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Donington WSBK: Sykes takes debut double

Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes stormed to his second World Superbike victory at Donington Park and did in emphatic style in a repeat of race one pulled away from the rest of the pack to claim another comfortable win. This is the riders first double victory of his career, and the first time since 1999 that there has been a British winner in both Superbike races and Supersport, with Sam Lowes claiming a win earlier this afternoon.

Sykes ended the race with a seven second lead, and on only his second lap broke the circuit record, held by Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea only a few hours before, with a 1’28.094 lap. Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli had a solid race and was never out of the top three positions through the entire race. But once again the Frenchman was unable to catch up with the Kawasaki to battle for the top spot on the podium.

There was an epic battle for the third and final spot on the podium between GoldBet BMW’s Marco Melandri and Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty. From the first lap, Laverty was able to keep up with the pace of his team-mate Guintoli, but on lap seventeen Melandri closed in on the Irishman and overtook him at the Melbourne Hairpin to go third.


Laverty did not wait for long to make his move at the Melbourne loop, and in the end a mistake by the Italian handed the Irish rider a third place finish, after Melandri went wide going into the Foggy Esses on the penultimate lap. The former MotoGP racer had to rejoin the race with only one lap remaining did not have time to push his way back up the grid and finished the race in fifth, just in front of team-mate Chaz Davies. The Welshman was never in contention for a podium finish and could not find the pace to move from his sixth place. In the earlier part of the race the Welshman was keeping up with Melandri around the track, but dropped off the pace.

Althea Racing’s Davide Giugliano made the most of Melandri’s mistake at the Foggy Esses and managed to match the pace of Laverty to cross the line in a respectable fourth place, narrowly missing out on a podium position.

It will be a race that Brits Rea and Fixi Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier would like to forget, as both failed to finish the race inside the top ten. Camier was the first rider to fall foul of the difficult Donington Circuit, as he crashed for the second time today at Goddards, but was able to rejoin and finished in the points in thirteenth.

Rea was in fourth place on his opening lap, but dropped down to eighth place, but the Isle of Man resident ran on into the Foggy Esses and was not able to improve on his eleventh place finish, as he was not able to catch up with Fixi Crescent Suzuki’s Jules Cluzel or Red Devils Roma rider Michel Fabrizio, who finished the final race of the day in ninth and tenth respectively.

Ducati Alstare’s Carlos Checa was absent from the second World Superbike race, because of a shoulder injury, and Pata Honda’s Leon Haslam was informed by his team that he had to withdraw from the races today as he is still suffering from a leg injury.

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