WSBK: Kawasaki back on top in the UK



Race 1

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 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 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. 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 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, 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 2 and come home in the points.

Race 2 begins on Sunday at 15:00 local time (GMT +1), as the battle rages once again.

Race 2

An incredible start for the Kawasaki Racing Team pairing of Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea saw the two Brits escape at the front of the race, beginning a more than twenty lap tussle that eventually saw Sykes earn an eighth victory at the Derbyshire track. Reigning Champion Rea crossed the line in P2 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 1 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 1 in Race 2, but teammate Jonathan Rea got an incredible start from the second row to set off in Sykes’ wake around Donington Park. 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 2 seconds clear. rider Chaz Davies made amends for his Race 1 after a difficult Friday with technical problems and locked out the podium in P3, with teammate Davide Giugliano having some issues and unable to repeat his podium from Saturday. The Italian Ducati rider came home in P7.

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 P4 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 5.

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 P6. Teammate Michael van der Mark dueled with Milwaukee BMW rider Josh Brookes and beat the Australian over the line to take P8.

Brookes, who has a lot of experience at Donington, moved up through the field to finish in P9 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.