GREAT BRITAIN (Donington)

By winning the two races at Donington Park, Tom Sykes notched up the first twin-win of his career in the Superbike World Championship.

Superbike, Supersport Europe

donington2The races
Britain’s Tom Sykes was in great shape on his home turf at Donington Park. After qualifying once again ahead of his opponents, the Kawasaki rider gave no quarter and won both races, the first ahead of the BMW ridden by Melandri, the second in front of Aprilia Guintoli. Loris Baz got off to a bad start by being way back on the grid. Placed twelfth after the qualifying session, the Frenchman managed to claw his way back to fifth position when he took the chequered flag for the first race, but had to settle for seventh place at the end of the second. “It’s difficult to overtake on this circuit, and I didn’t feel as good in the second race: the temperature had changed and the behaviour of my bike was not quite the same,” he explained. In the Supersport category, Kenan Sofuoglu managed to take second place despite making contact with another bike early in the race, allowing Sam Lowes to take the lead. Suffering from cervical problems after his crash at Monza, Fabien Foret had a hard fight to finish ninth.

The championship
Thanks to his two successes on his English home ground, Tom Sykes has climbed back to second place overall in the World Superbike Championship only four points behind Sylvain Guintoli, clinging to his lead. Loris Baz remains firmly attached to his sixth place, with ninety-five points to his credit. In the Supersport category, Fabien Foret has lost the leadership and dropped back to third place, while Kenan Sofuoglu has moved up to second. The two Kawasaki riders are only three points apart, with Lowes thirty lengths in the lead.

The background
“My first twin-win, at home, in front of my public: it’s like a dream come true.” Tom Sykes couldn’t conceal his delight at the finish of the second race of the day at Donington Park. It must be admitted, it’s the first time the Kawasaki rider has managed to string two wins together on the same day. “Tom was simply unbeatable today,” praised Sylvain Guintoli, still championship leader, but now with Ichiro Yoda’s protégé breathing hard on his heels. From the first free practice sessions, Sykes set the tone by moving up to the top of the timesheets. On Saturday, the British rider clinched his fourth Superpole in a row and the fifth of his career, becoming the sixth rider in history with Colin Edwards to have such a track record. The results of the two races were equally clear. Winning the first two seconds ahead of Melandri, he won the second in front of all his rivals. “Adjusting the front suspension one notch between the two races allowed me to make the difference and really turn on the heat,” he explained. “After chalking up the new overall record for the circuit yesterday, today I turned in the lap record. I couldn’t want for anything better. With so many spectators at the circuit, there was no better place than Donington for my maiden twin-win.”

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