Tom Sykes wins World Superbikes races at Donington Park
Sykes had struggled in wet conditions during qualifying on Saturday, but the two triumphs ensure that he overhauls PATA Honda’s Jonathan Rea at the top of the standings ahead of the next meet in Malaysia in a fortnight’s time.
The Kawasaki rider started seventh on the grid for race one and made a dreadful start to fall down to 11th position, but recovered to partake in a fierce battle with team-mate Loris Baz.
Having clawed his way back from the poor opening to the race, Sykes eventually overcame Baz to claim a 17th career victory, with fellow Briton Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) earning a third-placed finish.
Ducati’s Davide Giugliano had started on pole, but crashed out on lap 16, while Marco Melandri (Aprilia) came home fourth ahead of Welshman Chaz Davies (Ducati), as Rea – who started eighth on the grid after a crash in qualifying – was fifth.
Race two produced another intense battle between the two Kawasaki riders, with Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli this time making it a three-way battle for the chequered flag.
However, just as in race one it was Sykes who came out on top, once more pipping Frenchman Baz, and in doing so claimed the championship lead.
Guintoli, who could only place seventh in race one, fared much better to deservedly seal third, while Giugliano recovered from his race-one crash to take fourth place.
Davies ended a solid afternoon’s work by taking fifth, while Rea will quickly want to move on after only mustering a sixth-placed finish.
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