Superbikes - Donington WSBK: Sykes back on top after race one win

Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes out-paced his team-mate Loris Baz to take a thrilling victory in the opening World Superbike race of the day at Donington Park.

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Superbikes - Donington WSBK: Sykes back on top after race one win
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Donington WSBK: Sykes back on top after race one win

The Yorkshireman snatched the lead from the French rider and on the final lap rode on ahead to take the first win of the afternoon in dry conditions. Voltcom Suzuki’s Alex Lowes rounded off the final step on the podium.

Aprilia's Sylvain Guintoli got the hole-shot, only for Lowes to nick first place at the Old Hairpin. The Frenchman went down to third with Baz edging on ahead to take second. On lap three Guintoli went on the inside of Lowes to take the lead into Coppice. Lowes went slightly wide and that enabled Baz to squeeze into second.

On lap five Baz went into first at the Old Hairpin. A lap later two Brits crashed, first it was Alstare’s Christian Iddon on his Bimota BB3 Evo bike, who fell at McLeans. Seconds later Voltcom Suzuki’s Eugene Laverty fell heavily at the Fogarty Esses.

By lap seven Guintoli fell off the pace and Lowes was able to take advantage and slotted back into second, just behind Baz. Pole-setter Giugliano also made a more on Guintoli and went into third - which stuck going into Coppice to push Lowes back to second.

Elsewhere there was a British battle for sixth place between Sykes, Pata Honda's Jonathan Rea, Leon Haslam and Ducati's Chaz Davies, with the reigning champ setting the pace, lapping a second faster than his team-mate who was leading the pack.

But lap eleven Sykes pulled away from Rea and had a one second gap between the Northern Irishman, and soon had Melandri as his next target. Sykes went inside of the Italian to go into fourth at the Old Hairpin and set the quickest lap of the day so far – a 1’28.914.

Giugliano was about the make a move on Baz to go into the lead put crashed at Fogarty Esses, but Sykes wasn’t giving up that easily and managed to get inside the slip stream of Lowes at the Dunlop Straight to go into second.

On lap 19 it turned into a Kawasaki duel for the top step of the rostrum with Sykes knocking two tenths of his lap time to catch up with his younger team-mate, and at Goddards went into first, only for Baz to retake the lead into the Old Hairpin. But that was only to last mere seconds as Huddersfield’s finest went into lead going out of the Melbourne Hairpin, and on the penultimate lap pulled off ahead by 0.9 seconds, and powered on ahead to take the win.

In the mid-pack battle of the Brits it was Welshman Davies who got the better of Rea, with Guintoli sandwiched between the Pata Honda bikes, with Haslam finishing his home round in eighth. Red Devils Roma’s Toni Elias and  David Salom rounded off the top ten and the Kawasaki man also took the Evo class spoils.

Donington World Superbikes race one

1 7 1 T. SYKES GBR Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R 23 1'28.779 275,8 1'46.241 252,5 25 160 1

2 6 76 L. BAZ FRA Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R 23 1.538 1'29.164 268,2 1'46.058 253,1 20 139 3

3 4 22 A. LOWES GBR Voltcom Crescent Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R1000 23 6.394 1'29.169 270,9 1'45.258 246,2 16 66 8

4 3 33 M. MELANDRI ITA Aprilia Racing Team Aprilia RSV4 Factory 23 11.875 1'29.499 271,6 1'45.111 247,3 13 97 6

5 11 7 C. DAVIES GBR Ducati Superbike Team Ducati 1199 Panigale R 23 14.514 1'29.678 268,9 1'50.099 242,8 11 98 5

6 8 65 J. REA GBR PATA Honda World Superbike Honda CBR1000RR 23 14.708 1'29.495 269,6 1'46.306 251,9 10 149 2

7 5 50 S. GUINTOLI FRA Aprilia Racing Team Aprilia RSV4 Factory 23 18.483 1'29.467 271,6 1'45.839 242,8 9 132 4

8 2 91 L. HASLAM GBR PATA Honda World Superbike Honda CBR1000RR 23 29.295 1'29.742 267,5 1'45.009 250,2 8 66 9

9 9 24 T. ELIAS ESP Red Devils Roma Aprilia RSV4 Factory 23 31.291 1'30.493 266,2 1'46.326 238,0 7 57 11

10 17 44 D. SALOM ESP Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 23 46.953 1'30.649 257,3 1'53.656 226,0 6 40 12

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