Sykes Does The Double As KRT Riders Go 1-2 Again
In the sixth round of the FIM Superbike World Championship, held at Donington Park, Tom Sykes (KRT) scored a home double for his first race wins of the season so far. His team-mate Jonathan Rea was second in race one and again in race two, extending his championship lead to over 100 points.
Sykes has now won the last six WSB races at Donington, all for KRT, as he found his best machine set-up of the year to win in relatively cool conditions. He equalled the record of six Donington WSB race wins held by Carl Fogarty and took his career victory total to 24.
Sykes also set a new lap record of 1’27.640 in race two, giving him the perfect weekend when his raceday performances are added to his in Superpole qualifying success, at new track best pace on Saturday.
In race one Sykes and Rea had an often-tough battle for supremacy, passing each other regularly to share the lead until near the end of the 23 laps, when Sykes pushed on and Rea had to settle for second.
In race two, with Sykes out front at the start, Rea was ready to make his drive forward but almost fell on lap two at the fast Coppice corner, dropping to seventh place. He kept his composure and despite a severely bent rear brake lever he moved forward, contesting third place by lap 11. Rea was to get to second place after 23 laps, finishing 9.772 seconds behind Sykes.
In the championship Rea is still the clear and convincing leader, with a total of 280 points after scoring eight wins and four second place finishes in 12 races. Sykes is third, only one point behind second place, with a total of 178 points.
Portimao is the next round on the calendar, with raceday on June 7th.
“A full set this weekend – two race wins, pole position and a new lap record. After some battles in race one I had a clean start in race two and I went a little bit faster down Craner and into the Old Hairpin to stop any passes, and away we went. The bike was really nice and I made some 1’27s in the beginning. When I saw that the gap was increasing I just had to be careful in how to manage the race. I was really happy with the race performance because Marcel my crew chief and all the boys have been working really well. It is good to win all the last six races here at Donington but there is no real reason why. We are getting there now and I am able to do a little bit more of what I want to with the bike, and it showing.”
“I did not accept defeat before the races but Donington is one of those circuits where if there is one place where my team-mate was going to really excel it was here. I had a big moment in race two and I was really lucky. When I found a rhythm I realised that Tom was on a different racetrack today but I could finish second because I knew the pace of the Kawasaki in the second part of the race would be strong. I just put my head down and put some laps together and took second. Pere my crew chief has just told me that the championship points gap is in three figures, which I cannot believe. It is incredible, so we just need to keep doing the same.”
David Salom (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) took tenth and 12th place finishes at Donington and is now 15th in the championship. Roman Ramos (Team Go Eleven Kawasaki) was 13th in race one and 11th in race two, placing him 13th in the points standings.