WorldSBK Race One: Victory For Tom Sykes On His Donington Home Ground
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) took a brilliant win in Race 1 of the PATA UK Round in a dramatic race which brought crashes for Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati). Wildcard Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) made it an all-British podium, as Sykes took an amazing ninth successive victory in his home race at Donington Park.
An incident-packed race saw provisional leader Davies go down in the early stages at turn 12, after he lost the front end. He picked his Ducati up to rejoin, eventually finishing eighth having crashed at the same corner as he did in last year’s Race 1 at Donington and this latest incident will be a big blow to his World title aspirations.
With 6 laps to go Sykes got through on his teammate Rea to lead and within just over a lap he had opened up a two second gap on his Northern Irish teammate. Rea then suffered a high speed accident at turn 3, crashing out of the race, but was soon back on his feet and was taken back to the pits on a scooter.
A superb ride by Haslam on his return to the series saw him take a highly creditable second place, whilst Lowes took third thanks to a late move on Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati).
Dutchman Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) completed the top five, with Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) making it four Brits in the top six to further delight the home crowd.
In seventh place Leandro Mercado (IODARacing) crossed the line a couple of seconds ahead of Davies, with Spaniards Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) and Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) completing the top ten after 23 breathtaking laps around the exciting 4.023km Donington Park Circuit.
The riders and many of the fans in attendance carried stickers and flags in tribute to the late Nicky Hayden who tragically passed away earlier in the week after a cycling accident in Italy, with Sykes quick to pay his condolences to the Hayden family after the race in parc ferme. The podium finishers all wore t-shirts carrying Hayden’s famous number 69 in honour of the Kentucky Kid.
Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) and Riccardo Russo (Guandalini Racing) unfortunately suffered technical issues and ended up with DNFs.
WorldSBK Race 1 Results: 1. Tom Sykes – Kawasaki 2. Leon Haslam – Kawasaki 3. Alex Lowes – Yamaha
WorldSBK Race Two: Jonathan Rea Responds With Brilliant Donington Race Two
The PATA UK Round concluded on Sunday afternoon with a dramatic race 2, which brought victory for World Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) after a crash on Saturday, with Rea’s KRT colleague Tom Sykes and Aruba.it Racing – Ducati’s Chaz Davies also on the podium.
Rea’s eighth victory of 2017 extends his lead in the standings to 55 points after six rounds and he rode brilliantly at the Donington Park Circuit to beat his teammate to the line by 1.601s and win his home race.
The result brought an end to Sykes’ remarkable run of nine successive wins at Donington and the Yorkshireman was amongst the first to congratulate Rea on his triumph. It was also Kawasaki’s 100th race win in WorldSBK.
In parc ferme after the race Rea dedicated his win to the late Nicky Hayden who so sadly passed away earlier in the week after a cycling accident in Italy.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) had looked good for a podium result but was caught for third in the final stages by a determined Davies – who had crashed and finished eighth on Saturday.
Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) completed the top five and Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) made it five Britons in the top six, crossing the line five seconds behind Lowes.
Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) was seventh and he was joined in the top ten by Roman Ramos (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven), Jake Dixon (Royal Air Force Reg. & Res. Kawasaki) and Raffaele de Rosa (Althea BMW Racing Team).
Only 14 participants were able to finish the race as a number of high profile riders crashed out, including wild card Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team), Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia), Leandro Mercado (IODARacing) and Alex De Angelis (Pedercini Racing SC-Project).
Meanwhile, Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) stopped on the eighth lap after the chain of his Ducati Panigale R broke and fell loose.
The WorldSBK grid will be back in action at the Pirelli Riviera Di Rimini Round at Misano over the 16th-18th June weekend.
WorldSBK Race 2 Results: 1. Jonathan Rea – Kawasaki 2. Tom Sykes – Kawasaki 3. Chaz Davies – Ducati
Championship Standings After Round Five
1. Jonathan Rea – 260 points (Kawasaki) 2. Tom Sykes – 205 points (Kawasaki) 3. Chaz Davies – 185 points (Ducati) 4. Marco Melandri – 137 points (Ducati) 5. Alex Lowes – 121 points (Yamaha)
WorldSSP: Unstoppable Sofuoglu Registers Third Successive Victory
Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) made another big statement of intent in the 2017 WorldSSP championship fight on Sunday afternoon at the PATA UK Round, taking a third win in three races. He was joined on the podium at the Donington Park Circuit by standings leader Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) and Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda).
Having missed the opening two rounds of the year due to a training injury, Sofuoglu has clawed his way back to second in the championship after six races courtesy of a 100% record in the last three rounds. In a restarted race, after a red-flag in the initial get away, pole man Sofuoglu notched up a dominant win in a shortened 13-lap contest, crossing the finish line 2.45s in front of closest challenger Mahias.
For Mahias it was his third consecutive second place finish behind the Turk and the result means he maintains the championship lead by 30 points, even if he can feel Sofuoglu on his shoulder as the World Champion moves up the general standings.
A good performance by Cluzel on the Honda CBR600RR saw him bring it home in third, for his second podium of the season. The Frenchman pushed his compatriot Mahias hard for second place but just could not make a move stick over the final corners.
The top five also featured Luke Stapleford in fourth place as the top British finisher and his fellow Profile Racing rider – Irishman Jack Kennedy – in fifth.
The top ten was competed by Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing), Anthony West (EAB West Racing), Kyle Smith (GEMAR Team Lorini), Hikari Okubo (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) and Joe Francis (HALSALL Racing Team). Meanwhile in 11th and 12th there were point-scoring finishes for Kyle Ryde (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) to make it five Britons in the top 12.
A crash at turn 12 for Cardelus Garcia (Race Department ATK#25) saw the initial race start red-flagged as the marshals cleaned the track – following the incident for the MV Agusta F3 675-equipped rider.
Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) crashed at turn 12 soon after the race was restarted and his Italian compatriot Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing) also crashed out in the final stages of the race. An issue for PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) meant he did not participate in the restart.
The WorldSSP riders will be back in action over the 16th-18th June weekend at the Pirelli Riviera Di Rimini Round.
WorldSSP Results: 1. Kenan Sofuoglu – Kawasaki 2. Lucas Mahias – Yamaha 3. Jules Cluzel – Honda
Australians: 23. Lachlan Epis – Kawasaki 27. Guiseppe Scarcella – Honda
Championship Standings After Round Five
1. Lucas Mahias – 105 points (Yamaha) 2. Kenan Sofuoglu – 75 points (Kawasaki) 3. Sheridan Morais – 68 points (Yamaha)