Tom Sykes finally got the better of Kawasaki teammate Jonathan Rea with a dominant double victory on Sunday at Donington Park. The 2013 world champion was in a class of his own for much of the afternoon, winning both races by a sizeable margin to open his account for the season.
Although the final gap was 3.7 seconds, Sykes had to work hard in the opening race with Rea throwing everything at the Yorkshireman. The pair came close to colliding on several occasions before Rea appeared to accept defeat eight laps from home, opting to bank the twenty points on offer for second place.
In race two, Rea’s chances of keeping Sykes in sight were extinguished on lap two but the Ulsterman was lucky to stay on his Kawasaki altogether after an enormous highside exiting Coppice. Rea miraculously managed to cling on but not before five riders had passed him, relegating him to seventh and although he recovered to P2, Sykes was nine seconds up the road with a second victory in the bag.
The result took Tom’s winning streak at Donington Park to six races and the 29 year old was pleased to see the hard work on his side of the Kawasaki garage finally bearing fruit.
“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.”
Rea’s two second places saw his championship lead grow to 101 points after Leon Haslam was beaten to third in both races by Ducati’s Chaz Davies. Davide Giugliano encountered rear tyre problems in race one but bounced back to take fifth in race two while Suzuki enjoyed their best weekend since Thailand with Alex Lowes breaking into the top six on both occasions.