Sykes Extends Donington Streak after Rea Crash

Tom Sykes - Photo Credit: Kawasaki

Tom Sykes claimed an unprecedented ninth victory in succession at Donington Park in a dramatic opening race on Saturday. The Yorkshireman, who has taken the double in each of the last four years here, was given a clear run to victory when team-mate Jonathan Rea crashed out with a rear tyre problem, shortly after Sykes had passed him for the lead.

True to form, Sykes had eased to pole position earlier in the day but the lead didn’t last long as Chaz Davies stormed past into Redgate on lap one. There was chaos behind though as wildcard entrant Leon Haslam pushed Eugene Laverty wide into Alex Lowes, relegating the Yamaha rider to eighteenth.

Rea soon established superiority over Sykes with a sensational move through the Craner curves on lap two, while an attempt to respond saw Tom fall two seconds behind. Rea’s bravery would soon be rewarded with the lead as Davies, who had been setting a rapid pace at the front, lost the front end of his Ducati at Goddards, just as he had a year ago.

Sykes was now up to second but still had plenty of empty tarmac between himself and the leader. The no.66 soon upped the pace though to reel the world champion in by half-distance and with six laps remaining, dived up the inside into the Melbourne loop. Rea immediately fell away from his team-mate, losing three seconds per lap, and the reason for his lack of pace became evident on lap 21 when the rear tyre came loose from the rim approaching the Old Hairpin, triggering a terrifying crash which he thankfully walked away from.

The high-profile retirements promoted BSB championship leader Leon Haslam to second while Alex Lowes was rewarded for a stunning recovery ride with third thanks to a last-lap error from Marco Melandri, Lowes’ and Yamaha’s first podium of 2017. Michael van der Mark was fifth ahead of Leon Camier and Leandro Mercado while Chaz Davies remounted to salvage eighth.


WorldSBK 2017: UK Round – Race One Result

166. Tom SykesKawasakiKawasaki Racing Team33:56.45725
291. Leon HaslamKawasakiKawasaki Puccetti Racing+16.50020
322. Alex LowesYamahaPata Yamaha Official WSBK Team+19.17016
433. Marco Racing – Ducati+19.69913
560. Michael van der MarkYamahaPata Yamaha Official WSBK Team+21.45411
62. Leon CamierMV AgustaMV Agusta Reparto Corse+23.37610
736. Leandro MercadoApriliaIODARacing+24.9799
87. Chaz Racing – Ducati+26.9888
981. Jordi TorresBMWAlthea BMW Racing Team+34.9107
1012. Xavi ForesDucatiBARNI Racing Team+35.1786
1140. Roman RamosKawasakiTeam Kawasaki GoEleven+38.5855
1232. Lorenzo SavadoriApriliaMilwaukee Aprilia+39.8244
1350. Eugene LavertyApriliaMilwaukee Aprilia+44.6233
1488. R. KrummenacherKawasakiKawasaki Puccetti Racing+52.5392
1535. Raffaele de RosaBMWAlthea BMW Racing Team+58.8751
1686. Ayrton BadoviniKawasakiGrillini Racing Team+1:03.994
1715. Alex de AngelisKawasakiPedercini Racing SC-Project+1:06.816
1837. Ondrej JezekKawasakiGrillini Racing Team+1:14.800
NC1. Jonathan ReaKawasakiKawasaki Racing Team+3 Laps
NC6. Stefan BradlHondaRed Bull Honda WorldSBK Team+7 Laps
NC27. Jake DixonKawasakiRoyal Air Force Reg. & Res.+7 Laps
NC84. Riccardo RussoYamahaGuandalini Racing+9 Laps