van der Mark Storms to First Win at Donington

by Louis Suddaby

Michael van der Mark upset the formbook at Donington Park to claim a sensational maiden WorldSBK victory in race one on Saturday. The Dutchman held off Kawasaki team-mates Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes, who had been expected to dominate, as Yamaha took their first victory since 2011 and first with the current YZF-R1 model.

History had already been made earlier in the day with Sykes taking a record-breaking 44th career pole position, moving him ahead of Troy Corser as the most successful Superpole rider of all time. With Rea the only rider within half a second of the Yorkshireman, a showdown between the two factory Kawasakis looked likely.

The anticipated battle kicked off instantly with the two world champions swapping places twice inside the opening four laps before Sykes slipped through at the Old Hairpin on lap six. Crucially though, the Yamaha of van der Mark was keeping pace with the Kawasakis and it soon became apparent that the Dutchman had the pace to go through.

An error from Rea at the Melbourne Loop handed second place to van der Mark on lap 13 and within two laps of being released, the Yamaha man breezed past Sykes into a lead he wouldn’t relinquish. Rea moved past his team-mate to grab second on lap 17 and promptly set the fastest lap of the race but his late charge ultimately proved fruitless as van der Mark claimed victory.

Sykes finished third ahead of the second PATA Yamaha of Alex Lowes with Lorenzo Savadori and Eugene Laverty finishing fifth and sixth respectively for Aprilia. Loris Baz, who had earlier qualified a magnificent third for Althea BMW, finished seventh ahead of an off-colour Chaz Davies while Leon Haslam grabbed ninth despite last lap contact with team-mate Toprak Razgatlioglu, an incident which knocked the Turk out of the points.


WorldSBK 2018: Prosecco DOC UK Round: Race One

160. Michael van der MarkYamahaPata Yamaha WorldSBK Team33:56.530
21. Jonathan ReaKawasakiKawasaki Racing Team+1.136
366. Tom SykesKawasakiKawasaki Racing Team+2.193
422. Alex LowesYamahaPata Yamaha WorldSBK Team+6.642
532. Lorenzo SavadoriApriliaMilwaukee Aprilia+7.331
650. Eugene LavertyApriliaMilwaukee Aprilia+13.374
776. Loris BazBMWGULF ALTHEA BMW Racing Team+15.992
87. Chaz Racing - Ducati+18.532
991. Leon HaslamKawasakiKawasaki Puccetti Racing+20.478
102. Leon CamierHondaRed Bull Honda World Superbike+20.634
1181. Jordi TorresMV AgustaMV Agusta Reparto Corse+22.503
1221. Michael Ruben Racing – Junior Team+33.250
1336. Leandro MercadoKawasakiOrelac Racing VerdNatura+33.771
1428. Bradley RaySuzukiBuildbase Suzuki+36.715
1599. PJ JacobsenHondaTripleM Honda WorldSBK Team+38.850
1645. Jake GagneHondaRed Bull Honda World Superbike+42.536
1741. Luke MosseyKawasakiTeam Pedercini Racing+42.682
1837. Ondrej JezekYamahaGuandalini Racing+47.849
1940. Roman RamosKawasakiTeam GoEleven Kawasaki+50.256
2094. Niccolo CanepaYamahaYamaha Motor Europe+52.188
2154. Toprak RazgatliogluKawasakiKawasaki Puccetti Racing+55.588
2233. Marco Racing - Ducati+1:19.859
2344. Gino ReaSuzukiOMG Racing UK+1:36.779
NC12. Xavi ForesDucatiBarni Racing Team+13 Laps
NC55. Mason LawKawasakiTeam WD40+23 Laps

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