Tom Sykes has won the opening 23-lap WorldSBK race at Donington Park in dry but cold and overcast conditions after a race long fight with his KRT team mate Jonathan Rea. The pair swapped positions for virtually the whole race after getting the better of early leader Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils). The final podium place went to Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team) who also passed Haslam with six lap to go as the Aprilia rider had to settle for fourth.
Sykes – who ended a 16-race winless drought today – has now won the last five WorldSBK races at the Leicestershire circuit and is one win short of six Donington wins, an accolade held by fellow Briton Carl Fogarty.
Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia) showed incredible pace in the closing stages to snatch fifth at the flag from Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), who had difficulties in keeping a competitive pace over the race distance.
Jordi Torres (Apriilia Racing Team – Red Devils) finished 7th on his Donington race debut ahead of reigning champion Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike Team), Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and David Salom (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) who were 8th, 9th and 10threspectively. The final point scorers were Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing Ducati), Nico Terol (Althea Racing Ducati), Roman Ramos (Team Go Eleven Kawsaki), Randy de Puniet (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), and Niccolò Canepa (Grillini SBK Team).
Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) crashed out early on, eventually being disqualified after parking the bike in the garage and then re-entering the track, while Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team) made an unscheduled pit stop to change tyres; the Italian, who started on the front row finished 17th and out of the points.
WorldSBK Donington – Race 1
1 – Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team
2 – Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team +3.743
3 – Chaz Davies Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team +15.140