Sykes in fine form at Donington

2013-05-26 19:13
Tom Sykes (Gallo Images)
Donignton Park - Tom Sykes closed the gap at the top of the World Superbike Championship standings after a dominating victory in the first race at Donington Park on Sunday.

The 27-year-old continued his fine form from qualifying and eased to his second victory of the season.

After topping all but one of the sessions ahead of Sunday's first race, Sykes seemed in a determined mood to make the most of his dominance at Donington.

Starting on pole position for the fourth time this season, the Yorkshireman was beaten into the first corner by main championship rival Sylvain Guintoli, but would regain the position in the next corner - an advantage he would hold for the remainder of the first race.

Honda's Jonathan Rea and Guintoli chased Sykes hard during the early stages of the race, with Rea mounting a serious challenge initially after breaking the lap record to latch onto Sykes's Kawasaki.

Rea was unable to maintain the pressure, however, and with Sykes posting consistent times to open up a two-second advantage, first Guintoli and then Marco Melandri overtook the Honda rider.

With five laps remaining, Melandri was able to overtake Guintoli but despite posting some good times in the latter stages of the race, he was unable pressure Sykes.

Sykes crossed the line as the comfortable victory, with Melandri in second and Guintoli third.

His victory moved him into second place on the overall standings, nine points behind Guintoli.

Some distance behind Rea in fourth place, Loris Baz won the battle for fifth after starting the race from 12th on the grid to finish ahead of Davide Giugliano in sixth, who recovered well after an off at the Esses.

Eugene Laverty started from the front row and kept up with the leaders initially before a mistake at the Esses on the sixth lap, which dropped him into the chasing group.

For the remainder of the race he had difficulty breaking away from the pack and had to settle for seventh behind Baz and Giugliano.

Chaz Davies also made a bright start to the race on his BMW, but ended up a distant eighth after slipping back during the latter stages of the 23-lap race.

Jules Cluzel recorded a top 10 finish for Suzuki when he claimed ninth position after his teammate Leon Camier crashed out on the second lap.

Rounding out the top 10 was Michel Fabrizio on his Red Devils Aprilia, before Ducati riders of Ayrton Badovini, Carlos Checa, Niccolo Canepa and Max Neukirchner.


1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing) ZX-10R 23 laps
2. Marco Melandri (BMW GoldBet S1000RR) HP4 +2.379s
3. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing) RSV4 +3.808s
4. Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda) CBR1000RR +4.760s
5. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing) ZX-10R +13.649s
6. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) RSV4 +15.551s
7. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing) RSV4 +17.453s
8. Chaz Davies (BMW GoldBet S1000RR) HP4 +19.138s
9. Jules Cluzel (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) GSX-R1000 +27.738s
10. Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma) RSV4 +30.817s
11. Ayrton Badovini (Alstare Ducati) 1199 R +31.611s
12. Carlos Checa (Alstare Ducati) 1199 R +31.816s
13. Niccolo Canepa (Alstare Ducati) 1199 R +31.930s
14. Max Neukirchner (MR Ducati) 1199 R +43.025s
15. Vittorio Iannuzzo (Grillini Dentalmatic BMW) S1000RR +4 laps

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