In a weekend of tight, and often messy racing in the sixth round of WorldSBK, it was Team Green wearing the winning grin.
In Race 1 of the Superbike class, it was Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) who took a brilliant win, his ninth in a row of the PATA UK Round. In a dramatic race, Sykes survived crashes for Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) to ride home to victory. Wildcard Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) made it an all-British podium, as Sykes took an amazing ninth successive victory in his home race at Donington Park.
Race 2 saw the World Champion bounce back from his high speed Saturday crash to take the win, with teamate Sykes and Ducati’s Chaz Davies also on podium.
The PATA UK Round concluded on Sunday afternoon with a dramatic Race 2, which brought victory for World Champion Jonathan Rea after a crash on Saturday, with Rea’s KRT colleague Tom Sykes and Aruba.it Racing – Ducati’s Chaz Davies also on the podium.
Rea’s eighth victory of 2017 extends his lead in the standings to 55 points after six rounds and he rode brilliantly at the Donington Park Circuit to beat his teammate to the line by 1.601s and win his home race.
The result brought an end to Sykes’ remarkable run of nine successive wins at Donington and the Yorkshireman was amongst the first to congratulate Rea on his triumph. It was also Kawasaki’s 100th race win in WorldSBK.
In World SSP, Kenan Sofuoglu made another big statement of intent in the 2017 WorldSSP championship fight on Sunday afternoon at the PATA UK Round, taking a third win in three races. He was joined on the podium at the Donington Park Circuit by standings leader Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) and Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda).
Having missed the opening two rounds of the year due to a training injury, Sofuoglu has clawed his way back to second in the championship after six races courtesy of a 100% record in the last three rounds. In a restarted race, after a red-flag in the initial get away, pole man Sofuoglu notched up a dominant win in a shortened 13-lap contest, crossing the finish line 2.45s in front of closest challenger Mahias.
For Mahias it was his third consecutive second place finish behind the Turk and the result means he maintains the championship lead by 30 points, even if he can feel Sofuoglu on his shoulder as the World Champion moves up the general standings.
In the 300 class, polesitter Alfonso Coppola rode home to victory, while Kiwi Avalon Biddle recovered from a crash in qualifying to rise up the ranks from 31st to 27th overall come race day.
The next round of the World Superbike Championship takes place at Misano in Italy over the weekend of June 16-18.