Two great wins from Sykes came in very different circumstances, with Tom way down in 11th place in race one for a time but fighting his way back in brilliant style to hold off Baz by 1.5 seconds at the flag. In race two Sykes had a slightly better start off his third row starting place, and pushed on to take the lead on lap 11 and eventually run clear to in by 3.6 seconds.
Tom’s brilliant wins put him back in front of the championship chase after five rounds and he now has an impressive 26 point advantage over Jonathan Rea and his own team-mate Baz, who each have 159 points.
For Loris Donington could have delivered him his first and second wins of the season but for his world championship winning team-mate, but the development of Baz from potential challenger to consistent championship threat gathers pace every weekend. He led race one for a total of 15 laps and only gave way to Sykes in the very last lap, after some tough passes and re-passes between the top two Kawasaki riders.
David Salom scored two more wins in the Evo category, finishing to non full Superbike rider in each race, and taking an overall tenth place both times. He now has 12th place in the overall championship, on 46 points, but in the Evo championship he extended his lead to eight points over Niccolo Canepa.
Next up is Sepang, in Malaysia, on June 8th, for an all-new adventure for the SBK paddock.
Tom Sykes: “Yes, maybe race one was the best race of my career. Winning the world title will always be the most emotional one but in terms of performance today maybe the top of the list now. We had a problem on the first laps of race one and Loris came quite aggressively in turn one. I am not complaining but this took away my natural line and I got put onto the marbles. I lost some positions and in the first half a lap, on full lean angle the bike was cutting the power. I almost came into the pits but the Ninja cleared itself and after that the bike was working very well. I was in tenth or 11th position early on and I was very motivated to move back to the where I feel we should be at the front. It was difficult to pass because a lot of guys were using their fresh Pirelli tyres to their full advantage and after six laps I really started to make a plan of attack to win. In race two I had a good start but I knew Loris would have a good pace and Sylvain Guintoli always goes well round Donington. Sylvain led for half the race but I just kept pushing and took the lead and then the win. It is great to take another double after Aragon and also take the championship lead again. The summer weather really arrived back at Donington for my home round today.”
Loris Baz: “I was happy to be on the podium in race one not disappointed not to win it. I led for some time and I tried to get away. That was the target and I made a good start. I could not make it stick and I could not get away. I tried my best to pass Tom back where I could but I almost lost the front. It was a good race and I am happy for the team. It was clean passing but I just lost the front when I passed Tom. We are racing and on the limit. In race two it was almost the same as race one in that Tom was just too fast in the second part of the race. I could not do anything about that but it was a rewarding day and it is good to leave here 1-2 in the championship with Tom. We can all have a big smile on our faces.”
David Salom: “I was double best Evo rider today and it was a good result. In the first race I passed Niccolo Canepa in the last corner and won the race. In the second race I pushed hard and with three or four laps to go my hand felt not so good, I was in too much pain and I had no more to give. At the end Niccolo could not get past me and we took another Evo win. We are first in the championship, a few points more ahead, and congratulations to Kawasaki and the team for these good results in Donington.”