In winning his 26th career Superpole, KRT rider Tom Sykes is now tied with legend Troy Bayliss as the second most successful rider in the history of WSB qualifying. Team mate Jonathan Rea’s second place in Superpole made it a strong 1-2 on home ground for each KRT competitor who have each now taken two pole positions this year: Sykes at Assen and Donington, Rea at Phillip Island and Buriram.
Sykes has now won the last six WSB races at Donington, all for KRT, as he found his best machine set-up of the year to win in relatively cool conditions. He equalled the record of six Donington WSB race wins held by Carl Fogarty and took his career victory total to 24.
Sykes also set a new lap record of 1’27.640 in race two, giving him the perfect weekend when his raceday performances are added to his Superpole qualifying success, at new track best pace (1’27.071) on Saturday.
In race one Sykes and Rea had an often-tough battle for supremacy, passing each other regularly to share the lead until near the end of the 23 laps, when Sykes pushed on and Rea had to settle for second.
In race two, with Sykes out front at the start, Rea was ready to make his drive forward but almost fell on lap two at the fast Coppice corner, dropping to seventh place. He kept his composure and despite a severely bent rear brake lever he moved forward, contesting third place by lap 11. Rea was to get to second place after 23 laps, finishing 9.772 seconds behind Sykes.
In the World Superbike Championship Rea is still the clear and convincing leader, with a total of 280 points after scoring eight wins and four second place finishes in 12 races. Sykes is third, only one point behind second place, with a total of 178 points.
TOM SYKES (Rider Kawasaki Racing Team): “We have made some good steps here. I am very impressed with the lap time (Qualifying), although I came over the line and saw 1’27.071 (track best) – and then kicked myself because it should have been a 1’26! It’s just that the qualifying tyre caught me out in some areas and pushed me off line. But you cannot be greedy and I am very happy. Credit to Kawasaki and myself, because we have certainly got the speed.
“A full set this weekend - two race wins, pole position and a new lap record. After some battles in race one I had a clean start in race two and I went a little bit faster down Craner and into the Old Hairpin to stop any passes, and away we went. The bike was really nice and I made some 1’27s in the beginning. When I saw that the gap was increasing I just had to be careful in how to manage the race. I was really happy with the race performance because Marcel my crew chief and all the boys have been working really well. It is good to win all the last six races here at Donington but there is no real reason why. We are getting there now and I am able to do a little bit more of what I want to with the bike, and it showing.”
JONATHAN REA (Rider Kawasaki Racing Team): “I did not accept defeat before the races but Donington is one of those circuits where if there is one place where my team-mate was going to really excel it was here. I had a big moment in race two and I was really lucky. When I found a rhythm I realised that Tom was on a different racetrack today but I could finish second because I knew the pace of the Kawasaki in the second part of the race would be strong. I just put my head down and put some laps together and took second. Pere my crew chief has just told me that the championship points gap is in three figures, which I cannot believe. It is incredible, so we just need to keep doing the same.”
Superbike (1000cc) leader board after round 6:
Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) continued his dominance in the World Supersport Championship at Donington Park over the weekend starting from the qualifying session where the Turkish rider bettered his own outright circuit best lap that he set earlier in the weekend. Sofuoglu posted the fastest ever WSS lap of the 2.5 mile Donington circuit, lapping in a time of 1.29.925s.
Sofuoglu carried over his speed on race day as he claimed the 6th round of the World Supersport Championship after 20 hard fought laps at Donington Park. Starting from Pole, Sofuoglu was initially overhauled by rival Jules Cluzel before regrouping and retaking the lead to win for the 4thtime in 2015, extending his championship lead in the process.
Supersport (600cc) leader board after round 6:
|2.||J. CLUZEL||MV AGUSTA||85|
|4.||L. ZANETTI||MV AGUSTA||70|
Portimao is the next round on the WSBK calendar, with raceday on June 7th.