WorldSBK Donington, Saturday roundup – World Superbike, World Supersport, WSSP300
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) took a brilliant win in Race 1 of the PATA UK Round in a dramatic race which brought crashes for Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati). 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.
An incident-packed race saw provisional leader Davies go down in the early stages at turn 12, after he lost the front end. He picked his Ducati up to rejoin, eventually finishing eighth having crashed at the same corner as he did in last year’s Race 1 at Donington and this latest incident will be a big blow to his World title aspirations.
With 6 laps to go Sykes got through on his teammate Rea to lead and within just over a lap he had opened up a two second gap on his Northern Irish teammate. Rea then suffered a high speed accident at turn 3, crashing out of the race, but was soon back on his feet and was taken back to the pits on a scooter.
A superb ride by Haslam on his return to the series saw him take a highly creditable second place, whilst Lowes took third thanks to a late move on Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati).
Dutchman Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) completed the top five, with Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) making it four Brits in the top six to further delight the home crowd.
In seventh place Leandro Mercado (IODARacing) crossed the line a couple of seconds ahead of Davies, with Spaniards Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) and Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) completing the top ten after 23 breathtaking laps around the exciting 4.023km Donington Park Circuit.
The riders and many of the fans in attendance carried stickers and flags in tribute to the late Nicky Hayden who tragically passed away earlier in the week after a cycling accident in Italy, with Sykes quick to pay his condolences to the Hayden family after the race in parc ferme. The podium finishers all wore t-shirts carrying Hayden’s famous number 69 in honour of the Kentucky Kid.
Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) and Riccardo Russo (Guandalini Racing) unfortunately suffered technical issues and ended up with DNFs.
The riders will be back in action on Sunday with Race 2 at the PATA UK Round at 3pm local time.
At the PATA UK Round on Saturday afternoon it was WorldSSP World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) who secured pole position for the sixth race of the season with a 1’30.904 lap of the 4.023km Donington Park Circuit on his Kawasaki ZX-6R. Frenchmen Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) and Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) are also on the front row.
The Turk notched his 32nd pole in the category and his second of 2017 so far as he showed his rivals he means business this weekend.
The rider in Sofuoglu’s sights at the top of the championship standings – Mahias – qualified in second place on the grid on his Yamaha YZF R6, just +0.067s off pole.
Making it three different manufacturers on the front row was Mahias’ compatriot Cluzel who qualified third, half a second behind the front two on the Honda CBR600RR.
SP1 leader Luke Stapleford (Profile Racing) put another manufacturer towards the front of the grid in fourth on the Triumph Daytona 675, as the top British qualifier for his home race.
Just behind Stapleford on the second row is Irishman Jack Kennedy in fifth, also on the Profile Racing Triumph, with Friday’s fastest rider American PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) in sixth.
On the third row are three more Britons, HALSALL Racing Team wild card Joe Francis in seventh, GEMAR Team Lorini’s Kyle Smith in eighth and Team Kawasaki Go Eleven man Gino Rea in ninth place on the grid for Sunday’s sixth race of the year.
Row four will feature Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing), Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing) and Hikari Okubo (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) – who qualified 10th, 11th and 12th respectively.
The two riders to graduate from Tissot Superpole 1 before SP2 were
Stapleford and Francis, Stapleford topping the session with a 1’31.579 best time.
The 20 lap WorldSSP race at the PATA UK Round will take place at 12 midday local time at the Donington Park Circuit on Sunday.
Alfonso Coppola (SK Racing) secured pole position at the Pata UK Round, in a hard fought session, and is the fourth different rider to take pole position in the new series.
Italian team-mates Paolo Grassia (3750 Made in CIV) made it through to Superpole Two narrowly ahead of Manuel Bastinanelli (3750 Made in CIV), heading for the fight for pole position at Donington Park. On board Kawasaki machines, their pace made it easy for them to narrowly sail through into SP2.
Borja Sanchez (Halcourier Racing) will line up in second position on the grid, ahead of Mika Perez (WILSport Racedays) at a circuit he is very familiar with. In a home debut, Chris Taylor (MTM HS Kawasaki) heads the front row, just under half a second off pole position. Dorren Loureiro (DS Junior Team) lines up in fifth position at a windy Donington Park, ahead of one event rider Marc Garcia (Halcourier Racing).
With a second splitting the top nine, its set to be a stunning race around Donington Park. To continue to follow the WorldSSP300 action on the WorldSBK VideoPass, as the high action racing will start at 11.05LT.