Reigning World Superbike Champion Tom Sykes bounced back from lackluster qualifying in the wet to take both race wins on this sunny Sunday at England’s historic Donington Park circuit. These two World Superbike results handed the factory Kawasaki rider his 17th and 18th career victories.
“It’s great,” said Brit Sykes on the Cycle News website. “A big slap in the face from Imola, we really struggled there. But it’s nice to come to home soil, especially when the sun’s shining. Donington Park is really special. And to get the double again is truly fantastic.”
In the first 23-lap race, Sykes overcame a horrible start and worked his way up through the field from 11th. After a terrific battle with Kawasaki teammate Loris Baz for the lead, the defending World Superbike champion took over first with only four laps to go. Sykes went on to get the win on his home turf. Joining Sykes on the podium in race one were Baz in a hard-fought second and Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes in third.
In the day’s second race, Sykes got a better start but still not an ideal one. He ran fifth for the first several laps, but then maneuvered himself into a podium position. At about the race’s halfway point, Sykes took over the lead and held on for the remaining laps to take the win. Kawasaki teammate Baz again joined Sykes on the podium in second place, while third in this event went to Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli.
“Tom was just too fast today,” said Baz. “Was coming back… But had to take too much risk to keep with him. It’s a good result for the team. It’s a double again. So I’m really happy.”
With this pair of wins at Donington, Sykes recaptured the overall championship points lead. Up until the previous round at Imola, when Pata Honda rider Jonathan Rea took over the lead, Sykes had been in charge of the title chase. Currently, Kawasaki’s Sykes is in the lead by 26 points over Rea and teammate Baz, who are tied for second place.