Donington drama blows championship wide open!

With the Championship leader limping away from his stricken HM Plant Honda the title chase is now really on. Team-mate to Kiyo, Jonathan Rea is just 30 points behind in second place and Leon Haslam on the Airwaves Ducati is 20 points down on Rea. With a total of 75 points up for grabs before the season ends any of the top three could still grab the title.

The eventual race winner was Haslam with Tom Sykes and Shane Byrne from the Stobart Vent Axia Honda team taking second and third places respectively.

When the lights went out it was Chris Walker on the Rizla Suzuki from second place on the front row of the grid who got the hole shot closely followed by Rea. Sykes, Haslam and Crutchlow were also close behind. Tommy Hill's race was short lived as he low sided on the first lap at McLeans leaving his Virgin Media Optoma Loans Yamaha in the gravel.

Rea wasted no time in taking the lead from Walker at Goddards at the end of lap one and Haslam pushed him further down the order on lap two passing him at the Esses. Walker fought back re-passing Haslam at the Melbourne loop. Further down the field Crutchlow took Sykes at McLeans for fourth place. Haslam put the same move on Walker at the Esses on lap four but this time made it stick.

The lap record started to tumble on lap six when Sykes took it down to 1min 31.090secs. Two laps later Kiyo took it even lower to 1min 30.899secs. The running order at this point was Rea, from Haslam with Sykes in third and Kiyo closing in. Rea was sliding into the Esses smoking his rear tyre in spectacular form, it was here on lap nine that Haslam shoved his Airwaves Ducati under the HM Plant Honda. In order to try and regain his lead Rea braked very late and was preparing to slide under Haslam at the hairpin when it all went wrong. His rear tyre started to slide but then caught almost high siding him and taking his foot off the peg. As he regained control of his machine he ran straight on across the front of Haslam nearly taking him off. Due to this move going wrong, Rea now found himself in sixth and Haslam in third.

It was all change at the front with Sykes leading from Kiyo on lap twelve. One lap later and Haslam took Kiyo at the Esses, he now had Sykes well and truly in his sights and snatched the lead from him on lap fourteen at the Esses. Kiyo was getting a lot of attention from Crutchlow who was just behind him in fourth place. He was lining him up for a move at Goddards when it all went wrong. Crutchlow dived under Kiyo only to tuck the front and take Kiyo down with him. As the pair picked themselves up it was obvious from the body language that Crutchlow was very aware of the consequences for Kiyo of his perhaps rash move. Kiyo did his best to restart but his machine was too badly damaged and he limped away in disgust.

With all the drama now out of the way it was Haslam leading from Sykes and Byrne. Gregorio Lavilla was in fifth place until the final lap when he grabbed fourth place off Rea.

BSB race results (1) – Donington Park:

1. Leon Haslam
2. Tom Sykes
3. Shane Byrne
4. Gregorio Lavilla
5. Jonathan Rea
6. Chris Walker
7. Scott Smart
8. James Haydon
9. Michael Rutter
10. Steve Plater

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Leon Haslam (GBR), Airwaves Ducati, 999F07, 91, Superbike
Tom Sykes (GBR), Stobart Motorsport, Vent Axia, Honda, CBR1000RR, 66, Superbike
Shane Byrne (GBR), Stobart Motorsport, Vent Axia, Honda, CBR1000RR, 67, Superbike
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Brookes, Anvil Hire Yamaha, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Luke Mossey, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Peter Hickman, Smiths BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Bridewell, Team WD-40 Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Bradley Ray, Buildbase Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Sylvain Guintoli, Bennetts Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
James Ellison, McAMS Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Alastair Seeley, Tyco BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Lee Jackson, Smiths Racing BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Haslam, Byrne, Mossey, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]

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