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WSBK Donington: Sykes dominates for Donington win
26 May 2013 CLICK HERE
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Tom Sykes has closed the gap on Sylvain Guintoli in the World Superbike Championship standings after completing a dominant second World Superbike win of the season at Donington Park.
Starting from his fourth pole position of the season, though Sykes would be beaten into the first corner by Guintoli, he would retake the place on the run to the Craner Curves.
Determined to make the most of his evident pace around his home circuit, form that had seen him top all-but-one timed session prior to the race, Sykes settled out front but was chased hard initially by a fast-starting Jonathan Rea and Guintoli.
Indeed, Rea signalled his intentions early on by breaking race lap record as he latched onto the back of the Kawasaki, but his challenge would ultimately fade at mid-distance when he couldn't sustain his early pace.
By contrast, Sykes was able to lap consistently, pushing into a two second advantage before Rea was overtaken first by Guintoli and then by Marco Melandri.
Melandri would go on to overtake Guintoli with five laps remaining too, but it didn't leave him enough time for him to chase down Sykes.
As such, Sykes was left to cross the line comfortably clear of Melandri and Guintoli, the British rider lifting himself to second in the overall standings, nine points shy of the latter Aprilia rider.
Rea would eventually finish in fourth place, well ahead of the battle for fifth, which was won by a charging Loris Baz, who made big gains in the race after qualifying only 12th, while Davide Giugliano recovered from an off at the Esses to claim sixth.
Having started from the front row, Eugene Laverty ran with the leaders initially before going straight on at the Esses on lap six and slipping into the chasing group. Once there, Laverty had difficulty breaking away and would instead find himself embroiled in a tussle with Baz and Giugliano that he would ultimately lose.
Similarly, Chaz Davies made a bright start before slipping out of contention, the BMW rider ending up a distant eighth at the chequered flag.
Behind him, Jules Cluzel flew the flag for Suzuki in ninth place after Leon Camier crashed out at Goddards on lap two, shortly after falling behind with a mistake at the Esses, while Michel Fabrizio completed the top ten on his Red Devils Aprilia, heading up a brace of Ducatis in the order of Ayrton Badovini, Carlos Checa, Niccolo Canepa and Max Neukirchner.