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WSBK Donington Park, UK: Sykes fends off Rea as Davies’ Ducati burns up

Tom Sykes has held on to top spot in Friday's free practice sessions at Donington Park with a narrow advantage over team-mate Jonathan Rea.
Click here for full WorldSBK FP2 results from Donington Park

Tom Sykes has held on to top spot in Friday's free practice sessions at Donington Park with a narrow advantage over team-mate Jonathan Rea as Chaz Davies' day is cut short by a dramatic fire on his Ducati.

The Kawasaki rider has taken six straight wins in World Superbikes around the Leicestershire circuit and has ended Friday once again on top thanks to a 1m 27.927s but with his team-mate Rea breathing down his neck by just 0.039s.

The pair traded top times briefly before Sykes stole a march breaking into the 1m 27s barrier, only for Rea to close the deficit to set up an intriguing battle between the Kawasakis this weekend.

Davies had been challenging the Kawasaki duo until he suffered a huge fire on his Aruba.it Racing Ducati Panigale R 20 minutes into the afternoon session. The Welsh rider parked his bike on the grass next to the track but was forced to abandon it after it burst into flames, which forced a red flag stoppage for marshals to put out the fire.

Despite not improving on his FP1 time Davies held on to a top ten spot with fifth to guarantee himself a place in Superpole two for qualifying.

Davies' team-mate Davide Giugliano grabbed third overall and had threatened to steal the headlines on his final flyer but ran wide at the last turn which ruined his lap.

Alex Lowes, who has been cleared to race by the medical staff after passing their tests at the end of FP1, enjoyed a positive day in fourth place, while Leon Camier made it five British riders in the top six on the MV Agusta.

Lorenzo Savadori acted as best of the rest for IodaRacing Aprilia in seventh ahead of top BMW rider Jordi Torres. Sylvain Guintoli's stand-in Cameron Beaubier also impressed on the Pata Yamaha by taking ninth and an automatic berth into Superpole two along with Milwaukee BMW's Karel Abraham in 10th.

Sepang race two winner Nicky Hayden will have to go through Superpole one having finished the day 11th, while team-mate Michael van der Mark is down in 15th and 2015 British Superbike champion Jsoh Brookes in 16th.

On his first flying lap of the afternoon, Sykes immediately found a couple of tenths in gains on his morning lap time. Rea surfaced to the top with a new personal best on the final lap of an eight-lap stint, which will be encouraging for the Northern Irishman after moving weight around the bike to find better balance and tyre stability.

A loose front fairing forced van der Mark into the pits briefly before the lengthy red flag stoppage for Davies' Ducati bike fire. The Welsh rider had the strong presence of mind to get the bike off the track but was forced to abandon it when it burst into flames moments later.

With marshals quickly putting out the Ducati Panigale R fireball the bike was recovered and after a ten-minute stoppage the session returned to green.

The factory Kawasaki duo were also battling their own issues in FP2 with both Rea and Sykes having moments in the twisty final sector.

The reigning World Superbike champion ran wide at Goddards on two separate occasions while Sykes, who had improved with a 1m 27.927s, suffered a low speed fall at the Melbourne Hairpin but was able to continue.

In the final 10 minutes Rea upped his pace to close to within one-tenth of Sykes top time but it was the Huddersfield rider who narrowly held on to take a slim advantage into the race weekend.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sykes, British WSBK 2016
Shaina Salvia, Jonathan Rea [Credit: Imre Paulovits]
Shaina Salvia, Jonathan Rea [Credit: Imre Paulovits]
Gino Rea, WSS Race, German WSBK 2016
Torres, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016
Davies, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016
Savadori, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016
Jonathan Rea, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016
Jonathan Rea, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016
Hayden, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016
Giugliano, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016
Jonathan Rea, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016
Sykes, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016
VD Mark, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016
Sykes, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016
Sykes, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016
Sykes and Jonathan Rea, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016
Sykes, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016

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EmmBee1964

May 27, 2016 6:13 PM

OK Crash, why do you not post my comments? they are not abusive in any way - they simply point out mistakes. I pointed out a couple of hours ago that Davies did not park his bike then abandon it, he had to jump off it and throw it down when it burst into flames as the WSB site video clearly shows. I wonder if this will make it to the board.



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