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WSBK Donington: Dominant double for super Sykes

26 May 2013

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Tom Sykes has moved to within four points of the World Superbike Championship lead after reeling off his first-ever double win at Donington Park.

A peerless performance from Sykes throughout the weekend having won both races, claimed pole position and topped all dry timed sessions, the Kawasaki rider also had the distinction of leading all laps with his second lights-to-flag win of the day.

In what would prove a relatively uneventful race, Sykes wasted no time in stamping his authority, clinging onto the lead into the first corner and immediately gapping the chasing pack, initially led by Eugene Laverty.

With Laverty unable to keep up with Sykes as he pumped into a new race lap record on lap four, by the time Sylvain Guintoli had fought his way past his team-mate for second place, the Kawasaki rider was already two seconds up the road.

From here, Sykes would simply continue to extend his advantage over Guintoli, pushing on over the 23 laps to cross the line an impressive eight seconds ahead.

The first double British winner at Donington Park since Carl Fogarty in 1995, Sykes's success is also the first double WSBK win for Kawasaki since Hitoyasu Izutsu in 2000 at Sugo.

Behind him, Guintoli was able to stretch away for second, a critical result that keeps him at the head of the WSBK standings, albeit by a significantly shrunk margin of just four points.

By contrast, the fight for third would go down to the wire, with Marco Melandri seemingly on course for his second podium of the day after passing Laverty with five laps remaining.

However, Laverty would fight back with a re-pass on the penultimate lap before Melandri's attempts to overtake on the final revolution would instead see him run on at the Esses, in turn dropping him to fifth place behind Davide Guigliano.

Chaz Davies would complete a fairly nondescript weekend on home soil with a quiet run to sixth place, ahead of Loris Baz and Niccolo Canepa, who flew the flag for Alstare Ducati following Carlos Checa's decision to sit out the race due to his shoulder injury.

Jules Cluzel and Michel Fabrizio rounded out the top ten, with Jonathan Rea ending up a lowly 11th after problems early on dropped him from an initial third place.

Elsewhere, Leon Camier suffered another fall at the final corner early in the race, though he would pick the bike up and recover to 13th, the Suzuki rider aided by pre-race withdrawals from Checa and Leon Haslam reducing the grid to just 17 riders.


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