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Sykes completes dominant Donington double

25 May 2014

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  • Tom Sykes asserts himself at the top of the WSBK standings with a convincing double win at Donington
  • The defending champion leads another Kawasaki 1-2 after a composed ascension to the lead
  • Baz picks up another second place finish ahead of Sylvain Guintoli after Lowes and Melandri collide

Tom Sykes has moved clear at the head of the World Superbike Championship standings after completing a commanding double win at Donington Park.

Though not quite as breath-taking as his impressive charge up the order in race one, Sykes's ascension to the lead in race two saw him steadily work his way into contention, moving into a lead he wouldn't lose by lap 11 of 23.

Indeed, Sykes would maintain a fairly low profile in the early stages, circulating ninth during the initial bends as Aprilia assumed the running at the head of the field in the order of Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri, while Leon Haslam, Davie Giugliano, Alex Lowes and Loris Baz slotted in behind.

Coming down into the tight Melbourne hairpin for the first time, Giugliano would get sat up, enabling Jonathan Rea to dive beneath him and push him out wide into the path of Leon Haslam, essentially putting them out of contention and allowing a five-strong group to break-away out front.

As such, Guintoli would cross the line in the lead from Melandri, Baz, Lowes and Sykes, an order they would maintain until lap five when Baz made his move on Melandri into second place. However, when Melandri attempted to cover the line as the Kawasaki came through, he would be clipped by the close-following Lowes, sending both riders down.

Furthermore, worse would follow for Suzuki just moments later when Eugene Laverty slid off at Goddards. Though he would rejoin – along with Lowes and Melandri -, the tumble would mark another dismal day for the Irishman.

Leaving a clear top three of Guintoli, Baz and Sykes, the trio would circulate together until lap 11 when Baz pounced into the Esses to snatch the lead. Though Guintoli would respond into the Melbourne hairpin, his tight line simply allowed Baz to simply snatch it back on the exit.

However, neither rider was seemingly prepared for Sykes' impending pass up the inside of both as they arrived at Goddards, the defending champion capitalising on his rivals' lessened momentum to nose into the lead for the first time.

From here, Sykes was not to be troubled, breaking the tow from Baz eventually to cruise home to the chequered flag by more than three seconds. A full haul of 50 points to put himself back in charge of the WSBK standings, Sykes is now 26 points clear of Rea and Baz, who are level in second position.

Guintoli completed the podium for Aprilia, fending off the recovering Giugliano, who leaves Donington Park with just a fourth place to show for at the end of a somewhat frustrating day for the Italian.

Team-mate Chaz Davies completed the top five after prevailing in a race long battle with Rea, ahead of Leon Haslam, Toni Elias – who fell and remounted – and a recovering Lowes, who did a fine job to get back up to ninth having been at the back of the field following his tumble.

Though Ayrton Badovini was once again the leading EVO rider, in terms of points it was David Salom that would claim his second class win of the day in tenth overall, ahead of Niccolo Canepa, while Claudio Corti, the recovering Laverty, Jeremy Guarnoni and Alessandro Andreozzi completed the points' paying positions.


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