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Tom Sykes has extended his winning streak at Donington Park in World Superbikes to seven races in a dramatic opener which saw Chaz Davies fall twice and Rea also run off track.

After a difficult start from pole position the Kawasaki rider dropped from first to fourth over the opening lap and struggled to display the pace and rhythm which had helped him to six straight wins at the Leicestershire circuit in World Superbikes.

However, drama was to unfold ahead of him as Chaz Davies while leading slipped off at Goddards on lap seven before Sykes' team-mate Rea also ran wide at the same corner a few laps later to slip from second to fourth.

Their individual issues promoted Sykes into second and despite a gap between himself and new leader Davide Giugliano the Huddersfield rider rediscovered his rhythm to reel in the Ducati rider and take victory by almost three seconds.

Despite narrowly missing out on victory for the second race in succession Giugliano claimed a strong second place ahead of championship leader Rea who held on to his run of finishing on the podium in every race so far this year.

Further back, Leon Camier equalled his best result of the season for MV Agusta in fourth place thanks to a late surge past Nicky Hayden and Lorenzo Savadori, with the American holding on to fith and the Italian rookie in sixth.

Jordi Torres once again claimed top BMW rider status in seventh ahead of Michael van der Mark, Karel Abraham and Anthony West.

After a physical battle with Xavi Fores at the line Markus Reiterberger grabbed 11th as Roman Ramos, Josh Brookes and Dominic Schmitter completed the points-paying places.

At lights out Davies produced the dream start by getting into turn one ahead of pole-sitter Sykes while the six-time Donington Park race winner endured a nightmare first lap when he was pushed wide at Goddards by Giugliano which enabled Rea to power past on the main straight.

Despite his impressive pace during free practice Sykes struggled to stay with the front three over the opening laps but the race was then flipped when Davies crashed from the lead at Goddards on lap seven. The factory Ducati rider was able to remount after his low-side off but had tumbled down the order to 16th.

Two laps later championship leader Rea, while catching Giugliano, suffered his own issue at the final turn and ran wide to drop behind Sykes and Savadori. His off appeared to release Sykes who rediscovered his rhythm and within a handful of laps closed on to the rear of his Italian rival.

Further back Davies had worked his way through the pack, narrowly missing a collision between Alex de Angelis and Anthony West, but his progress was in vain when he low-sided out of the race at Coppice on lap 16.

Up front Sykes, having sized up Giugliano the lap before, grabbed the lead with a bold pass up the inside into the Melbourne hairpin and with an open road quickly established a lead on the Ducati rider.

Having returned to his assumed position at the front, after topping every practice session and taking pole position, Sykes steered his Kawasaki home to take a much-needed win with his championship rivals faltering.

 

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