Mixed day for Kawasaki Racing Team at Donington Park
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) continued on his stunning run at Donington Park, as he took his ninth consecutive victory around the circuit following a dramatic race.
Starting from pole after a sunny Superpole session in the morning, Sykes was clearly feeling comfortable at the British circuit and he paced himself in the early stages of the 23 lap race. Locked in a strong fight with his team-mate Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) towards the end of the race, with the backing of the home crowd, Sykes kept his cool and following a crash with his team-mate in the closing laps was able to take the victory.
Despite a fantastic victory, all thoughts were with Nicky Hayden as the victory was dedicated to the late American: “It’s been a surreal race weekend with not having my next door neighbour here with the big smile. He’s going to be generally missed so I’d like to dedicate the win to Nicky. The race itself was difficult, the wind was causing me a lot of issues but ultimately I kept fighting and adjusting my body weight on the bike as I was really suffering in some of the areas, we made a couple of mistakes early on. We re-grouped and came good; the bike was difficult to ride but good enough to take the 25 points which is also important for the championship. Overall we were able to do our job today.”
Jonathan Rea had a difficult end to his day at Donington Park, and was disappointed his was unable to take the victory in order to dedicate it to Nicky Hayden. Running with a strong pace throughout the race and fighting for the victory, once Sykes went past Rea, the Northern Irishman decided to take 20 points after a tough race. However despite this, the reigning world champion crashed out at Craner Curves and was unable to rejoin.
Disappointed with how his race ended, Rea explained: “It was very frustrating to be honest because the whole race we had a good pace, Chaz was being fast with the softer tyre at the beginning and when he made a mistake it was difficult to take the lead in the wind so when tom arrived I was, I could understand how quickly he arrived and then I could react. All of a sudden I had a huge vibration in the rear, then he passed me and I thought I’d just finish this race as I saw Chaz went down and then the vibration got worse and worse and then through the Craner curves section I feel like my tyre exploded. It’s frustrating because I was saving some tyre for the end of the race, so it’s really unfortunate.”
Re-watch all the race one action ahead of what is set to be a tense and dramatic race two at the Pata UK Round, all on the WorldSBK VideoPass.