Can the King of Donington Park make it 10 wins in 2019?

Friday, 5 July 2019 17:30 GMT

Tom Sykes’ immaculate record at Donington Park shows signs of improving further, after the 2013 WorldSBK champion finished on top after day one!

Having achieved his first podium in the wet at Misano for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team, Tom Sykes has laid down the gauntlet at Donington Park on the opening day of action, as he finished Friday on top. The grinning Yorkshireman is a Donington Park specialist and has been a winner nine times in his WorldSBK career at the famous, fast and flowing circuit. However, they were all for Kawasaki and now, he wants to achieve the same feat with BMW.

Starting his day in a methodical manner, Sykes soon came to the fore with a strong lap time in the morning, before surging forward later on in the day in FP2. Various changes between sessions have allowed Sykes to propel himself and his machine to the front of the WorldSBK field – of which the top 13 riders are all covered by a second.

Reviewing his opening day at Donington Park, Sykes stated his joy after finishing on top: “I am very happy with how our Friday has gone. The first session this morning was very nice, I was riding very relaxed and the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team have given me a very well-balanced machine. From the very first laps this morning, I was feeling very comfortable and here at Donington Park, it is a circuit of two halves. The BMW S 1000 RR is working very well in all sectors, so it makes my life a little bit easier!”

BMW achieved their first ever WorldSBK 1-2 finish in 2012 at the Donington Park circuit, with Marco Melandri taking victory over Leon Haslam that day. The manufacturer also featured on the front row in 2018 with Loris Baz, so, whilst Donington Park may prove to be a circuit with many positive memories for Sykes, the same could be said for BMW as a manufacturer too.

With Sykes’ first WorldSBK podium coming at Donington Park in 2008, he continued to say how much he enjoyed the circuit on the first day of action: “I enjoyed it this afternoon and didn’t focus too much on lap time; we made roughly three changes, just so we can get some direction for tomorrow. I’ve been struggling a little bit with things this week, so hopefully, I am a bit physically better for the weekend!”

Can Tom Sykes accomplish his and BMW’s first win of the season? Find out with the WorldSBK VideoPass!