WSBK Donington Race 2: Rea smashes Sykes’ Donington Park dominance

Slow and steady wins the race…that’s the name of the game unless you’re Jonathan Rea.

Starting from 10th on the grid, Rea was up to second by the end of the first lap. But all eyes really turned back to his team mate Tom Sykes, as they have done for the past few years at Donington, as he aimed for his 10th consecutive win here at the British circuit.

He’d started from 9th thanks to his win in race one and looked determined as ever to secure that victory. Slowly working his way up through the grid, and it had only taken him three laps to break into the top 5. If Sykes was anything today it was consistent, as he constantly set fastest laps throughout the duration of the race.

It seemed plain sailing for the Yorkshireman, until he ran into the Yamaha of Michael van der Mark who clearly wasn’t giving up without a fight. But it wasn’t long before he got past, leaving the Yamaha for dust and setting his sights on Rea, determined not to let his team mate be the one to crush his Donington dominance.

Someone that all spectators had their eyes on was Leon Haslam, wildcarding for the weekend with the Puccetti Racing Kawasaki team. After his podium finish yesterday, he was a sure fire contender for a podium again today.

However, his podium contention was soon cut short after a run in with Leandro Mercado, who had swiftly managed to recover from his own crash. It forced Haslam into the gravel, just clipping the Ducati of Chaz Davies in the process, causing him to run off too. Davies managed to re-join in 15th, and he too was eager to make improvements.


Davies had managed to make a quick recovery. It is quite obvious that he has a “bin it or win it” mentality, and as he had almost binned it today, he wanted to win. Unfortunately for Davies it wasn’t meant to be, but he did manage to recover places and ended up rounding out the podium in 3rd. His team mate however did not have such a good weekend. Although Marco Melandri finished in a solid 4th position in race one and started today’s race in pole, the Italian completely ran out of luck. As he was right on the back wheel of van der Mark, it looked as if he was in a good place to make a move. But just one lap later, the chain of his factory Ducati snapped, bringing his podium chances to a premature close.

But of course, we must go back to the man of the hour which surprisingly was not Tom Sykes, but his team mate Jonathan Rea. Rea ran a steady race once he had managed to get out front and break away, and even when Sykes began to make up some time on the leader, it didn’t phase him. He kept it cool, and brought home yet another win not only for himself but also for the Kawasaki Racing Team, making it their 100th World Superbike win. Tom Sykes had to settle for second, despite how hard he had tried in the closing laps to make up time on his team mate. But he’d managed to pick up some championship points and close in on Rea in the title chances, which can be seen as one of the biggest positives from today’s race.

The next World Superbike outing is to Misano in just under three weeks time, where Rea will be keen to ramp up the pressure on his rivals and Melandri will be out to impress in front of his home crowd.

World Superbike race 2 results:

  1. Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing Team – 33:53.138
  2. Tom Sykes, Kawasaki Racing Team + 1.601
  3. Chaz Davies, Racing Ducati + 12.200
  4. Michael van der Mark, Pata Yamaha Official WSBK Team + 12.984
  5. Alex Lowes, Pata Yamaha Official WSBK Team + 18.953
  6. Leon Camier, MV Agusta Reparto Corse + 23.971
  7. Xavi Fores, BARNI Racing Team + 29.892
  8. Roman Ramos, Team Kawasaki Go Eleven + 44.742
  9. Jake Dixon, Royal Air Force Reg. & Res. Kawasaki + 50.622 (wildcard)
  10. Raffaele De Rosa, Althea BMW Racing Team + 51.749
  11. Stefan Bradl, Red Bull Honda World Superbike + 59.459
  12. Riccardo Russo, Guandalini Racing + 1:12.794
  13. Ondrej Jezek, Grillini Racing Team + 1:22.719
  14. Ayrton Badovini, Grillini Racing Team + 5 laps


Lorenzo Savadori, Milwaukee Aprilia – 8 laps
Marco Melandri, Racing Ducati – 15 laps
Leandro Mercado, IODARacing – 15 laps
Jordi Torres, Althea BMW Racing Team – 18 laps
Eugene Laverty, Milwaukee Aprilia – 20 laps
Alex De Angelis, Pedercini Racing SC-Project – 21 laps
Leon Haslam, Kawasaki Puccetti Racing – 22 laps
Randy Krummenacher, Kawasaki Puccetti Racing – 0

1 Comment

1 Comment

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    Mr Core Fusion

    May 28, 2017 at 19:54

    @Emily_Macbeth The fight for the third position has been more interesting

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