tom sykes wsbk donington 2013

Having set a new track best in Superpole on Saturday Sykes rode brilliantly and almost faultlessly in each 23-lap race at Donington to score not only his first double win, but take a new lap record in race two, a 1’28.074, set on lap four. He was a start-to-finish leader on each lap each time around and after a small change to his front suspension settings for race two he went four seconds faster than in race one, despite a rise in track temperatures. Tom now sits in second place on his own, only four points from the lead and with the third place rider 20 points behind after one third of the season has been completed.

The Aprilia Racing Team ended in the best way the weekend at Donington, placing both drivers on the podium in Race 2. With the second place Sylvain Guintoli confirmed its leadership among the pilots, while third place of Northern Ireland’s Eugene Laverty allows to continue his streak. The good performance of the brand of Noale is completed by the fourth place of Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing), more and more comfortable riding the RSV4.

sylvain guiltoli eugene laverty wsbk donington

Race 1 saw a great start for Guintoli, a good start from second on the grid immediately followed by Sykes. The Kawasaki rider, however, has relied on its special feeling with the track, gaining inexorably, while behind him was staged a spectacular duel between Guintoli, Melandri, Laverty and Rea. Some alarm Laverty forced to retreat, while Guintoli continued to keep the pace of Melandri. A couple of loss of adhesion of the French driver had then decreed his third place finish under the checkered flag. As anticipated, the second race saw the Aprilia riders combative from the first lap. Sylvain and Eugene have dictated the pace in the group that followed Sykes, with the French firmly in second place and Laverty good to defend itself from attacks before Melandri (to which he responded with a pass from manual) and then Giugliano, came fourth with the RSV4 Team Althea Racing.

The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team celebrated its seventh podium position of the season. Factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) finished second in race one at British track, “Donington Park” on his BMW S1000RR. In race two, the Italian crossed the line in fifth place. His team-mate and local hero Chaz Davies (GBR) finished eighth and sixth respectively. In the Riders’ Classification, Marco is fourth with 127 points, directly followed by Chaz who is fifth with 112 points. In the Manufacturers’ classification, BMW lies third with 175 points. From Donington, the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team heads directly to Spain, where it will conduct two days of testing at “Motorland Aragón” this week.

marc melandri wsbk donington 2013

Coming from sixth place on the grid, Marco started his chase towards the front of the pack in race one on the seventh of the 23 lap race. He closed the gap to the front, waiting for opportunities and taking them by overtaking his competitors. On lap 17, he had improved to second place but leader Tom Sykes (GBR) had pulled away too far leaving no chance for Marco to catch him, so the Italian crossed the line in second, 2.3 seconds behind Sykes. Chaz had a tough first race from seventh on the grid. In the beginning, he was close behind Marco but the Welshman struggled with grip. He fought numerous battles to keep his position but had to settle with eighth. In the early stages of race two, both riders kept with the leading group but on lap six, Marco had a near highside. The Italian saved it and kept fifth position but lost a bit of time. In the following laps, Marco and Chaz started to steadily close the gap to the top four riders. In the second half of the race, Marco began his attack for the podium. On lap 16, he overtook Davide Giugliano (ITA) for fourth, then Eugene Laverty (IRL) and was in third. He kept this position until the penultimate lap but then fell back behind Laverty. When trying another attempt to regain the podium position on the final lap, Marco went wide onto the grass and slipped back to fifth. Chaz had quite a lonely second part of the race. He lost contact to the top five and had a big gap to the field behind. So his sixth position was not threatened but he was too far back to be involved in the battles in front of him.

The double podium Sylvain confirms leading the drivers’ standings with four points ahead of Sykes and 24 over team-mate Laverty. By Eugene on the podium of Race 2 is the best result in his career Superbike at Donington. Aprilia firmly remains a leader among manufacturers, with 28 points of Kawasaki, 33 on BMW, Honda 112, 126 and 143 of Suzuki Ducati.

Tom Sykes

“I have been in World Superbike for a few years now and I got the first double win on home soil is a fairy tale. One click on the front suspension between races made the difference and we could see that in the second race time, which was better than the first one. The Ninja ZX-10R is working well and it has been all weekend so I feel very motivated. We are racing in a World Championship and these guys are as fast as you like and very competitive, so it is not as easy at it looked. Kawasaki is a very close unit and we have worked hard and everybody has seen how much better we are in the races. I got the circuit record yesterday and I got the new lap record in race two so I have the full set. I really enjoyed the support from the crowd and I hope they enjoyed the show. No better place to do my first double than at Donington Park. A good weekend and we are closer in the championship, just four points from the top. We’re in a strong situation, we have a good base setting and now we are going to some fantastic circuits.”

Sylvain Guintoli

“I am very pleased with how it went Race 2, not only for the result. I pushed hard and I gave my best for the duration of the race, Sykes was simply impossible to beat today. In the first race instead I made some mistakes that made me lose the second place, but especially given the times that I did score I could annoy more the tread. Third and second are, however, two very good results in terms of the championship, on a track where we struggle to take advantage of the strengths of the RSV4. Now we go to Portimao, a circuit that is well suited to the characteristics of my Aprilia, where we make a good team. “

Eugene Laverty

“At the end of Race 1 I was disappointed, it is true that on this track I’ve always had some difficulty but you could still do more than seventh place. Race 2 instead is playing better right away, a few changes to my RSV4 between the two races has greatly increased my feeling. They are in fact able to defend the third place from the attacks of Melandri, and as already said after Monza is always nice to finish the weekend with a podium. The provision of Gara2 gives me hope for the rest of the league, shows that even in winding trails still managed to stay with the leaders. Portimao I like, I was strong last year too so I look with optimism to the next weekend. “

Marco Melandri

“It was a weekend of mixed emotions. Race one was really nice, but not easy. I had quite a good start, then I began pushing to gain positions. It was difficult to overtake Johnny and Sylvain and it took time. Then, when I had claimed second position, Tom was too far away and I didn’t have enough time to reach him, but I was happy with second place. In race two, my start was not as good but step by step I got closer to the front group. But when I was directly behind Laverty, I started to have some difficulties riding. On the final lap, I tried to overtake him in the chicane, but when entering the corner I could not brake properly so I went wide to avoid a crash. It was a pity as I had hoped to get more points. Now we have to continue working. This week we will go testing and try some new solutions.”

Chaz Davies

“It was not an easy day. The first race was tough as pretty much from the early laps onwards I nearly had no grip. After a few laps the tyres started to spin more than I was expecting. The spinning was upsetting the chassis and making the bike nervous, so it was a fight for 23 laps. I tried everything I could to make the bike more stable and to find more grip but I could not do anything. For race two we made quite a few changes and I had better grip for longer so I could stay with the front group for a while. But then grip started lacking again and I could not do anything more. Now we go testing in Aragón where we have a few things to try and I am looking forward to that.”

WSBK 2013 results Donington

Race 1

  1. Tom Sykes -Kawasaki ZX-10R
  2. Marco Melandri -BMW S1000 RR
  3. Sylvain Guintoli -Aprilia RSV4
  4. Jonathan Rea -Honda CBR1000RR
  5. Loris Baz -Kawasaki ZX-10R
  6. Davide Giugliano -Aprilia RSV4
  7. Eugene Laverty -Aprilia RSV4
  8. Chaz Davies -BMW S1000 RR
  9. Jules Cluzel -Suzuki GSX-R1000
  10. Michel Fabrizio -Aprilia RSV4
  11. DNF Alex Lundh -Kawasaki ZX-10R
  12. DNF Federico Sandi -Kawasaki ZX-10R

Race 2

  1. Tom Sykes -Kawasaki ZX-10R
  2. Sylvain Guintoli -Aprilia RSV4
  3. Eugene Laverty -Aprilia RSV4
  4. Davide Giugliano -Aprilia RSV4
  5. Marco Melandri -BMW S1000 RR
  6. Chaz Davies -BMW S1000 RR
  7. Loris Baz -Kawasaki ZX-10R
  8. Niccolo Canepa -Ducati – 1199 Panigale R
  9. Jules Cluzel -Suzuki – GSX-R1000
  10. Michel Fabrizio -Aprilia – RSV4
  11. Federico Sandi -Kawasaki – ZX-10R
  12. Alex Lundh -Kawasaki – ZX-10R