Sykes secures lead after Donington double
Reigning world superbike champion Tom Sykes reclaimed the championship lead after recording a double victory at Donington Park.
Boosted by a home crowd, Sykes produced a stunning fightback from 11th position to win race one before a commanding ride to the chequered flag in race two.
The Brit led home Kawasaki team-mate Loris Baz on both occasions as he opened up a 26 point lead from Jonathan Rea at the top of the championship standings.
Sykes made a slow start from seventh on the grid leaving himself plenty of work to do as he dropped outside the top 10.
However, the reigning champion showed his class as he picked off riders lap-by-lap to surge back into contention.
A crash for polesitter Davide Giugliano left Baz and Sykes to battle for the victory. The pair produced an entertaining dice with the lead changing hands on five occasions.
However, in the end Sykes made a move stick and he went on to claim his 17th career win from Baz. Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes secured the final spot on the podium.
Marco Melandri was fourth ahead of Ducati’s Chaz Davies and PATA Honda’s Jonathan Rea.
Leon Haslam, who started from second, had to settle for eighth behind Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli.
Despite a lacklustre start in race two, Sykes produced another impressive ride as he found a way around Baz and Guintoli to move into the lead by lap 11.
Once in front, there was no stopping the Kawasaki rider as he led home team-mate Baz for a second victory of the weekend. Guintoli finished a distant third ahead Giugliano, Davies and Rea.
Australia’s Bryan Staring withdrew from both races with an arm injury. The IRON Brain Kawasaki rider, drafted in to replace Michel Fabrizio for the remainder of the season, injured his elbow in a mountain bike fall prior to the meeting.
The World Superbike Championship heads to Malaysia’s Sepang circuit for round six on June 8.