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World Superbike Donington Results 2014

Sunday, May 25, 2014
Kawasaki Racing enjoyed a stellar day of World Superbike racing at Donington Park, with defending world champion Tom Sykes doubling up at his home circuit. Sykes' teammate, Loris Baz, notched two second-place results, finishing ahead of Voltcom Suzuki's Alex Lowes in Race 1 and Aprilia Racing's Sylvain Guintoli in Race 2.

Race 1

Sykes grabbed his third victory of the season in Race 1 at Donington Park, staging an epic come-from-behind performance that ended in a fierce battle with Baz.



The defending champion got off to a bad start and was lapping back in 10th early on, leaving the battle for the lead to Lowes, Guintoli and Baz. Before the end of Lap 1 Lowes had taken the front and was able to hold briefly, but faced heavy pressure from behind. The three riders each took turns at the head of the pack as they swapped position but by Lap 6 Baz was settled in the lead. The top-five, which also included Guintoli’s teammate, Marco Melandri, and Ducati’s Davide Giugliano, remained in close competition through the initial stages of the race though, and Baz was never able to pull a gap large enough to breathe easy.

Further back, Lowes’ teammate, Eugene Laverty was running in sixth-place, but then lost the front and went over the handlebars, allowing Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea to advance forward from seventh. Sykes was up to ninth-place at this point behind Rea’s teammate, Leon Haslam, and Ducati’s Chaz Davies.

On Lap 8, Sykes made the first move to suggest he would not be settling for a mere top-10 result. The Kawasaki ace sized up both Davies and Haslam and was able to drive to the inside of both riders, jumping from ninth to seventh in one move. He opened the throttle after that and was able to catch Rea in short measure as well, settling into sixth-place by Lap 9.

By this time, however, the top-five riders had built a multi-second gap on the rest of the field, and Sykes spent a few laps closing in on fifth. Out front, Baz continued to lead but now faced pressure from Giugliano, who’d prevailed over Lowes for the runner-up spot. Melandri and Guintoli were holding the fourth and fifth spots, respectively, but were losing ground on the front runners. By Lap 11 Sykes had caught Guintoli and then the following lap the Aprilia ace made it easy for Sykes to move into fifth, missing a corner and standing the RSV4 up in order to avoid a crash. Melandri came next, and Sykes moved past the Italian easily on Lap 13 for fourth-place.



At the head of the pack, Giugliano was giving Baz a run for his money, challenging hard for the lead and swapping position back and forth with the young Kawasaki rider. Giugliano’s luck ran out however, when on Lap 16 he lost the front and low-sided into the gravel.

Baz enjoyed a slight respite after Giugliano’s crash, but not for long as Sykes continued his charge, passing Lowes for second-place on Lap 17. The following lap Sykes came within striking distance of his teammate and for the final five rotations around the British circuit the two Kawasaki riders gave fans an exhilarating show.

There was no mercy in either rider, and they swapped position heatedly, riding at the absolute limit. Both made slight mistakes along the way, opening the door for the other to capitalize, but on the penultimate lap Baz attempted to pass Sykes on one of the British rider’s strongest corners and ran wide in the process. This gave Sykes a slight gap entering the final lap, which he maintained without issue to the checkers.

“Yes, maybe Race 1 was the best race of my career," said Sykes afterward. "Winning the world title will always be the most emotional one but in terms of performance today maybe the top of the list now. We had a problem on the first laps of Race 1 and Loris came quite aggressively in Turn 1. I am not complaining but this took away my natural line and I got put onto the marbles. I lost some positions and in the first half a lap, on full lean angle the bike was cutting the power. I almost came into the pits but the Ninja cleared itself and after that the bike was working very well. I was in 10th or 11th position early on and I was very motivated to move back to the where I feel we should be at the front. It was difficult to pass because a lot of guys were using their fresh Pirelli tires to their full advantage and after six laps I really started to make a plan of attack to win."

Behind, Lowes was unchallenged for the final podium step, with Melandri crossing in fourth over five seconds behind the Suzuki rider. Davies finished in fifth position followed by Rea in sixth and Guintoli in seventh.

World Superbike Donington Park Race 1 Results 2014
1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
2. Loris Baz (Kawasaki)
3. Alex Lowes (Suzuki)
4. Marco Melandri (Aprilia)
5. Chaz Davies (Ducati)
6. Jonathan Rea (Honda)
7. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia)
8. Leon Haslam (Honda)
9. Toni Elias (Aprilia)
10. David Salom (Kawasaki)
11. Niccolo Canepa (Ducati)
12. Fabien Foret (Kawasaki)
13. Jeremy Guarnoni (Kawasaki)
14. Alessandro Andreozzi (Kawasaki)
15. Claudio Corti (MV Agusta)
16. Romain Lanusse (Kawasaki)
17. Aaron Yates (EBR)
18. Imre Toth (BMW)
19. Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki)

Race 2

Sykes took a much more decisive win in Race 2, beating Baz by more than three seconds at the checkers. Guintoli chose a different tire than he ran in Race 1 and was able to maintain a strong pace to round out the podium.



Melandri got a great start in the second race of the day, followed by Guintoli and Haslam in the number two and three spots. Giugliano slotted into fourth followed by Lowes, Baz, Rea and Sykes. Baz was first to make a bold move, pushing up the inside of Lowes and Giugliano, but in the shuffle Lowes was forced to check up slightly and ran wide. Behind Lowes, Rea pushed to the inside of Giugliano but was also required to sit up, bumping Giugliano and Haslam wide in the process. When the field settled it was Guintoli out front, Melandri, Baz, Lowes and Sykes.

Giugliano immediately began to battle back up the ranks after the incident, moving from ninth to seventh in short order. Out front Baz caught and passed Melandri for second, leaving the Italian to defend against Lowes in fourth. On Lap 5, however, Lowes attempted a pass on Melandri and clipped the Aprilia’s rear tire, sending both riders to the ground. They immediately recovered but were well outside the top-10 when they reentered competition. Laverty also took a spill at this point, in a separate incident, and was relegated outside the top-20 when he finally returned to the race.

Guintoli maintained the front with Baz in tow, followed by Sykes and Giugliano in fourth. Baz moved on Guintoli on Lap 11 for the lead, but the RSV4 rider quickly answered back. As the two front runners swapped position, Sykes lined them both up and made a pass from third to first on the final corner before Lap 12. From there Sykes faced brief pressure from Baz as he tried to stay close to Sykes, but the British rider built a gap through the subsequent laps, earning his second consecutive double victory at Donington Park.



Guintoli and Giugliano were both well separated in third and fourth while behind, Davies and Rea battled for fifth-place, which ultimately went to the Ducati rider. Haslam recovered from his early set-back to finish in seventh followed by Red Devils Roma’s Toni Elias in eighth. Team Bimota Alstare’s Ayrton Badovini physically crossed the line in ninth, but since the Bimota Team remains subject to homologation he walks away with zero points for the round.

Ninth-place officially goes to Lowes, who battled hard up the ranks after his early crash. Kawasaki Racing Team’s EVO entry, David Salom, rounded out the top-10. Team Hero EBR’s Aaron Yates, who finished 17th in Race 1, crashed out of competiion in Race 2.

Sykes moves back into the points lead after his remarkable performance at Donington, displacing previous points leader Rea. The Honda rider and Baz are mathematically tied for second, 26 points adrift of Sykes, though Rea holds the upper hand thanks to his three race wins. Guintoli is fourth followed by Davies in fifth.

World Superbike Donington Park Race 2 Results 2014
1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
2. Loris Baz (Kawasaki)
3. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia)
4. Davide Giugliano (Ducati)
5. Chaz Davies (Ducati)
6. Jonathan Rea (Honda)
7. Leon Haslam (Honda)
8. Toni Elias (Aprilia)
9. Alex Lowes (Suzuki)
10. David Salom (Kawasaki)
11. Niccolo Canepa (Ducati)
12. Claudio Corti (MV Agusta)
13. Eugene Laverty (Suzuki)
14. Jeremy Guarnoni (Kawasaki)
15. Alessandro Andreozzi (Kawasaki)
16. Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki)
17. Marco Melandri (Aprilia)
18. Fabien Foret (Kawasaki)
19. Romain Lanusse (Kawasaki)
20. Imre Toth (BMW)

World Superbike Championship Points 2014
1. Tom Sykes, 185
2. Jonathan Rea, 159
3. Loris Baz, 159
4. Sylvain Guintoli, 148
5. Chaz Davies, 109
6. Marco Melandri, 97
7. Davide Giugliano, 82
8. Leon Haslam, 75
9. Alex Lowes, 73
10. Eugene Laverty, 65

2014 WorldSBK Donington Gallery
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World Superbike Point Standings
Superbike
World Superbike Racer Bios
Tom Sykes
Tom Sykes earned his first World Superbike championship title in 2013 and he returns with Kawasaki in 2014 to try for the top-spot once again. Read more on the Tom Sykes bio page.
Leon Haslam
Son of the legendary Ron Haslam, Leon Haslam is poised to make his own mark on motorcycle racing history as a leading contender for the World Superbike Championship. Read more on the Leon Haslam bio page for career highlights, pictures, and news.
Eugene Laverty
Following a successful stint in World Supersport which included back-to-back runner-up finishes, Eugene Laverty is quickly building a reputation in the premier world championship. Learn more about the Irishman on the Eugene Laverty bio page.
 
 

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