Donington WSBK: Sykes fights back to win as Davies crashes out
Pole-sitter Tom Sykes recovered from a sluggish opening lap to win the first World Superbike race at Donington Park, as early leader Chaz Davies fell twice.
Despite dominating qualifying, Sykes dropped down to fourth over the duration of a single lap to run behind his Kawasaki teammate Jonathan Rea and the two Ducatis of Davies and Davide Giugliano.
Davies, second on the grid, stole the lead at Turn 1 and the Welshman was joined by teammate Giugliano, who made a forceful move on Sykes.
Having lost momentum after the overtake, Sykes was demoted by points leader Rea and spent the early stages in fourth.
While Giugliano put some pressure on his teammate initially, he started to lose ground, only to inherit the lead on Lap 6 when Davies fell at the final turn, dropping to 16th.
He was on course to finish within the top 10, having recovered to ninth in the space of 10 laps, but crashed again and retired in the gravel.
Now second, Rea copied Davies in making a mistake at the same spot, the championship leader running wide and falling behind Sykes, although he was able to rejoin.
That allowed Giugliano and Sykes to spend the rest of the race separated from the rest of the field, with the latter slowly putting increasing pressure on the Italian.
Despite successfully holding off the first couple of overtaking attempts, Giugliano eventually had to give up the lead as Sykes went past him at the hairpin.
Sykes then shook off Giugliano and took the chequered flag first, denying the Ducati rider his maiden WSBK win.
Rea completed the podium seven seconds adrift, having made the same mistake one more time.
Although front-row starter Lorenzo Savadori (Ioda Aprilia) spent the majority of the race in fourth, he ran wide in the final stages and had to settle for sixth.
Leon Camier (MV Agusta) was overtaken by Nicky Hayden early on, but the Briton fought back to secure fourth, with the Honda rider completing the top five.
Hayden's teammate Michael Van der Mark recovered to eighth from 13th on the grid, unable to pass Jordi Torres (Althea BMW) in the end.
Karel Abraham (Milwaukee BMW) and Anthony West (Pedercini Kawasaki) took ninth and 10th respectively, the latter making a visit into the gravel after contact with Alex de Angelis.
WSBK debutant and Yamaha's sole factory representative, Cameron Beaubier, retired in the early stages of the race.
|1||Tom Sykes||Kawasaki Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10R||34:04.276|
|2||Davide Giugliano||Ducati Team||Ducati 1199 Panigale R||+2.869|
|3||Jonathan Rea||Kawasaki Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10R||+9.808|
|4||Leon Camier||MV Agusta||MV Agusta 1000 F4||+13.747|
|5||Nicky Hayden||Honda Ten Kate||Honda CBR1000RR SP||+14.007|
|6||Lorenzo Savadori||Ioda Racing Project||Aprilia RSV4 RF||+14.640|
|7||Jordi Torres||Althea Racing||BMW S1000 RR||+16.337|
|8||Michael van der Mark||Honda Ten Kata||Honda CBR1000RR SP||+16.535|
|9||Karel Abraham||Team Milwaukee||BMW S1000 RR||+36.874|
|10||Anthony West||Team Pedercini||Kawasaki ZX-10R||+39.074|
|11||Markus Reiterberger||Althea Racing||BMW S1000 RR||+41.144|
|12||Xavi Fores||Barni Racing Team||Ducati 1199 Panigale R||+41.275|
|13||Roman Ramos||Team Go Eleven||Kawasaki ZX-10R||+48.094|
|14||Josh Brookes||Team Milwaukee||BMW S1000 RR||+50.125|
|15||Dominic Schmitter||Grillini SBK Team||Kawasaki ZX-10R||+1:18.008|
|16||Pawel Szkopek||Team Toth||Yamaha YZF-R1||+1:29.605|
|17||Saeed Al Sulaiti||Team Pedercini||Kawasaki ZX-10R||+1 lap|
|18||Imre Toth||Team Toth||Yamaha YZF-R1||+2 laps|
|R||Luca Scassa||VFT Racing||Ducati 1199 Panigale R|
|R||Chaz Davies||Ducati Team||Ducati 1199 Panigale R|
|R||Alex de Angelis||Ioda Racing Project||Aprilia RSV4 RF|
|R||Mathieu Lussiana||Team Aspi||BMW S1000 RR|
|R||Cameron Beaubier||Pata Yamaha||Yamaha YZF-R1|
Donington WSBK: Sykes dominates for fifth pole of 2016
Donington WSBK: Sykes holds off Rea for second win of the weekend