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Superbike World Championship, Great Britain (Donington)29.05.2017

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Kawasaki Hat-Trick

Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea in Superbike, Kenan Sofuoglu in Supersport: the Kawasaki riders won all of the three races organized on the Donington circuit. Another no-fault for the greens.

The Races

Tom Sykes has been running after his first victory since the start of the season. It seems normal that the former world champion would get it on his home turf and favourite circuit. His success was logically preceded by a Superpole, the Brit still excelling when it comes to clocking up the fastest lap times. Six laps from the finish Sykes took control of the race by overtaking his teammate. Setting a pace so fast and regular, no-one succeeded in catching up the Kawasaki rider from then on. Behind him, Rea crashed for the first time this season. A fall at high speed in bend number three, caused by a tyre problem but happily leaving the leader of the championship uninjured, the proof being he beat Sykes the next day. The two Kawasaki riders dedicated their respective successes to the memory of Nicky Hayden, the American champion who died from his injuries in a tragic road accident at the beginning of the week while cycling in Italy. Finishing fourteenth on Saturday, on Sunday Krummenacher didn’t take the chequered flag. In Supersport, Kenan Sofuoglu clinched his third straight victory in a row, in a thirteen-lap race. Turkey’s untouchable rider was never worried from start to finish. His young team-mate Kyle Smith crossed the finish line in fourteenth place.

The Championship

Despite his first Did Not Finish of the season, Jonathan Rea remains the clear leader of the Superbike championship. The two-time world champion is still fifty-five points ahead of Tom Sykes in second place. The Brit took advantage of his victory and his second place, but also of fall Chaz Davies’ fall to chalk up a twenty-point lead over the Ducati rider. Randy Krummenacher, with twenty-seven points on the clock, stays still in sixteenth place. In Supersport, Kenan Sofuoglu has climbed back to second place in the overall standings. While he’s still thirty points away from Lucas Mahias, the Kawasaki rider is convinced he can catch him up. Kyle Ryde stays still in seventh place overall while Canducci is back in fourteenth position.

The Background

This year, the Superbike World Championship is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary. The first race of the competition was organized in 1988 on the Donington circuit and the WSBK caravan in Leicestershire was obviously a pretext for some celebrating. It also provided an opportunity for the younger fans to check out the history of the discipline … On 3 April 1988, it was a certain Roger Burnett who set out from pole position at the handlebars of his Honda. Of the twenty-five riders who were itching to go on the starting grid, Davide Tardozzi proved he was the most skilful and won the race. The Italian, now the Ducati MotoGP team manager, beat his fellow countryman Marco Lucchinelli on the line, while the late Joey Dunlop climbed to the third step of the podium under the acclamations of the public. The second round turned to the advantage of Lucchinelli who skilfully took advantage of Tardozzi’s fall. Fred Merkel, who won the world championship title at the end of the season, finished second in front of Dunlop. At that time, the overall victory was attributed to the combined results of the two races, and it was Marco Lucchinelli who was declared the winner of the first event in the history of the Superbike World Championship.

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29.05.2017