WorldSBK Donington, Sunday roundup
The PATA UK Round concluded on Sunday afternoon with a dramatic Race 2, which brought victory for World Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) after a crash on Saturday, with Rea’s KRT colleague Tom Sykes and Aruba.it Racing – Ducati’s Chaz Davies also on the podium.
Rea’s eighth victory of 2017 extends his lead in the standings to 55 points after six rounds and he rode brilliantly at the Donington Park Circuit to beat his teammate to the line by 1.601s and win his home race.
The result brought an end to Sykes’ remarkable run of nine successive wins at Donington and the Yorkshireman was amongst the first to congratulate Rea on his triumph. It was also Kawasaki’s 100th race win in WorldSBK.
In parc ferme after the race Rea dedicated his win to the late Nicky Hayden who so sadly passed away earlier in the week after a cycling accident in Italy.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) had looked good for a podium result but was caught for third in the final stages by a determined Davies – who had crashed and finished eighth on Saturday.
Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) completed the top five and Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) made it five Britons in the top six, crossing the line five seconds behind Lowes.
Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) was seventh and he was joined in the top ten by Roman Ramos (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven), Jake Dixon (Royal Air Force Reg. & Res. Kawasaki) and Raffaele de Rosa (Althea BMW Racing Team).
Only 14 participants were able to finish the race as a number of high profile riders crashed out, including wild card Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team), Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia), Leandro Mercado (IODARacing) and Alex De Angelis (Pedercini Racing SC-Project).
Meanwhile, Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) stopped on the eighth lap after the chain of his Ducati Panigale R broke and fell loose.
The WorldSBK grid will be back in action at the Pirelli Riviera Di Rimini Round at Misano over the 16th-18th June weekend.
Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) made another big statement of intent in the 2017 WorldSSP championship fight on Sunday afternoon at the PATA UK Round, taking a third win in three races. He was joined on the podium at the Donington Park Circuit by standings leader Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) and Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda).
Having missed the opening two rounds of the year due to a training injury, Sofuoglu has clawed his way back to second in the championship after six races courtesy of a 100% record in the last three rounds. In a restarted race, after a red-flag in the initial get away, pole man Sofuoglu notched up a dominant win in a shortened 13-lap contest, crossing the finish line 2.45s in front of closest challenger Mahias.
For Mahias it was his third consecutive second place finish behind the Turk and the result means he maintains the championship lead by 30 points, even if he can feel Sofuoglu on his shoulder as the World Champion moves up the general standings.
A good performance by Cluzel on the Honda CBR600RR saw him bring it home in third, for his second podium of the season. The Frenchman pushed his compatriot Mahias hard for second place but just could not make a move stick over the final corners.
The top five also featured Luke Stapleford in fourth place as the top British finisher and his fellow Profile Racing rider – Irishman Jack Kennedy – in fifth.
The top ten was competed by Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing), Anthony West (EAB West Racing), Kyle Smith (GEMAR Team Lorini), Hikari Okubo (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) and Joe Francis (HALSALL Racing Team). Meanwhile in 11th and 12th there were point-scoring finishes for Kyle Ryde (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) to make it five Britons in the top 12.
A crash at turn 12 for Cardelus Garcia (Race Department ATK#25) saw the initial race start red-flagged as the marshals cleaned the track – following the incident for the MV Agusta F3 675-equipped rider.
Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) crashed at turn 12 soon after the race was restarted and his Italian compatriot Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing) also crashed out in the final stages of the race. An issue for PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) meant he did not participate in the restart.
The WorldSSP riders will be back in action over the 16th-18th June weekend at the Pirelli Riviera Di Rimini Round.
World Supersport 300
Alfonso Coppola (SK Racing) took his debut victory from pole position at the Pata UK Round, in a stunning World Supersport 300 final lap battle around Donington Park.
Mika Perez (WILSport Racedays) got the holeshot into the first lap but had Borja Sanchez (Halcourier Racing) hot on his tail, whilst home rider Chris Taylor (MTM HS Kawasaki) was taking no chances and moved up for the fight in the opening laps in front of his home crowd.
As the pack began to settle, with eight laps remaining a front group of Perez, Coppola and Marc Garcia (Halcourier Racing) began to break away as they were locked in the fight for the victory. With a stunning scrap developing for the victory, the Honda of Perez and Yamaha of Coppola were swapping places throughout the 4.023km laps. But with a strong move coming out of the Melbourne Hairpin saw Coppola secure the victory, 0.1s ahead of Perez.
World Championship leader Scott Deroue (MTM HS Kawasaki) spent the race down in fourth position and was chasing the front group down, and crossed the line in fourth meaning he holds onto his championship lead but only by two points. Armando Pontone (IODARacing) rounded out the top five, narrowly ahead of Robert Schotman (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP300 Team) in sixth.