|Sykes leads the way in Q1
Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes has finished the first qualifying session of the weekend in first position, 1.282 seconds ahead of his rivals. Despite crashing out at the Old Hairpin on a cool down lap, Sykes walked away unhurt but unable to set a faster lap.
Jonathan Rea set the pace at a cold and windy Donington Park this afternoon, putting his Pata Honda at the top of the timing sheets. However the Irishman was soon to be knocked-off the top spot by Fixi Crescent Suzuki rider Leon Camier, who shaved 0.724 seconds off Rea’s time. Again Rea didn’t stay at the top too long as compatriot Eugene Laverty was the first rider to set a 1.34 time pushing himself up into first position. The Irishman wasn’t leading the way for long when both Camier and Rea set faster times respectively. Italian Aprilia rider Davide Guigliano set a time of 1.32.923 which pushed the Brits off the top position.
20 minutes into the session then became Kawasaki domination. Both teammates Loris Baz and Tom Sykes set fastest laps of the session but it was Sykes who ended on top, setting four fastest laps with a final time of 1.30.278 putting him 1.282 seconds ahead of second place man Jonathan Rea. The Yorkshire Grinner was unable to improve this time following a crash at the Old Hairpin with just ten minutes of the session remaining. With thoughts heading towards rain and following a white flag, he walked away unhurt.
Home hero Leon Haslam made a return to World Superbikes today after missing Assen and Monza with a broken leg; his time of 1.33.402 put him in 14th position, 3.124 seconds back from Sykes’ time. French Fixi Cresent Suzuki rider Jules Cluzel also fell victim to the turn 4, crashing out just after Sykes again walking away unhurt but unable to place higher than 11th. Marco Melandri rounded out the top three, 1.293 seconds off Sykes’ time just ahead of World Championship leader Sylvain Guintoli who finished the session in fourth. Former podium finisher at Donington in Superstock 1000’s, Davide Guigliano completed the top five ahead of Leon Camier in sixth and Michel Fabrizio in seventh. Chaz Davies and Eugene Laverty finished 8th and 9th both just under 2 seconds of Sykes’ time. Frenchman Loris Baz concluded the top ten, 1.983 seconds behind his team-mate.
1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’30.278