Donington Park hosts the only British round of the World SBK championship this weekend as Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes could become the most successful British World SBK rider around the historic track.
Following his race one victory in Malaysia last time out, Sykes looks to be on form and ready to fight for his fourth double win in a row at his home circuit. Sitting 42 points behind his team-mate Jonathan Rea in the championship standings the Yorkshire man will hope a strong run of form can decrease this lead and cement him as a real championship contender. Watching him glide the ZX-10R down Craner Curves is quite something to behold, and with any hope the sun will hold out of the thousands of British fans track-side.
Sykes is looking forward to a weekend at home: “It is always a pleasure to race at a home round and it is a fantastic circuit. Obviously we have some good history there and the plan is to continue that. I have no idea why Donington has been such a special place for me in the past few years. People always suggest that I am familiar with it, it is a home race, or something else like that. There is no particular reason for me. I try with the same effort at every circuit but I am grateful for my success at Donington.”
Sykes won’t be the only rider to watch out for as he’ll face some tough competition from Rea as well as championship contender Chaz Davies aboard the Aruba.it Racing Ducati, who secured his best result in Leicestershire last season. Ducati have a strong record around Donington, securing 50 podiums out of the 46 World SBK races held, so you can’t count Davies out or last year’s pole position man and team-mate Davide Guigliano.
British fans will be hoping for some surprises in the fight for the podium, however with home-hero Alex Lowes riding wounded it may be a big ask for him to bask in some home glory. “It would be unfair if I didn’t give it a go” Lowes commented. “Donington is always one of my favourite races of the year and I have such a good relationship with the fans. I feel alright, but I might need a couple more rounds of applause around the circuit to get me through the races, but I’m sure I’ll be OK.”
Not only will World SBK be full of action but World Supersport is renowned for it’s close racing and there’s the potential to see Brits Gino Rea, Kyle Smith and Luke Stapleford fighting for the top spots as well as a returning Kyle Ryde with the Schmidt Racing team.
This weekend is set to be full of good racing and good weather, and there is also an open paddock all weekend so fans can soak up the atmosphere of the paddock as well as action out on track. With a jam packed Paddock Show to attend and get a glimpse of your favourite rider, on top of everything lets hope the riders put on a good show for the home crowd!