Leon Haslam was withdrawn from the race by his team. It was obvious Haslam wanted to race, but cooler heads prevailed, taking the decision away from the rider. The good weather we were promised turned up and gave us the closest to a processional race that Superbikes can give us.
Tom Sykes took the lead at turn one from Sylvain Guintoli and was followed by Jonathan Rea. The leaders Sykes and Rea were ahead of the Aprilia pairings of Guintoli and Eugene Laverty and the BMW pairings of Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies. Sykes set the lap record quickly, but Rea took it off him shortly after.
Tom Sykes never looked back and was able to eke out a tenth here and there ahead of the battles that raged behind him. Once he had enough of a gap, he could just get his head down and race the track instead of other riders, something he is very, very good at. As soon as he garnered a one second lead, he was uncatchable.
Jonathan Rea couldn't maintain his lead over the Aprilias and BMWs and, after Melandri dispatched Laverty, Rea would eventually lose second place to Guintoli. Melandri then made a push from fourth, passing both Guintoli and Rea within a single lap, grabbing second place. The scrap between Rea and Guintoli went in favour of the Frenchman, but further back, both having messed up the entry to the Esses at the end of the straight at different points, Eugene Laverty and Chaz Davies were resigned to fight for, at best, fifth place.
Loris Baz, after poor qualifying, fought his way through the hard way to pass rider after rider, including cleaning his front tyre on the rear tyre of Carlos Checa at the Melbourne Loop, until he caught the mob of Davies, Laverty and Davide Giugliano. Baz was able to force past everyone in his fight to get fifth place. Giugliano and Laverty had a bit of a ding dong at the end, with Laverty trying an ambitious spoon-handle-between-frozen-burgers pass at the first turn that earned the Irishman a proper unfriendly Italian gesticulation but no position.
As Tom Sykes managed his lead ahead of a charging Marco Melandri, with an accurate +2.5 displayed on his pit board, the Englishman took his first ever Donington victory, and the first for Kawasaki in well over a decade. Sylvain Guintoli settled for a dejected third place. Off the podium, Jonathan Rea pulled in a respectable fourth place, but he looked like he thought he had a podium in him.
Laverty's 7th place drops him back to third in the title chase, behind his team mate Guintoli and race one winner Sykes, who has reduced Guintoli's lead to only nine points.
|1||66||T. SYKES||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1'28.561||270,9|
|2||33||M. MELANDRI||BMW S1000 RR||2.379||1'28.628||271,6|
|3||50||S. GUINTOLI||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||3.808||1'28.524||267,5|
|4||65||J. REA||Honda CBR1000RR||6.760||1'28.469||268,9|
|5||76||L. BAZ||Kawasaki ZX-10R||13.649||1'28.967||270,9|
|6||34||D. GIUGLIANO||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||15.551||1'29.199||264,3|
|7||58||E. LAVERTY||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||17.453||1'28.657||271,6|
|8||19||C. DAVIES||BMW S1000 RR||19.138||1'29.109||270,2|
|9||16||J. CLUZEL||Suzuki GSX-R1000||27.738||1'29.782||266,9|
|10||84||M. FABRIZIO||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||30.817||1'29.748||264,3|
|11||86||A. BADOVINI||Ducati 1199 Panigale R||31.611||1'29.918||264,9|
|12||7||C. CHECA||Ducati 1199 Panigale R||31.816||1'29.798||263,0|
|13||59||N. CANEPA||Ducati 1199 Panigale R||31.930||1'29.501||265,6|
|14||27||M. NEUKIRCHNER||Ducati 1199 Panigale R||43.025||1'30.260||261,7|
|15||31||V. IANNUZZO||BMW S1000 RR||4 Laps||1'31.702||257,9|
RT. Federico Sandi (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 27'50.190
RT. Alexander Lundh (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 22'01.444
RT. Leon Camier (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 3'05.872