The first race of twenty three laps of Donington Park, there were finally crowds here on a Saturday.
Chaz Davies beat Tom Sykes to the first turn as the lights went out, with Davide Giugliano getting an excellent start to split the Kawasakis of Sykes and Jonathan Rea. Lorenzo Savadori dropped two places to fifth while Cameron Beaubier charged up to sixth place in his first World Superbike race.
At the end of the first lap, Sykes would be the first of many riders to mess up at Goddards, turn twelve that leads onto the short start/finish straight, going wide and conceding second place to Giugliano, putting two Ducatis in front of two Kawasakis. A few seconds later, Cameron Beaubier also struggled at Goddards, crashing out defending sixth place.
Davies, Giugliano, Rea, Sykes and Savadori broke away from Jordi Torres, Leon Camier and Nicky Hayden a few laps later. Jonathan Rea then made his first mistake at the last hairpin, but he recovered before Tom Sykes could capitalise on it and a lap later, he had caught back up with the Ducatis in front.
Lap five and Chaz Davies looked like he could break free of his teammate, but Davide Giugliano caught back up before the end of the lap and the pair were joined by Jonathan Rea who started to eke out a slight gap from Tom Sykes in fourth place. Sykes was over two seconds clear of Lorenzo Savadori in fifth place.
At the end of the sixth lap, Chaz Davies lost adhesion in the front tyre at Goddards and crashed his Panigale, gifting the lead to his Ducati teammate. Giugliano and Rea built more of a gap from Sykes in third as Davies rejoined the race in sixteenth place.
A lap later and Sykes was catching the two riders in front when Rea charged into Goddards without his bike giving him enough braking, a problem that he suffered from a few times on Friday, and he went through the gravel and had to rejoin the race from the slip road in fourth place behind Savadori. Savadori was three seconds off the leaders in third.
Jonathan Rea took third past decisively through the fast flowing section, making sure Savadori felt passed and didn't get a chance to strike back. Rea took two laps to finally shake him off though, by which time he had over five seconds between him and Sykes in second.
With twelve laps left and Rea lapping at over four tenths of a second faster than the bikes in front, catching them was possible. Chaz Davies at this point was in twelfth place and closing down a three-way battle for ninth that was contested by Karel Abraham, Alex De Angelis and Anthony West. As Davies caught the bikes in front, fourteen laps into the race, he made short work of West and De Angelis but in the wake of his overtake, De Angelis crashed into West, taking them both into the gravel and earning him the stern gaze of race direction. West rejoined, De Angelis didn't.
Chaz Davies, pushing hard to escape a Karel Abraham that had no intention of letting him get away, Davies crested the right hand turn, Coppice, onto the long back straight but the undulating track lifted his front wheel slightly as he was leant over and he crashed his bike once again, only ending his race for good this time.
At the front, Sykes pushed under Giugliano into the Melbourne Loop hairpin, turn eleven, but couldn't keep his line and Giugliano switched underneath to take the fast line out of the exit. A lap later, Sykes did the same a lap later and made it stick, keeping the lead. The pair both started lapping faster than they were when Giugliano was leading as Sykes started to try to break the Italian behind him.
Lorenzo Savadori, in a comfortable fourth place, finally succumbed to the curse of Goddards and was immediately set upon by Nicky Hayden and Leon Camier who were formation flying in fifth and sixth. Leon Camier, having gained one place through Savadori's misfortune, gained another through fortitude, taking fourth place from Hayden.
As the laps ticked off, Tom Sykes turned on his internal metronome and increased his lead lap by lap and took a clear victory over two seconds clear of Davide Giugliano in second. Jonathan Rea finished in third, seven seconds further back, having had his Kawasaki let him down under braking at Goddards five times.
Leon Camier held off Nicky Hayden for fourth place with Lorenzo Savadori in sixth, less than a second from the pair ahead of him.
Jonathan Rea had the fastest lap five laps in, but Tom Sykes had pole position and the victory, closing to within three points of Chaz Davies in the title chase. Davies's haul of zero points meant in spite of only finishing third, Jonathan Rea increased his lead in the championship to fifty eight points exactly halfway through the season.
|1||66||T. SYKES||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1'28.215 270,0||1'26.712 268,7|
|2||34||D. GIUGLIANO||Ducati Panigale R||2.869||1'28.023 272,7||1'27.602 268,7|
|3||1||J. REA||Kawasaki ZX-10R||9.808||1'27.988 272,7||1'27.601 270,0|
|4||2||L. CAMIER||MV Agusta 1000 F4||13.747||1'28.857 266,7||1'28.409 266,0|
|5||69||N. HAYDEN||Honda CBR1000RR SP||14.007||1'28.966 268,7||1'28.127 268,0|
|6||32||L. SAVADORI||Aprilia RSV4 RF||14.640||1'28.624 272,0||1'27.591 270,0|
|7||81||J. TORRES||BMW S1000 RR||16.337||1'29.012 270,7||1'28.046 272,0|
|8||60||M. VAN DER MARK||Honda CBR1000RR SP||16.535||1'29.087 270,0||1'28.806 266,7|
|9||17||K. ABRAHAM||BMW S1000 RR||36.874||1'29.285 269,3||1'30.345 268,0|
|10||13||A. WEST||Kawasaki ZX-10R||39.074||1'29.544 268,0||1'29.377 265,4|
|11||21||M. REITERBERGER||BMW S1000 RR||41.144||1'29.679 270,7||1'29.406 270,0|
|12||12||X. FORÉS||Ducati Panigale R||41.275||1'29.547 266,7||1'28.663 266,7|
|13||40||R. RAMOS||Kawasaki ZX-10R||48.094||1'29.601 266,0||1'29.289 266,7|
|14||25||J. BROOKES||BMW S1000 RR||50.125||1'29.740 270,0||1'29.029 268,7|
|15||9||D. SCHMITTER||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1'18.008||1'31.249 264,7||1'30.275 263,4|
|16||119||P. SZKOPEK||Yamaha YZF R1||1'29.605||1'31.671 259,0||1'31.742 257,8|
|17||11||S. AL SULAITI||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1 Lap||1'31.569 256,5||1'31.378 256,5|
|18||10||I. TÓTH||Yamaha YZF R1||2 Laps||1'35.351 258,4||1'34.549 259,0|
|RET||99||L. SCASSA||Ducati Panigale R||7 Laps|
|RET||7||C. DAVIES||Ducati Panigale R||9 Laps|
|RET||15||A. DE ANGELIS||Aprilia RSV4 RF||10 Laps|
|RET||94||M. LUSSIANA||BMW S1000 RR||14 Laps|
|RET||6||C. BEAUBIER||Yamaha YZF R1|