WSBK: Race 1 Shows New Contenders at Donington Park

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With good weather under British skies, World Superbike is making one of its few breaks from the European mainland, and racing at Donington Park this weekend. With a slew of local boys comprising the top spots of the WSBK grid, race fans at Donington had more than a few favorites for Sunday’s races, though pole-setter Tom Sykes seemed to be the favorite per usual, as the Brit looked for his first fair-weather win.

Though Melandri had the best start out of the front-row sitters, it was Leon Haslam who lead through the first turn at Donington, followed by Sykes, Melandri, and Guintoli. With the two factory BMW’s breaking away from the pack with Sykes on the Kawasaki, Max Biaggi lead the group for fourth with his Aprilia RSV4 Factory.

Out of touch with the front group for the first part of the race, Biaggi would eventually catch back up to the fron-runner, which also saw Sykes beginning to go backwards, as his rear tire faded in grip. With Haslam and Melandri getting around Sykes, it was a battle between the two BMW riders as to whom would bring the Bavarians their first WSBK win on the S1000RR superbike.

For a while, it looked like that man would be Leon Haslam, but an error with five laps to go, handed the Brit’s lead to his Italian counterpart. Hanging onto second place, Haslam had to contend with Sykes for the second step for Race 1, while Biaggi had to contend with Jonathan Rea, who showed a new-found pace in the latter stages of the race on his Honda CBR1000RR.

Taking a 1-2 finish for BMW, Melandri and Haslam gave the German squad its much deserved first World Superbike win on the S1000RR, and hope to repeat the feat for the Bavarian brand in Race 2. As if we needed any further proof of the fact, the factory BMW squad is serious contender this year in World Superbike.

Race Results from World Superbike Race 1 at Donington Park, England:

Pos. Rider Team Bike Diff.
1. Marco Melandri BMW Motorrad Motorsport BMW S1000 RR
2. Leon Haslam BMW Motorrad Motorsport BMW S1000 RR 0.728
3. Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R 1.609
4. Jonathan Rea Honda World Superbike Team Honda CBR1000RR 1.819
5. Max Biaggi Aprilia Racing Team Aprilia RSV4 Factory 2.102
6. Carlos Checa Althea Racing Ducati 1098R 4.820
7. Davide Giugliano Althea Racing Ducati 1098R 7.520
8. Sylvain Guintoli Team Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati 1098R 7.927
9. Leon Camier FIXI Crescent Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R1000 15.144
10. Michel Fabrizio BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet BMW S1000 RR 16.065
11. Ayrton Badovini BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet BMW S1000 RR 19.805
12. Chaz Davies ParkinGO MTC Racing Aprilia RSV4 Factory 20.170
13. Maxime Berger Team Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati 1098R 21.274
14. Jakub Smrz Liberty Racing Team Effenbert Ducati 1098R 21.517
15. Eugene Laverty Aprilia Racing Team Aprilia RSV4 Factory 26.920
16. Loris Baz Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R 35.025
17. Hiroshi Aoyama Honda World Superbike Team Honda CBR1000RR 39.193
18. Lorenzo Zanetti PATA Racing Team Ducati 1098R 42.334
19. Niccolò Canepa Red Devils Roma Ducati 1098R 43.554
20. Mark Aitchison Grillini Progea Superbike Team BMW S1000 RR 83.617
NC Peter Hickman FIXI Crescent Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R1000
RT Gary Mason Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R
RT Leandro Mercado Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R

Source: WSBK