News 25 May 2016

WorldSBK heads to Donington Park for UK round

Secondary 'home' race for reigning BSB champion Brookes.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

The 2016 Motul World Superbike Championship will arrive at Donington Park for the UK round this weekend, marking a secondary home round for Australia’s Josh Brookes.

Reigning British champion Brookes will make his return to the UK aboard a Milwaukee BMW for the first time, in his return to fulltime WorldSBK competition.

However in WorldSBK, the modern King of the track bears one name – Tom Sykes. The poleman in Sepang by seven tenths, a winner in Malaysia and Buriram and a consistent podium finisher in 2016, Sykes’ season has seen him make up a lot of ground.

The Yorkshireman’s key rivals this season have had their opportunities at favoured tracks so far in the year, with Chaz Davies doing the double at Aragón and Jonathan Rea at Assen Donington Park is the track that most favours the 2013 champion.

Although Sykes struggled slightly in comparison to the steamrolling performance of teammate Rea in 2015, the Yorkshireman’s performance at Donington Park last season was perfect as ever.

With six wins out of the last six at the British track – on the cusp of making a new record – the name of the man to beat as the paddock heads to the parkland classic will most definitely be pencilled in as Sykes.

Championship leader Rea arrives at the home track of the top 3 key title contenders having extended his points lead once again as he pushes to retain his crown.

Despite not winning a Race in the last four held since the grid lined up in Assen, the longest stretch for the Northern Irishman since joining Kawasaki, the reigning champion knows that consistency is key.

Rea is the only rider to have been on the podium in every race so far in 2016 and showed in very different conditions in each race in Malaysia exactly why he currently counts on an even bigger advantage now the paddock is back in Europe.

Davies, currently the closest challenger to Rea, followed the Kawasaki pairing home in the UK in 2015, with two solid third positions.

Sepang saw another winner come to the fore, as Honda’s Nicky Hayden took his maiden WorldSBK win in a stunning wet weather display at the Malaysian track.

The first victory for the American rider since moving to World Superbike is a milestone both on paper and for the confidence of the 2006 MotoGP World Champion, and Donington Park is a circuit the veteran campaigner knows, just like Sepang.

Teammate Michael van der Mark will also be a force to be reckoned with, with a run of podiums already in 2016 for the consistent front-runner. Van der Mark had a difficult round last season, but is a previous WorldSSP winner at the track.

Another contender not to be forgotten at Donington is MV Agusta rider Leon Camier. After a best ever P4 at Imola at the team’s home round, its now the rider’s turn to feel the local support as Camier suits up to attack Donington.

Yamaha’s Alex Lowes will also be pushing for a good result on his home track, riding despite his collarbone injury sustained in Sepang as Pata Yamaha contest their home round with Lowes and Cameron Beaubier.