Photography by Gold & Goose
Tom Sykes said he was looking forward to his home round at of the World Superbike Championship at Donington Park. Sykes is hoping for a repeat performance of what was a truly perfect weekend for him last year, and he opened the 2014 edition at the birthplace of World Superbike with the best time of Friday’s FP3, turning a 1:27.840 on his factory Kawasaki ZX-10R. That time edged Ducati’s Davide Guigliano by 0.242 seconds. Sylvain Guintoli was third on the Aprilia with a time of 1:28.132.
“Donington is the only British round on the calendar” said Sykes. “It’s a circuit I really enjoy and, obviously, when I was growing up in the British Championship Donington was the most pleasurable track for myself. We’ve had some success there last year and it would be great to replicate it this time out. I’m just going to go out there and do the best I can. It’s my home race, but it’s not like I can turn on some extra heat there, I actually find quite strange that some teams and riders do that at their home round.
“Donington has a great layout” he added “the ZX-10R worked very well on this track last year, we improved the set-up a little bit so I expect to be hopefully even stronger.”
Last year Sykes had an almost perfect Donington weekend on his Ninja ZX-10R taking the Superpole win at record pace, setting a new lap record and winning both races for his first ever WSBK double.
Sykes’ Kawasaki teammate opened the day with the quickest time in FP1 with a 1:28.453. Giugliano then upped the ante in FP2 turning a 1:28.082 before Sykes raced to the top in FP3 with the first, and so far only, sub-1:28 lap.
Series leader Jonathan Rea was fifth on Friday with a time of 1:28.665 on his Pata Honda. The top six riders were within a second of one another in the final session at Donington Friday.
The EVO standings were once again headed by Niccolo Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) who was 11th overall. Leon Camier (BMW Motorrad Italia) left it until FP3 to show his real potential moving into 12th overall just behind the flying Italian rider.
Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team) crashed at Redgate corner with 18 minutes to go, both riders able to walk back to the paddock uninjured.
Bryan Staring (Iron Brain Grillini Kawasaki) who replaces Michel Fabrizio for the remainder of the year will take no further part after the injury that he sustained prior to coming to Donington Park leave the Australian rider unable to fully maneuver on the machine, resulting him in withdrawing from the event.
Americans Aaron Yates and Geoff May clocked in at 23rd and 25th respectively on their factory EBRs.
Donington World Superbike – Friday Practice Results, May 23, 2014
1 1 T. SYKES GBR Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'27.840
2 50 S. GUINTOLI FRA Aprilia Racing Team Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'28.132
3 76 L. BAZ FRA Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'28.232
4 33 M. MELANDRI ITA Aprilia Racing Team Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'28.467
5 65 J. REA GBR PATA Honda World Superbike Honda CBR1000RR 1'28.665
6 22 A. LOWES GBR Voltcom Crescent Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'28.697
7 34 D. GIUGLIANO ITA Ducati Superbike Team Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1'28.938
8 7 C. DAVIES GBR Ducati Superbike Team Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1'28.947
9 58 E. LAVERTY IRL Voltcom Crescent Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'29.079
10 91 L. HASLAM GBR PATA Honda World Superbike Honda CBR1000RR 1'29.285
11 59 N. CANEPA ITA Althea Racing Ducati 1199 Panigale R EVO 1'29.493
12 19 L. CAMIER GBR BMW Motorrad Italia SBK BMW S1000 RR EVO 1'29.684
13 2 C. IDDON GBR Team Bimota Alstare Bimota BB3 EVO 1'29.999
14 86 A. BADOVINI ITA Team Bimota Alstare Bimota BB3 EVO 1'29.999
15 44 D. SALOM ESP Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 1'30.020
16 24 T. ELIAS ESP Red Devils Roma Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'30.555
17 9 F. FORET FRA MAHI Racing Team India Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 1'31.195
18 11 J. GUARNONI FRA MRS Kawasaki Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 1'31.583
19 71 C. CORTI ITA MV Agusta RC-Yakhnich M. MV Agusta F4 RR 1'31.610
20 21 A. ANDREOZZI ITA Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 1'31.877
21 98 R. LANUSSE FRA Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 1'32.032
22 32 S. MORAIS RSA IRON BRAIN Grillini Kawasaki Kawasaki ZX-10R EVO 1'32.064
23 20 A. YATES USA Team Hero EBR EBR 1190 RX 1'32.615
24 10 I. TOTH HUN BMW Team Toth BMW S1000 RR 1'32.667
25 99 G. MAY USA Team Hero EBR EBR 1190 RX 1'34.194
26 56 P. SEBESTYEN HUN BMW Team Toth BMW S1000 RR EVO 1'34.519