Rea wins superiorly – Lowes gives away a double podium to BMW

After the start, as on Saturday, Jonathan Rea took the lead and this time Alex Lowes had a good start and passed the two BMW drivers Sykes and van der Mark in front of him early. But at the beginning of the second lap, the dream of the next podium after the first race the day before was over. Shortly after the Kawasaki pilot, Tito Rabat was already on the ground. Despite the dry conditions, Scott Redding had opted for rain tires due to the dark clouds and thus had absolutely no chance. His head shaking after the warm-up lap already indicated this before the start. This time it looked like the first podium for BMW of the season, when after half-time of the 10 lap Superpole Race Sykes was in front of van der Mark, who had been the first pursuer of the well-leading Rea. Just behind the duo in blue and white Leon Haslam and Garrett Gerloff and with a respectful distance Lucas Mahias and Toprak Razgatlioglu as the sensational winners of the first race on Saturday.

Tom Sykes in front of Michael van der Mark (both BMW M-1000RR) benefited from the fall of Alex Lowes, whereupon they were able to fight for second place and in the end were on the podium in that order (© BMW Motorrad WorldSBK).

First race for BMW with two drivers on the symbolic podium
Because there is no actual podium in sprint races, the first three drivers just stand next to each other. But for Sykes, van der Mark and their BMW team, it was of course completely irrelevant. Finally, on the fourth attempt, what they had been working towards for a long time was done. Therefore, the two flanked the superior winner Johnny Rea, who had driven up and away from the start and only had his team-mate Lowes directly behind him for just one lap. He gave BMW a double podium with his early crash and was later even 14th in front of Bautista, Folger, Mossey and a devastated Redding, whose poker of course had not worked without rain. Ducati Hope lost further important points in the fight for the title to the Rea and Toprak, who were far ahead of him. Rea almost lapped him if the sprint race had lasted just one lap longer. Below is the result of the Superpole Race at Donington Park.

The first interviews
Michael van der Mark was overjoyed with his third place and thus the first podium for BMW. Now he has to wait and see what happens in the second race in the afternoon, but this is a result that gives him joy and impetus. Tom Sykes was very relieved that with the new BMW M-1000RR, they could now significantly reduce the gap to the front. Of course, the winner would have shown a superior race, but celebrating a first double podium is still excellent. He very much hopes to repeat this success soon. The conditions were very difficult, the winner emphasized, and he and his riding coach and friend Fabien Foret decided early on for intermediates, for which he was very grateful. This decision was spot on, and so he could fight this time, said a happy Jonathan Rea. To be at the top again with the fifth win of the season is a great feeling, and he hopes to be at the front again in the afternoon.

A thoughtful Scott Redding in the Ducati Box – the reigning vice world champion made a mistake in the first race on Saturday afternoon with a crash on lap two, and he lost important points in the fight for the title and to Toprak, who was in P2.

Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha, after P7 in the 1st race):I wanted to give my team good results because they deserved it and that’s why I tried to get on the podium. I was absolutely happy with my bike and the Yamaha R1 works really well here as Toprak showed, but I was frustrated with how Saturday ended. The mixed conditions made it difficult during the race, especially in the first sector, which took a long time to dry out. When the track finally got dry it got a little easier, so I’m glad I stayed on two wheels at least until then. I know we’re quick, and on Sunday I want to minimize my mistakes and move forward. I got used to this track very quickly. Doing my homework before the weekend definitely helped, and learning new courses is something I’ve done a lot over the past few weeks, so I guess I was in the right mindset for it.

Garrett Gerloff (GMT Yamaha) was the best man for Yamaha and, unlike Toprak, is a hot candidate for top positions even when it rains in the afternoon. With a clean fifth place in the sprint race, the Texan achieved a good result on Sunday morning, even if he crossed the finish line ahead of Razgatlioglu and thus took away a point that was possibly important in the world championship.

The number of falls since the start of the season

With six in Aragon, seven in Estoril and five in Misano, the average number of crashes was 6 before it continued with World Championship round 4 in England. In the difficult first race on Saturday, which even started as a rain race on a not completely dry track, four falls had happened for the first time since race 2 in Aragon. From 22 crashes, including the first race in England since the start of the season, this number rose to 24 after the sprint race on Sunday morning in Donington. This means that the average of six has actually been achieved, but more falls are to be expected for the rain race expected in the afternoon.

Michael van der Mark (BMW M-1000RR) was beaten by his team-mate in the sprint race, but thanks to Lowes’ fall, it was enough for the first podium on the BMW for the fast man from Gouda (© BMW Motorrad WorldSBK).

Mahias stronger than five factory riders – Haslam just missed the podium

The fast Frenchman was caught by Toprak in the last few laps, but like on Saturday he did well again. While one Jonas Folger only saw the chequered flag in P16, the Frenchman was better ahead of Davies and Yamaha works rider Locatelli. Lucas Mahias was also able to leave both Ducati works drivers behind, as did Alex Lowes (Kawasaki) and Alvaro Bautista on the Honda. Behind Michael van der Mark, Leon Haslam was only fourth, but the Englishman’s performance on his home track was still excellent. In the afternoon, he should also benefit from the fact that he is an excellent rain driver and two years ago was on the podium in Donington Park in such conditions.

Leon Haslam (Honda CBR-1000RR-R SP Fireblade) drove a strong race and missed the podium by just half a second in the end, which can certainly be built on for the afternoon when the conditions are likely to be wetter.

Stand in the WorldSBK world championships

After the race on Saturday, Rea’s lead on Toprak had melted from 20 to 15 points, while Redding got their 50 behind the Turkish company from Alex Lowes after his fall. After the completely unsuccessful Superpole in the rain, it was clear that Razgatlioglu had to hope for dry conditions on Sunday in order to repeat his success in the first race. But because it was damp, he had to be satisfied with P6 in the end and for the last race there is a risk of losing further points to the world championship leader, who feels as comfortable in the rain as a fish in the water.

P, Rider, Points
1 REA 181
4 LOWES 104
6 SYKES 73
13 HASLAM 34
14 MAHIAS 32
15 NOZANE 17
16 RABAT 16

Donington Park Circuit

The course, located in the immediate vicinity of East Midland Airport, is 4,023 kilometres (2.49 miles) long. With 7 right and 5 left turns, the longest start-finish straight is just 550 meters long.

WorldSBK Donington Park schedule (WSBK only, no WSSP)

DayLocal timeMEZSession
Fr, 2. Jul10:30 – 11:1511:30 – 12:15WorldSBK – FP1
Fr, 2. Jul15:00 – 15:4516:00 – 16:45WorldSBK – FP2
Sa, 3. Jul09:00 – 09:3010:00 – 10:30WorldSBK – FP3
Sa, 3. Jul11:10 – 11:2512:10 – 12:25Superpole
Sa, 3. Jul14:0015:00Race 1 WorldSBK
Su, 4. Jul09:00 – 09:1510:00 – 10:15Warm-Up
Su, 4. Jul11:0012:00Superpole Race WSBK
Su, 4. Jul14:0015:00Race 2 WorldSBK

>WSBK Donington Preview see separate report on this page.

Unless otherwise mentioned, applies to all images (© WorldSBK).