WSBK: Jonathan Rea crashes unhurt as Sykes takes record ninth win at Donington
Jonathan Rea crashed out of second place in the opening race of the British round of the World Superbike Championship at Donington Park on Saturday.
The Kawasaki rider went down at Craner Curves in a strange incident after he appeared to lose the rear of his machine, with pictures later suggesting a deflated tyre coming off the rim could have been a possible cause of the crash.
Rea’s team-mate, Tom Sykes, set a new record as he won at Donington for the ninth consecutive race, with the Yorkshire rider unbeaten at the Leicestershire circuit in World Superbikes since 2013. Sykes has reduced world champion Rea's advantage in the championship to 50 points ahead of Sunday’s second race.
There was earlier drama when Welsh rider Chaz Davies slid out of the lead at Goddards as he led the race from Rea and Sykes.
English rider Sykes went on to win by 16.5 seconds from British Superbike frontrunner Leon Haslam, who is competing at Donington as a wildcard rider in the Pucetti Kawasaki team.
An all-British podium was completed by Alex Lowes on the Pata Yamaha, while Marco Melandri was fourth on the Aruba.it Ducati. The top six was finalised by Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha) and Leon Camier on the MV Agusta.
Davies finished in eighth place on the second Aruba.it Ducati after re-joining the race following his slip-off, while Northern Ireland’s Eugene Laverty crossed the line in13th place on the Milwaukee Aprilia.