Cape Town’s David ‘McFlash’ McFadden, meanwhile, achieved his best result of the season so far in the Superstock 1000 race, qualifying 23th and working his way up through the field in the race to finish just out of the points in 16th.
Ducati rider Chaz Davies got the best launch off the line from the middle of the front row, diving down the inside to pass Superpole winner Sykes into Turn 1. A lap later a mistake by Sykes saw him drop down to fourth behind Davies, Davide Giugliano on the second Ducati Team machine and Rea.
On lap six, however, Davies lost the front end of his Ducati, sliding out of the lead and leaving team-mate Giugliano to fend off the Kawasaki attack – only for Rea to get it all wrong on lap 12, losing five seconds and having to pass Lorenzo Savadori to catch up to the leaders.
Davies, meanwhile rejoined at the back of the field and fought his way back up ninth before crashing out again on lap 15, this time for good.
Sykes reeled in Giugliano by the halfway point and a close battle ensued for a number of laps until the Kawasaki rider made a pass that stuck lap 17 and gradually pulled away to take the win – his seventh at Donington – by 2.8 seconds, with Rea seven seconds further adrift in third.
Aprilia rookie Lorenzo Savadori, after an incredible front row start, rode a solid race until a mistake in the final few laps saw him caught by Nicky Hayden (Honda) and Leon Camier (MV Agusta), pushing him down to sixth. Camier and Hayden fought it out for fourth right down to the flag, with local hero diving up the inside on the final corner and beating Hayden to the line by 0.26s.
BMW factory rider Jordi Torres, got a good start, only to be hunted down by Honda’s Michael van der Mark, who was fighting back from a difficult qualifying. The two were less than 0.2s apart for most of the race, with Torres in front to take seventh, ahead of Van der Mark, BMW privateer Karel Abraham and Pedercini Kawasaki stand-in Ant West.
An incredible start by Sykes and Rea saw the Kawasaki pair begin a race-long battle for the lead that eventually saw Sykes earn an eighth victory at this circuit, with Rea second, further consolidating his championship lead, and Davies third after a steadier ride than his earlier two-crash effort.
Savadori put in another impressive performance to match his own career best in fourth, ahead of Camier, and Hayden, who hunted down Giugliano and Camier in the early stages, only to lose pace at the end and come home behind Camier, but ahead of Giugliano, who was having some issues and was unable to repeat his podium performance from Saturday.
Hayden’s factory Honda team-mate Van der Mark took it all the way with BMW privateer Josh Brookes, beating the Australian over the line to take eighth, while stand in rider Cameron Beaubier, riding for Pata Yamaha in place of injured Sylvain Guintoli, put in a calm and solid performance to complete the top 10.
The most successful World Supersport rider yet, Kenan Sofuoglu, put up another superb display at Donington, chasing down Honda’s PJ Jacobsen to take the lead and pull away from the chasing pack. Jacobsen hung on to finish second, ahead of Sofuoglu’s Kawasaki team-mate Randy Krummenacher.
Behind them it was a battle of the bttle of the Brits as MV Agusta rider Gino Rea battled front-row starter Luke Stapleford (Triumph 675 Daytona) before managing to pull away and bring the MV home in fourth.
Honda privateer Kyle Smith set his sights on similarly mounted Ayrton Badovini and MV Agusta privateer Alex Baldolini, passing both in the closing stages of the race to claim sixth, while a last-lap move from factory MV Agusta rider Jules Cluzel demoted Baldolini to ninth, just ahead of Cluzel’s team-mate Lorenzo Zanetti.
Leandro Mercado led off the line on his Ducati Team Panigale as pole sitter Roberto Tamburini (Aprilia) fell back slightly, while Ducati privateer Marco Faccani and Raffaele de Rosa (BMW) moved up to challenge Mercado for the lead
Kevin Calia (Aprilia), Tamburini and Michael Ruben Rinaldi on the second Ducati Team machine completed the early top six. Turkish rider Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki) was finding form again after injury, running seventh, until crashes for Ruben Rinaldi and Faccani promoted him to fifth.
Calia finally bridged the gap to the duel for the lead between Mercado and De Rosa, passing De Rosa for second at the death. By which time the top three had pulled a gap of more than 20 seconds. Tamburini came home fourth, ahead of Razgatlioglu, BMW privateer Luca Vitali, and Yamaha riders Sebastien Suchet, Andrea Mantovani and Fabio Massei.
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Original source: Home double for Sykes at Donington WSBK