WorldSBK: Rea Takes Red-Flagged Donington Sprint Race Win

The Superpole race for round eight of the 2019 Superpole World Championship saw Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) take his second win of the weekend and extend his championship lead.

It was Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK) who made the holeshot from pole position and held the early lead although under pressure from Rea. The reigning World Champion had a go at leading, passing Sykes into the Foggy Esses on lap three, but he ran wide and Sykes squared him off to reclaim the top spot.

Behind the two leaders, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) had passed Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) for third place, and started to close back in on the back of Rea in second. Haslam was able to go with the Turk to make it a four-way fight for the lead. Meanwhile, Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) was in fifth place and dropping off, under some pressure from Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha).

With six laps to go, Rea re-passed Sykes in the Foggy Esses and forced the BMW rider out wide to keep the position. In trying to escape from the #66, Rea made some mistakes allowing the 2013 World Champion to close back in on the reigning champion.

Razgatlioglu had also managed to keep in touch with the leading pair, whilst Haslam made some mistakes on lap six which dropped him back towards Bautista who, in turn, had started to move back forwards.

As the riders began lap eight, the red flag came out as a result of an engine blow up for Markus Reiterberger’s BMW Motorrad WorldSBK, Peter Hickman. Oil went down as a result, and four riders crashed on it: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team), Alessandro Delbianco (Althea Mie Racing Team), Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) and Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK).

Hickman, too, was of course out, as was Sykes when the #66 crashed on the oil after the red flag was shown. There was notably a lack of oil flags, so Sykes especially was unfortunate to lose a second place he had the pace to achieve – and in many ways he did achieve.

With seven laps having been completed, the result was called, making Rea the winner. It was his second win of the weekend and his sixth of the season. Unfortunately for Rea, Sykes’ retirement meant that Bautista was promoted to fourth, so instead of sixteen points the four-times champion’s points lead extended to fifteen.

Toprak Razgatlioglu inherited second place from Sykes, taking his fourth podium of the season, whilst Leon Haslam made it an all-Kawasaki top three for the second time in two rounds.

Alvaro Bautista will have been thankful for the regulation which cost Sykes second place as it promoted him to fourth place, gaining him a point which could be crucial come Qatar. Loris Baz was the top Yamaha in fifth place for Ten Kate Racing, which was an impressive result in the team’s third round of the season in the World Championship.

Marco Melandri. at Donington Park 2019 WSBK. Image courtesy of Yamaha


Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was sixth, ahead of Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) in seventh and Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) in eighth. Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing) was ninth, whilst Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) survived Hickman’s oil to round out the top ten. Similarly, Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team) got through the oil safely enough for eleventh – the final classified position.

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