Donington WorldSBK: Sykes, Rea aiming to re-write record books

Picture: GeeBee Images

Kawasaki WorldSBK duo Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes could both re-write the record books at this weekend’s Donington Park round as the series celebrates its 30th birthday at the track where it was conceived.

Reigning champ Rea needs just one victory from two races to beat Carl Fogarty’s all-time win record of 58 which he equalled last time out at Imola.

“I’m looking forward to racing at Donington this weekend as it’s the closest thing I have to a home round feeling. It’s nice to arrive there on the back of a strong weekend in Imola and we will work hard together to make sure we can fight for victory again,” said Rea.

“Of course, Donington is a different challenge, with its undulating layout and a mix of fast flowing sectors and stop and go sectors. This always makes it difficult to set up the perfect bike, but we will try to find a compromise. This weekend marks the first opportunity I have to surpass Carl Fogarty’s all time WorldSBK win record. I will have a lot of travelling support so let’s hope that’s enough to get it done.”

Rea’s pole in Italy denied Sykes the chance to become the man with the most pole positions and improve on Troy Corser’s record of 43 at his favourite track.

“Preparations are going well for Donington. It is a special place for me. We have done all right in the recent past, with nine wins on the bounce before race two last year. I think I rode there for the first time in the 2000 season,” said Sykes.

“I had ridden at some other British circuits before, and when I finally rocked up to Donington it was special. It is wider and more open compared to most other British circuits. When I got to Donington as a 14 year old, I remember thinking ‘Wow!’ It lived up to all my expectations, and more.

“First impressions are important, they say, and Donington’s first impression on me was a big one, and it stuck. When you go round Redgate and head down Craner Curves, under a bright blue sky, it is fantastic. In general we are in good shape for Donington and I am looking forward to going racing there again.”

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