Reigning WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea edged out former team-mate Tom Sykes for the Donington WorldSBK sprint race win which was red-flagged after oil from Peter Hickman’s BMW caused carnage at Melbourne Loop.
Six bikes went down in the initial incident with three laps left and second-placed man Tom Sykes fell on the red-flag lap but he ran back to parc ferme where he and Rea were discussing a lack of oil flags. Due to the five minute rule, Sykes was removed from the result, which moved Toprak Razgatlioglu to second and Leon Haslam to third.
An angry Sykes trudged out of parc ferme to a chorus of boos from the crowd and Leon Haslam’s bike was wheeled in to third place. Sykes said that more attention was being paid to the rules than ensuring the safety of riders, as he was caught off-guard when he saw cars in his vision when he came over the the rise on the way into Melbourne Loop.
Rea agreed, saying there were no oil flags at Fogarty Esses and he tucked the front on the oil but stayed up. He added it was lucky that no-one collected any marshals in the incident.
Hickman, Sandro Cortese, Tati Mercado, Michael Rinaldi, Alessandro Del Bianco and Ryuichi Kiyonari all went down in the incident but none were reported injured.
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was fourth, and Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) a dry weather fifth, 2.7 seconds from Rea.
Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was sixth, and every other rider behind him was classified as a lap behind, given that the latest championship rules ‘freeze’ results at the point of a red flag being shown, sector-by-sector.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was seventh and Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) eighth, with Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) and Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha) ninth and tenth respectively.
After some discussion the results were declared final, with Sykes not classified as a finisher.
Rea moved 15 points clear of Bautista, with the second full 23-lap race to come in the afternoon.