It was Marco Melandri with Ducati who started from pole position to the second race of the weekend at Donington Park. Michael van der Mark (Yamaha) and Leon Camier (MV Agusta) were on the front row as well.
Leandro Mercado, Chaz Davies and Jordi Torres started from the second row. Saturday’s podium finishers Alex Lowes, Leon Haslam and Tom Sykes were in the third row. Jonathan Rea (who crashed on Saturday due to flat tyre) was in fourth row (P10).
Melandri kept his position and went to the lead when the race was started. But later it was Leandro Mercado who was leading the race! Well, it was only for a while as Jonathan Rea already appeared there and went to the first place. Mercado was 2nd, Leon Haslam 3rd.
Randy Krummenacher did crash already after the race started. He wasn’t able to continue but luckily the rider was ok.
Leon Haslam was pushed by one of other riders and he crashed. Chaz Davies had to avoid him so he ran off track and lost lots of positions. He came back on track on 15th place.
In that time already Alex de Angelis crashed and later also Eugene Laverty crashed.
Jonathan Rea was in the lead and he was increasing his gap. Michael van der Mark made it to second place, Marco Melandri was 3rd, Tom Sykes 4th.
In 8th lap Tom Sykes overtook van der Mark for P2 and started to do one fastest lap of the race by one. He started to chase and catch Rea. Rea had already more than 4 seconds gap in the lead but Sykes was able to reduce it just to 1 second.
Meanwhile, behind them, Lowes overtook Mercado for 5th place. And a moment later Marco Melandri had troubles with his bike and he had to retire from the race!
A moment later also Leandro Mercado crashed. It was from very good 5th place. In that time also Alex De Angelis wasn’t already in the race.
Chaz Davies did great ride and he already made it up behind Lowes. It took him a few laps but then he overtook him for 4th place and started to chase van der Mark who was racing 3rd.
Later in the race Ayrton Badovini came to the pits, then also Lorenzo Savadori pitted. While Savadori retired from the race, Badovini came back to the track. He was 5 laps behind but there were only 14 riders in the race so finishing it meant some points which was worth it for Grillini team.
Sykes made it just about 1 second behind Rea but Rea then kept his pace and Sykes wasn’t able to get closer. But van der Mark, who was behind these two, was in troubles already as Davies was already behind him. In the last lap Davies made it ahead of him.
Jonathan Rea won the race and it was 100th victory for Kawasaki in the World Superbikes! Tom Sykes came 2nd and Chaz Davies was 3rd.
Good race for Yamaha as Michael van der Mark was 4th and Alex Lowes 5th. Leon Camier finished 6th, Xavi Forés was 7th, Roman Ramos 8th, wild card rider Jake Dixon 9th and Raffaele de Rosa completed top 10.
The only Honda rider Stefan Bradl finished on good 11th place (he was last after race start as he was forced to avoid Krummenacher’s crash), Riccardo Russo was 12th and also the Grillini duo took some points as Ondřej Ježek was 13th and Ayrton Badovini 14th (with 5 laps behind).
Lots DNFs happened in this race. Eight riders didn’t see the chequered flag – Lorenzo Savadori, Marco Melandri, Leandro Mercado, Jordi Torres, Eugene Laverty, Alex de Angelis, Leon Haslam, Randy Krummenacher.
Jonathan Rea has 260 points in the Championship standings, Tom Sykes is now 2nd with 205 points. Behind them there is Chaz Davies with 185 points.
Kawasaki is in the Manufacturers standings lead with 285 points, Ducati is 2nd with 232 points and Yamaha has 135 points on the 3rd place. Then BMW has 86 points, MV Agusta 84 points, Aprilia 77 points and Honda 65 points.
In the Team standings there is Kawasaki Racing Team in the lead with 465 points. Aruba Ducati has 322 points, Pata Yamaha has 223 points.
Next race weekend will be in Italy, at the Marco Simoncelli circuit in Misano and it all will be from 16th to 18th June.
Photo: World SBK