2016 Donington World Superbike Race Two Results: Attendance Is Up

Donington Park had 35,058 visitors over the weekend, a vast improvement over last year, and the British fans did not lack for entertainment.

Tom Sykes, Chaz Davies and Jonathan Rea led into the first turn but at the end of the first lap, Rea passed Davies and latched onto the back of his teammate. The next lap, Giugliano caught Davies and tried to pass, but went wide into turn twelve.

Rea set the fastest lap behind Sykes, besting the Yorkshireman's lap record from last year, and the two Kawasakis broke away from Davies. Davies got a bit of breathing space behind him as Giugliano messed up and was passed by three riders, Nicky Hayden, Lorenzo Savadori and Leon Camier. He quickly passed Camier back to take sixth place.

Four laps down, Sykes and Rea had almost a second and a half to Davies who was a second clear of Hayden and Savadori. Three laps later, Camier took sixth back from Giugliano while Sykes and Rea were escaping at the front, Davies staring at almost three seconds of clear track in front and over two seconds behind.

Lorenzo Savadori, the fastest rider in the third timed sector, passed Nicky Hayden, but couldn't escape from him so he set about towing the American towards Davies in third place.

Six laps from the end, Jonathan Rea started looking for a way past his teammate, starting at the Foggy Esses, the chicane at the end of the long strait, then looking for a sweeping fast line round the Melbourne Loop, the right-handed hairpin, to get better drive on the exit leading to Goddards, the left handed hairpin that caused him so much trouble Friday and Saturday. His fast line didn't work as Tom Sykes put his Kawasaki bang on the spot Rea needed to cover for the fast exit, forcing him to match Tom's speed.

A lap later, he tried the same thing. The lap after that, he moved his fast exit to the Esses and drove underneath Sykes into the Melbourne Loop, taking the lead from him. Unfortunately, entering Goddards, the last turn, he missed his braking and went wide enough for Sykes to take back the lead.

Two more laps, Rea tried everything he could, but nothing worked and Sykes put the hammer down. The last two laps, Sykes broke free and dropped his lap times to 1'28.5 for the last two laps to win his eighth race in a row at Donington.

Tom Sykes jubilantly punched the air as he crossed the finish line, taking a dominant almost flag-to-flag victory ahead of a very fast teammate. Chaz Davies finished in third four seconds behind Sykes and two behind Rea but Sykes's domination of the top step of the podium pushed him past Davies in the championship chase and reducing Rea's lead at the top by two points.

Lorenzo Savadori finished in a convincing fourth place ahead of Leon Camier who got faster at the end of the race, passing Nicky Hayden for fifth place.

Cameron Beaubier ended the race in tenth, making up for his unfortunate first race and giving Crescent Yamaha a small ray of sunshine in an otherwise forgettable weekend.

After the first race in the second half of the season, Jonathan Rea leads Tom Sykes by fifty-six points with Chaz Davies two points further back.



Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 66 T. SYKES Kawasaki ZX-10R  
2 1 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10R 2.017
3 7 C. DAVIES Ducati Panigale R 4.437
4 32 L. SAVADORI Aprilia RSV4 RF 6.423
5 2 L. CAMIER MV Agusta 1000 F4 11.808
6 69 N. HAYDEN Honda CBR1000RR SP 12.455
7 34 D. GIUGLIANO Ducati Panigale R 24.212
8 60 M. VAN DER MARK Honda CBR1000RR SP 25.931
9 25 J. BROOKES BMW S1000 RR 26.512
10 6 C. BEAUBIER Yamaha YZF R1 26.955
11 81 J. TORRES BMW S1000 RR 29.684
12 13 A. WEST Kawasaki ZX-10R 35.433
13 40 R. RAMOS Kawasaki ZX-10R 35.862
14 12 X. FORÉS Ducati Panigale R 39.240
15 15 A. DE ANGELIS Aprilia RSV4 RF 45.790
16 21 M. REITERBERGER BMW S1000 RR 46.252
17 99 L. SCASSA Ducati Panigale R 56.488
18 9 D. SCHMITTER Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'18.282
19 119 P. SZKOPEK Yamaha YZF R1 1'23.479
RET 11 S. AL SULAITI Kawasaki ZX-10R 12 Laps
RET 10 I. TÓTH Yamaha YZF R1 17 Laps
RET 94 M. LUSSIANA BMW S1000 RR 18 Laps


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Lorenzo Savadori seems to be getting to grips with the performance of his Aprilia in the second half of the race, now only 6,4 seconds off the winner! Would be great to have another podium contender in the mix!

At the same time, I get the feeling that the Honda is starting to do to Michael van der Mark what it did to most, if not all of his predecessors. Please let him have a better bike soon, or his - and Nicky's - talent will go to waste.

Isn't it strange that Rea only has braking issues when he's put under pressure? Maybe it's just a panic attack rather than a technical problem, as he himself alluded in parc ferme after Race 2? I've forgotten the last time that he actually won a race. 

With his incredible eight wins in a row, Tom Sykes now officially owns Donington Park.


Do you have some problems in your life which are reflected (projected) into your (...) comments about Rea? Go back, watch both races and you will be able see (with an opened mind) that he had a problem with the gearbox; also emphasised by his crew-chief Pere Riba (on Sunday).

And train your brain: Rea‘s last wins in 2016 were in Assen, six weeks ago (hard to forget if you are a true MotoGP/WSBK "fan")... One wins championships by being consitent (finishing all races on the podium = Rea 2016...). Last year Rea was scoring 42,15 points per weekend, this year he is scoring 41,86 points per weekend. Absolutely impressive if you ask me (watching MotoGP/WSBK for over two decades)...

Comparison: Guintoli won in 2014 by scoring 34,67 points/weekend; Sykes won in 2013 by scoring 31,93 points/weekend, Biaggi in 2012 scored 25,57 points/weekend, Checa in 2011 was pretty impressive with 38,85 points/weekend. Biaggi in 2010 scored 34,69 pts/weekend, Spies in 2009 33,00 pts/weekend, Bayliss in 2008 32,86 pts/weekend.

What Jonathan is able to do on the Kawasaski is very, very special (in the last race of 2015 where Rea had a technical problem and potentially lost both the points/season and podiums/season records; 2002 Colin Edwards...). This weekend Tom Sykes was dominating (maybe not as much as we all though) and deserves all credit...

Greetings from Germany.

Who could ever forget Assen? I've tried, but failed to erase the complete boredom of the flat track - together with chips covered in mayonnaise. Thanks for reminding me about that but it was some time ago now, my memory's fading and time is a great healer.

Not too many hard braking zones at Assen, if I recall correctly, which resulted in no gear selection problems for Rea either. 

the last time I heard a modern racing bike go sailing into corners with so many neutrals.  As per what Johnathan said after race 1 there surely must have been some fundamental issue with the selector mechanism?

Strange how this gearbox 'neutral' problem doesn't ever appear to raise-up its ugly head during practice or SuperPole?

Stranger-still that it didn't show itself last year, or even early this season when Rea was doing all the winning?

Maybe it only occurs when the heat is on?

Maybe it only happens on difficult left-hand corners like Goddards or Tosa (but then, isn't the gear-shift lever on the left)?

Maybe it's more about rider technique, rather than technical maladies? 

Strange that an engine/gearbox change after Race 1 didn't manage to cure a 'problem' that only Rea seemed to suffer from.

Poor Pera Riba. He could only look-on - seemingly bewildered and confused, as Rea succumbed to yet another 'mystery mechanical gearbox/engine braking failure', to finish in yet another strong second place. 

Rea's got plenty of points and podiums but (unlike last year), the wins have all but dried-up, so the bike takes the blame. 

... simply should not get false neutrals, no matter how inept (or otherwise!) the rider is.

Why it was only Rea getting them on the weekend is an interesting question, and if indeed it continued after an engine change then that's more curious again.  But I don't recall Rea having the problem before since joining Kawasaki, including the many times last year when he was handing Syksie's arse back to him on a plate.  :P

But how many false neutrals can anyone get in a race-weekend (unless your name is Jules Cluzel)?

I'm probably wrong, but there appeared to be nothing wrong with Rea's bike in Race 2 - a false neutral would of sent him off over the gravel again at Goddards, but he simply ran a little bit wide instead. This suggests to me that he missed his braking point due to the arm-pump problems in his right arm and was no fault of the bike. 

What's the problem with Rea? This one's a long shot but I'll give it a go anyway. I'm going to suggest that it's something to do with the different crankshaft weights that Rea and Sykes run. As you know, crankshafts are homologated at a certain weight but teams are allowed a tolerance of 5% weight difference either side of standard. Sykes prefers the lighter -5% version (aggressive power delivery), while Rea prefers the +5% crankshaft (soft power delivery) so there's a significant weight difference of 10% between the two crankshafts and Kawasaki have had to run two seperate development programs as a result. 

Maybe the much heavier crankshaft used in Rea's engine is contributing to his down-shift problems because Sykes doesn't ever seem to suffer from this issue, and Rea didn't suffer from them last year either (but then, he was on a bike with a light crankshaft. The one that Sykes developed). 


Once you get a false neutral going into a corner once or twice you aren't caught out by it so bad and you can be more prepared to deal with it. I used to get neutrals going into T1 at JenningsGP in Florida, after the first few times I always had the possibility of it happening in the back of my head and when it did happen again instead of running off, I could get it down into first gear much faster and run wide but still make the corner. Thats the difference between a couch rider and someone with actual experience :)

Arm pump? where did you get that from? 

Rather than being a failed racer living in 'La-La Land', I prefer to deal in hard facts from the comfort of my beer crate.

But since you asked, because you clearly don't understand what you're watching, here's what Rea said after Race 2:

"My bike was feeling really good but near the end I just suffered a little bit with arm pump in my right arm.”


Also, if you prefer it in German, you can find almost the exact same 'story' on:


"At the beginning of the race (Race 2), my bike was really good but at the end I was struggling with arm pump. My body wouldn't do what my head wanted it to do. I wanted to brake and accelerate precisely but I had severe pain in the right forearm."

There's your explanation - it's straight from the horses mouth, and it's got nothing to do with false neutrals either. 

Qualifying and race one, false neutrals. Race two, arm issues in the last couple of laps. There's no mystery here.

The false neutral/lack of engine braking in first gear turns isn't a made-up story that Rea is hiding behind. I spend a lot of Friday at Goddards, inside and out, as it's a great spot for photographs and seeing rider posture and Rea looked good there apart from when his bike let him down, and it was visible and audible when it did. This "Rea is rubbish" conspiracy theory is daft. He had mechanical issues on Friday and Saturday that were fixed overnight ready for Sunday warmup. 

That's what I said, but I've read here and elsewhere that his problems in Race 2 were simply something to do with transmission issues and that's what almost everyone else thought too. They ignored the fact that Rea often gets arm-pump at Donington and merely followed the common thought that the gearbox was to blame for his mistakes. 

There is no "Rea is rubbish" conpsiracy theory - he's a brilliant rider, he's the reigning World Champion and way ahead on points again this year. It's just that on the rare occasion that he doesn't win, he appears to trot-out excuses by the bucket-load and his legion of fans simply accept without question.

I got slammed for suggesting that his technique may be at fault, but even Rea is now asking himself the exact same question in Kent's fine article above where he says: “We still need some time but it’s a combination of things. It’s my technique on back shifting, lever position and the strategy that I’m still not happy with." 

I have no particular favourite and prefer to remain 'neutral', but I do admire Sykes for his brutal honesty - both in victory and defeat.

His arm issue is not something we can verify either way so we can only say he claimed to be suffering from arm pump and choose whether or not to believe him. His mechanical problems were definitely real, though. 

Analysing his last two laps, something was up and settling for second due to arm pain fits the bill so there's no reason not to believe him. And of course he has to trot out an "excuse" because he believes he should win every race and is trying to figure out why he didn't. smiley

"I wanted to brake and accelerate precisely, but I had severe pain in my right forearm. It was good that I knew beforehand - I've always suffered at this track. I try to pull my body forward on the bike to prevent wheelies. Assen and Donington are the two tracks that cause me the biggest problems" said Rea during an interview on:


Footnote: Rea recorded a double victory at Assen, so his arm-pump problems and other assorted issues remained hidden from view and undisclosed - until Sykes started to beat him regularly.

That first race was full of excitment. The on board video let's you hear Rea's engine revs die as he goes into neutral. Linda felt bad for him.

Davies in that first race just seemed to get too excited. Both crashes were his own fault. He is treacherously hard on the front. Surprised Ducati were able to make some adjustments to the chassis by the second or third race to allow him to use the front like he wants. Kudos to them for working that out. Second race he seemed to calm down a bit. I get it though, home race brings out all the emotion in the riders.

You do understand that Davies lost an entire set-up session through a burning Ducati fire-ball, don't you?

He did remarkably well to salvage something from the wreckage over the weekend, but top marks go to the remarkable Leon Camier on the slow, under-funded MV - two brilliant rides on a circuit that rewards rider skill, rather than sheer BHP.

too excited.  Home race and fighting for the championship creates a little extra feelings in most racers.  He had a good chance of closing down the gap some to Rea.  The first crash could be written off.  The second one, though understandable, was from pushing too hard.  That is why I said I kinda felt sorry for him, even though my phone spell check changed it to Linda instead of kinda.  He did well in Race 2, but Race 1 was where all the damage was done.  And to answer your other question about losing a session, yes I do know that.  Another reason why I felt for him.  Out of everyone racing, Davies is who I am actually pulling for the most.  And it is BECAUSE of his determination, (and height, as seeing that I am taller than him, makes me a little preferential to taller riders).  

Not knocking him for trying, but you could see that he was really built up and pushing.  That was all.

Great write-up again Jared! Keep it up...

Was so glad to see Tom blitz it again at Donington. He got such a hard time after his little strop against Loris Baz a couple of years ago. All riders have a bit of a strop now and again but his seems to have soured some people's opinions of Sykes forever? Jonathan Rea is a great rider, one of the best WSB riders ever to line up on the grid, but so it Tom! 

Am rooting for Sykes in 2016, as always (he's a Yorkshire man after all). He didn't buckle under the pressure from Rea in race 2, plus it's always fun to see Jonny in interviews after Tom beats him. "Quietly seething" are the 2 words I'd use! Loving it!

Great to see a lot more people at Donington this year. Was a bit deserted last year. I noticed junk-food prices went up, always a good sign of attendence!

Loving WSB this year!

... Beaubier rebound for race 2 with a solid ride. There wasn't much mid-pack coverage during the final laps, but it was encouraging to see he was starting reel-in VDM and Brookes near the end. Shows he was adapting to the tire wear quite quickly.