May 25th

Sykes: Donington is a bike theatre that’s perfect for spectators

Donington dominator Tom Sykes is out to break the record for most consecutive World Superbike wins at the same circuit this weekend at Donington (26-28 May), at a venue he describes as a ‘theatre that’s perfect for spectators.’

Sykes is unbeaten here in eight races and quipped: “I wish I knew what the secret was behind my success at Donington, because I’d be unbeaten everywhere!

“It’s a circuit of two halves and I feel I’m really good across both halves which gives us the edge. Ultimately it’s a great circuit, I enjoy it and hopefully I can continue the winning form this weekend.”

Sykes is yet to win in the 2017 season, and has been battling a significant bacterial infection in his intestine throughout the year. But he has seen his condition improve in recent days and comments: “I’ve not fully overcome my health issues but I’m confident now of how I am compared to how I was in the previous races, so I feel I have a lot of motivation knowing that I’m feeling a lot stronger.”

With a near return to fitness just in time for his favourite round, Sykes admits his team mate Jonathan Rea will be hard to beat this weekend, but also predicts strong showings from several of his rivals: “Jonathan has had a lot of success this year, he’s as keen as it comes and he’s definitely going to be trying to put a stop to my winning streak for sure. I saw it in his body language last year in the race so we’ll see what happens this time.

“Chaz Davies is also riding very strongly so we will see. At the moment, those are they guys I’m looking at. Of course Marco Melandri is on a good bike and he has been very fast at Donington before, Alex Lowes is at his home race and has gone well here too. The list could be endless as it’s competitive and I’ve got to ride to the best of my ability to beat them.”

As for his thoughts on Donington Park itself, Sykes thinks the circuit is right up there with the best on the calendar: “Donington Park is absolutely fantastic for the bikes, simply because of the layout of the track and the undulations. When we’re going through Redgate and then accelerating and short shifting through Hollywood and then through the Craners, the valley really opens up and it becomes own theatre where it is absolutely perfect for spectators.

“Everyone coming this weekend should get themselves on the infield there and see some fast bikes coming down the Craner Curves, there’s not really a better sight in the world!”

Tickets for the Motul FIM Superbike World Championship at Donington Park this weekend (26-28 May) are available at the gates upon arrival, with free entry for children aged 13 and under. For more information, click here.

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