Sykes, BMW quickest again as 0.1s covers top five

Tom Sykes dominates day one at Donington Park but ends the day with just 0.1s covering himself, Alex Lowes, Toprak Razgatlioglu, Leon Haslam and Jonathan Rea
Sykes, BMW quickest again as 0.1s covers top five

Donington Park WorldSBK - Free Practice Results (2)

Tom Sykes continued to hold firm at the conclusion of Friday practice for Round 8 of the 2019 World Superbike Championship at Donington Park but led a much closer FP2 session with just a single tenth covering the top five.

Though it was a familiar face out front as Tom Sykes’ effort of 1m 27.733secs marginally improved upon the benchmark that gave the BMW Motorrad rider a huge 0.4secs lead in FP1, he was chased much harder this time as Alex Lowes came to within 0.018secs of overhauling him.

A strong response from Lowes, whose FP1 session ended with a huge crash at Craner Curves, the Briton was back on form aboard the Pata Yamaha to squeeze between Sykes and third place man Toprak Razgatlioglu, who steadily chipped away at his best time on the way to third despite ending his session with an off at Turn 12.

Though ‘only’ fourth and fifth, factory Kawasaki Racing riders Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam were still just a short distance off the top spot and more in contention than they had been in FP1.

Similarly, Alvaro Bautista enjoyed a substantially stronger afternoon on the Ducati Panigale V4 R even if he remains three tenths off the top spot in sixth.

Making the largest gains of any rider between FP1 and FP2, Sandro Cortese was seventh quickest on the GRT Yamaha, ahead of R1 stablemate Loris Baz – who slipped from fourth to eighth – Chaz Davies and Jordi Torres.

Elsewhere, Sykes’ team-mate Peter Hickman was 12th quickest, but only a tenth from the top ten, while Eugene Laverty enjoyed a more competitive afternoon, even if he would still end up 18th and last. He will undergo another physical check soon to determine whether he can continued this weekend.