This weekend at Donington Park, East Midlands, the fourth round of the World Superbike Championship took place, with SHARK’s Sam Lowes taking his maiden World Supersport win and fellow SHARK-men securing podium finishes.
Sam Lowes (Bodanka PTR Honda) took his first career win in the World Supersport Championship after a troublesome weekend. Picking up a stomach infection on Friday, Lowes struggled in practice and fell in Saturdays qualifying suffering injury to his left little finger, missing the chance to start from pole.
Fellow SHARK-man Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) started on pole, but Lowes managed to make a pass during the early stages. Holding off the presence of double world champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki), Lowes held on to the win by upping his pace over the final two laps to take his long-awaited first WSS win. Jules Cluzel finished on the podium in third, giving SHARK a 1-3.
In the World Superbike class, SHARK rider Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing) claimed his fourth pole position of the season, and finished both races third on the podium. The Brit has scored five podiums in the nine races so far this year. Meanwhile Sylvain Guintoli (Effenbert-Liberty Racing) enjoyed a point-scoring weekend finishing both SBK races in a respectable fifth place.
The next round of the World Superbike Championship will take place at Miller Motorsports Park, USA on 26-28 May. The World Supersport Championship will not travel to Miller and will continue from Misano, Italy on 8-10 June.
Sam Lowes, World Supersport – first: “The weekend was a bit tough for me, so I’m really happy with my first win. I injured my finger in qualifying and it’s quite painful now but it wasn’t a problem during the race itself so I’m happy about that too. After taking the lead I was just looking at my pit-board and focusing on lapping as consistent as I could. I upped the pace with two laps to go trying to extend my advantage a little bit and it worked alright so I’m really happy. It’s great to take my first World Supersport in front of my home crowd and I’m really grateful for the support. There’s a bit of a break now, which is good as I can sort out my injured finger. I’ll be training hard to come to Misano as fit as ever and ready to rock and roll.”
Tom Sykes, World Superbikes – race one: third / race two: third: “Race one was a fantastic race, I really enjoyed it and it certainly felt like a long one as it seemed to go on for many laps. Overall I think we had a very good show, lots of passing and a little bit too much at some corners, especially at the Foggy Esses, which seemed to claim a few victims. Unfortunately we seemed to struggle at one particular part of the track and that definitely affected our race performance. Yet again we got the holeshot and led for a number of laps in race two, but I was missing a bit of feeling with the wind, which was unfortunate. I managed to stay out front but made one mistake and all the other guys came past at a rate of knots. I had the best seat in the house for the last couple of laps of race two, but for me five minus two equals a podium so I’m very happy!”