Donington Park British Superbikes: Local hero Leon Haslam takes first double victory

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Airwaves Ducati’s Leon Haslam secured his first British Superbike double victory at Donington Park as the local hero wowed the crowds at the penultimate round of the championship.

Haslam has once again thrown the championship wide open as they head to the final round at Brands Hatch next month.

After the race Leon Haslam said: “Coming into this race we thought the championship had gone but now we can take it to Brands. Bring on Brands Hatch.”

Chris Walker took the lead in an identical start to race one with Stobart Honda rider Tom Sykes on his tail pipe.

As Tom Sykes battle for the lead from the start he got ahead of veteran Chris Walker but Walker had got back in front by the end of lap one.

Tom Sykes took the lead again on lap four just before the Melbourne hairpin as he and Chris Walker began to break away from third placed Honda rider Ryuichi Kiyonari.

Virgin Yamaha’s Tommy Hill pulled out of the race on lap five. He was still suffering the affects of tearing ligaments in the thumb on his right hand in a crash in race one.

Hawk Kawasaki’s Scott Smart was next to retire on lap seven with technical problems.

HM Plant Honda’s Ryuichi Kiyonari passed Rizla Suzuki’s Chris Walker on lap seven for second place and almost lost his spot again as he went wide at the next corner, but the Japanese rider managed to hold on.

Hawk Kawasaki’s day got no better with James Haydon falling off at the Melbourne hairpin on lap nine.

Leon Haslam’s chase on Rizla Suzuki’s Chris Walker worked out for him at his race one hotspot the Foggy esses as he claimed third position.

HM Plant Honda’s Ryuichi Kiyonari showed no signs off the foot injury he picked up in his race one crash as he took the lead from Tom Sykes at the Foggy esses on lap 11.

Rizla Suzuki’s Cal Crutchlow failed to finish once again as he pulled off on lap 12.

Track knowledge for Leon Haslam showed as he passed Tom Sykes for second place and Haslam was to benefit just a couple of corners later as Ryuichi Kiyonari had a big moment and ran wide, losing the lead to the Airwaves Ducati rider.

Stobart Honda’s Tom Sykes nearly took the dream finish as Leon Haslam ran wide on the final corner, but the local hero, who still instructs at his father’s race school at Donington Park did just enough to hold on to win by 0.056secs.

Current champion Ryuichi Kiyonari claimed the final podium spot for HM Plant Honda to keep his championship hopes alive.

Donington Park British Superbikes race two results:

1. Leon Haslam GBR Airwaves Ducati 30:35.829
2. Tom Sykes GBR Stobart Honda 30:35.885
3. Ryuichi Kiyonari JPN HM Plant Honda 30:39.245
4. Chris Walker GBR Rizla Suzuki 30:42.961
5. Gregorio Lavilla ESP Airwaves Ducati 30:48.128
6. Shane Byrne GBR Stobart Honda 30:52.396
7. Jonathan Rea IRL HM Plant Honda 30:52.501
8. Michael Rutter GBR MSS Discovery Kawasaki 31:10.257
9. Steve Plater GBR AIM Yamaha 31:10.670
10. Karl Harris GBR Honda 31:21.865
11. Ian Hutchinson GBR Bike Animal Honda 31:30.823
12. Aaron Zanotti GBR Hydrex Honda 31:31.021
13. Chris Martin GBR Red Vipeer Honda 31:36.336
14. Jon Kirkham GBR Jentin Yamaha 31:39.288
15. Tristan Palmer GBR THR Honda 31:43.147
16. David Johnson AUS Branson Honda 31:47.233
17. Marty Nutt GBR Virgin Yamaha 31:49.691
18. Tom Tunstall GBR Ice Valley Honda 31:49.837
19. Tommy Bridewell GBR NB Suzuki 31:54.895
20. John Ingram GBR Yamaha 31:58.543
21. Connor Cummins GBR Yamaha 31:58.543
22. James Buckingham GBR Honda 32:09.102

Sarah Carnell

By Sarah Carnell