Donington WSBK: Van der Mark holds off Rea for maiden win

Michael van der Mark fended off Jonathan Rea to take a historic maiden win in World Superbike and the first for Yamaha since 2011.

Donington WSBK: Van der Mark holds off Rea for maiden win

Championship leader Rea grabbed the holeshot at the start ahead of poleman Tom Sykes, while the Yamaha duo of Alex Lowes and van der Mark followed close behind.

Van der Mark scythed past Lowes into the Fogarty Esses on the opening lap to lead the chase on the KRT duo, who traded places on lap four after Sykes cut underneath Rea into the Old Hairpin, with the latter launching a failed retaliation into the next corner.

A mistake from Sykes at the Melbourne Loop allowed Rea to retake the lead, though Sykes struck back at the Old Hairpin again two laps later.

Rea made a similar mistake while trying to pass Sykes at the same corner on lap seven and dropped behind van der Mark. Rea regained second from the Yamaha rider, though yet another mistake at Melbourne Loop several laps later allowed van der Mark back through.

The Dutchman proceeded to close down Sykes and pass him into the Melbourne Loop on lap 15, opening up a gap of over a second as the KRT duo debated second spot.

Rea got the better of Sykes on lap 17, and managed to get to with half a second of van der Mark over the final few laps.

But his efforts were in vain, and van der Mark was able to cross the line comfortably to become the first ever Dutch winner in WSBK.

Sykes ended up a distant third, with Lowes coming home in fourth to secure pole for Sunday's race ahead of Lorenzo Savadori.

Loris Baz quickly dropped off of his front row starting position in the early stages, though the Althea BMW rider managed to get to the chequered flag in an equal season-best seventh ahead of Ducati's Chaz Davies.

Davies' difficult afternoon allowed Rea to extend his championship lead to 59 points, with Sykes now 76 points adrift of his teammate.

Leon Haslam was top independent runner across the line in ninth, though contact with his teammate Toprak Razgatlioglu on the last lap denied the Puccetti team the chance for a double points finish, with the Turkish rider crashing out.

Leon Camier completed the top 10 despite his ongoing injury issues on the Ten Kate Honda, while fellow Briton Bradley Ray scored points in 14th on his WSBK debut on the Hawk Racing Suzuki.

Ray's fellow British Superbike wildcards Luke Mossey and Gino Rea were 17th and 23rd respectively, while Mason Law was forced to retire on the opening lap. Barni Racing's Xavi Fores also failed to finish.

Race results

1 60 netherlands Michael van der Mark  Yamaha -
2 1 united_kingdom Jonathan Rea  Kawasaki 1.136
3 66 united_kingdom Tom Sykes  Kawasaki 2.193
4 22 united_kingdom Alex Lowes  Yamaha 6.642
5 32 italy Lorenzo Savadori  Aprilia 7.331
6 50 ireland Eugene Laverty  Aprilia 13.374
7 76 france Loris Baz  BMW 15.992
8 7 united_kingdom Chaz Davies  Ducati 18.532
9 91 united_kingdom Leon Haslam  Kawasaki 20.478
10 2 united_kingdom Leon Camier  Honda 20.634
11 81 spain Jordi Torres  MV Agusta 22.503
12 21 italy Michael Ruben Rinaldi  Ducati 33.250
13 36 argentina Leandro Mercado  Kawasaki 33.771
14 28 united_kingdom Bradley Ray  Suzuki 36.715
15 99 united_states PJ Jacobsen  Honda 38.850
16 45 united_states Jake Gagne  Honda 42.536
17 41 united_kingdom Luke Mossey  Kawasaki 42.682
18 37 czech_republic Ondrej Jezek  Yamaha 47.849
19 40 spain Roman Ramos  Kawasaki 50.256
20 94 italy Niccolo Canepa  Yamaha 52.188
21 54 turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu  Kawasaki 55.588
22 33 italy Marco Melandri  Ducati > 1'
23 44 united_kingdom Gino Rea  Suzuki > 1'
  12 spain Xavi Fores  Ducati  
  55 united_kingdom Mason Law  Kawasaki  
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