The World Superbike Championship returns on Sunday with the British leg of the competition at the legendary Donington Park in Leicestershire, England.
Often referred to as the purists' favourite motorcycles due to its use of production machines—unlike MotoGP's custom-built vehicles—the championship is led by Britain's Jonathan Rea who has 240 points from the first 10 races.
However, Leon Haslam and Tom Sykes are in close pursuit as the UK dominates the top positions.
Here is how you can watch this exciting event, as well as the list of riders entered for the Donington showcase:
Date: Sunday, May 24
Time: 12 p.m. BST/7 a.m. ET
Live Stream: WorldSBK.com
TV Info: Eurosport
|Donington Park - Entry List Of Drivers|
|1||Sylvain Guintoli||PATA Honda|
|2||Leon Camier||MV Agusta|
|10||Imre Toth||BMW Team Toth|
|14||Randy De Puniet||VOLTCOM|
|23||Christophe Ponsson||Team Pedercini|
|40||Roman Ramos||Team Go Eleven|
|44||David Salom||Team Pedercini|
|51||Santiago Barragan||Grillini SBK|
|59||Niccolo Canepa||Grillini SBK|
|60||Michael van der Mark||PATA Honda|
|75||Gabor Rizmayer||BMW Team Toth|
|86||Ayrton Badovini||BMW Motrrad|
Tom Sykes and Kawasaki Dominate Friday Practice
As the championship finds its way to England, it is three British drivers who are running as the favourites to win Sunday's race.
Competition leader Jonathan Rea may have a strong advantage at the top of the standings—taking the superpole in Australia and Thailand, and having eight wins—but it is Kawasaki team-mate Tom Sykes who looks the most likely at Donington.
The racer was the most rapid in FP2 and FP3, posting a time of 1:28:172 on Friday, per WorldSBK.com, with the top 13 riders all within one second of each other.
Aprilia's British racer Leon Haslam went fourth fastest, despite suffering a rib injury in the previous race in Italy. Haslam scored a win in the first race meeting in Australia but has not rediscovered his victorious form since.
Haslam had only been 10th fastest the previous day, significantly improving his placing on Friday's P3. And the Aprilia man has prepared special race attire for his home nation race, as highlighted by Donington Park on social media:
Sykes will be Rea's main threat in Sunday's double race feature, but the Northern Irishman says he expects to be ready and firing once the action begins in earnest, per BBC Sport:
It is a track that really suits the ZX-10R Kawasaki. I don't know just how strong we can be until Saturday qualifying, after we have completed our race preparations. Donington has presented me with some challenges in the past as a rider but it suits the Kawasaki thanks to the stability of the bike in the last sector and the agility and handling of the machine in the first sector.
Rea has only won once at the famous British track, back in 2012, per BBC Sport, but the event has since been dominated by Sykes, who has won all four races during 2013 and 2014.
Sykes' consistency over Rea in Britain has been baffling, but he generally finds his race pace much quicker than his table-topping rival.
His practice speed once again makes him the overwhelming favourite as he looks to battle his way back into the championship picture.
But if he cannot win, then Rea will be looking to consolidate at the top of the rankings. A win for Haslam will do Rea's chances more damage, so he will be hoping it is a one-two for the Kawasaki team as they attempt to further their lead in the manufacturers' race.