Superbike World Championship 2015: Start Time, Drivers, TV Schedule and More

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistMay 23, 2015

IMOLA, ITALY - MAY 10:  Tom Sykes of Great Britain and Kawasaki Racing Team celebrates the second place under the podium at the end of the WSBK race 2 during the World Superbikes - Race at Enzo & Dino Ferrari Circuit on May 10, 2015 in Imola, Italy.  (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)
Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

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
No.NameTeam
1Sylvain GuintoliPATA Honda
2Leon CamierMV Agusta
7Chaz DaviesAruba
10Imre TothBMW Team Toth
14Randy De PunietVOLTCOM
15Matteo BaioccoAlthea
18Nicolas TerolAlthea
22Alex LowesVOLTCOM
23Christophe PonssonTeam Pedercini
34Davide GiuglianoAruba
36Leandro MercadoBARNI
40Roman RamosTeam Go Eleven
44David SalomTeam Pedercini
51Santiago BarraganGrillini SBK
59Niccolo CanepaGrillini SBK
60Michael van der MarkPATA Honda
65Jonathan ReaKawasaki
66Tom SykesKawasaki
75Gabor RizmayerBMW Team Toth
81Jordi TorresAprilia
86Ayrton BadoviniBMW Motrrad
91Leon HaslamAprilia
WorldSBK.com

Tom Sykes and Kawasaki Dominate Friday Practice 

IMOLA, ITALY - MAY 10:   Tom Sykes of Great Britain and Kawasaki Racing Team  leads the field during the WSBK race 1 during the World Superbikes - Race at Enzo & Dino Ferrari Circuit on May 10, 2015 in Imola, Italy.  (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Image
Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

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.

IMOLA, ITALY - MAY 10:  Jonathan Rea of Great Britain and KAWASAKI RACING TEAM  speaks with journalists and celebrates the victory under the podium at the end of the WSBK race 2 during the World Superbikes - Race at Enzo & Dino Ferrari Circuit on May 10,
Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

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.  

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