Andrew Reid shines in Donington rain
Ballyclare's Jonathan Rea was forced to relinquish his World Superbike Championship lead to Kawasaki's Tom Sykes at Donington Park yesterday, during round five of the 13 round series.
It was another young Ulsterman, Andrew Reid, who flew the flag high for local competitors with a magnificent victory in the National Superstock 600cc support race.
The Donington success takes Reid and his FFX Yamaha team to the top of the championship standings by just two points over James Lodge, who was second yesterday, some nine seconds behind the ever-impressive Jordanstown rider. Joe Francis took third place.
A jovial Reid said afterwards: "The conditions were a little bit mad at the start with lying water everywhere and it was like riding on glass.
"After four laps there was a drying line, but the last sector stayed wet. It was all about preserving the tyres and I was weaving from side to side to keep the wets from falling to pieces."
Speaking of his victory in front of the world's leading Supersport and Superbike teams he added: "It's good for the FFX Yamaha team and good for Tamworth Yamaha who are now on-board with me.
"Unfortunately I never got a chance to chat to Jonathan Rea this weekend, as he got me into the sport, but a win's a win and we just have to keep the head down now and take it one weekend at the time."
In World Superbike, Yorkshire-man Sykes, repeated his feat from 12 months ago, winning both races to go back to the top of the standings with a 26 point advantage, the result of a mediocre weekend for Rea.
It was a disappointing resulted for Rea, whose Pata Honda set-up, sadly, just wasn't good enough to allow him to climb higher than his brace of sixth placed finishes.
Fellow Ulsterman Eugene Laverty's nightmare season with Voltcom Crescent Suzuki continued with a nasty crash in race one on the exit of the Foggy Esses.
The Monaco-based Toomebridge-man also crashed in race two, but re-mounted to salvage three valuable points.
Sykes' factory Kawasaki team-mate Loris Baz took second place in both races and is now joint second in the standings alongside Rea. WSB rookie Alex Lowes was third in race one for Voltcom Crescent Suzuki. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) then joined Sykes and fellow Frenchman Baz on the third rung of the podium in the second encounter.
In World Supersport, Dublin's Jack Kennedy (CIA Insurance Honda) battled through the pack from the sixth row of the grid, to take seventh place at the chequered flag. 21-year-old championship leader Michael van der Mark took the victory to stretch his lead at the top of the standings over Florian Marino (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki) to 14 points.
Frenchman Marino could only manage fifth place behind winner VD Mark, MV Agusta mounted Jules Cluzel; Scotland's Kev Coghlan (DMC Yamaha) and Kawasaki's Kenan Sofuoglu, who was the early leader before a technical problem punctuated his progress at the front.