A battling and front-running win from Kawasaki Racing Team rider Tom Sykes gave him his fifth race victory of the season on the latest model Ninja ZX-10R, in what was a shortened 21-lap Sunday Superbike World Championship race. Championship leader Jonathan Rea (KRT) retired from the race on lap six after experiencing a technical issue, […]
A battling and front-running win from Kawasaki Racing Team rider Tom Sykes gave him his fifth race victory of the season on the latest model Ninja ZX-10R, in what was a shortened 21-lap Sunday Superbike World Championship race. Championship leader Jonathan Rea (KRT) retired from the race on lap six after experiencing a technical issue, recording his first no-score of the season.
After the first attempt at running the second WorldSBK race of the Laguna weekend was stopped by a red flag incident the shortened restart provided a spectacular contest for the fans. After Rea had dropped back from the lead after running wide, and then retired a short while later, it was a straight fight between 2013 world champion Tom Sykes and two chasing Ducati riders.
Despite constant pressure from behind Sykes kept the lead from lap three onwards to record his fifth win of 2016, and the 31st of his career. He was 0.209 seconds ahead of Davide Giugliano and 0.786 seconds in front of third place rider Chaz Davies.
Sykes has now won as many WorldSBK races as double champion Colin Edwards and is equal sixth in the all-time race winners’ rankings.
Rea, who won the first Laguna race on Saturday from his team-mate Sykes, approaches the long summer break with his championship lead reduced to a still-healthy 46 points. In the Manufacturers’ Standings Kawasaki leads by 95 points, with four rounds to go.
In the Riders’ Championship Rea leads with 368, Sykes has 322 and Davies 260.
The end of the Laguna Seca weekend will lead to the start of the long summer break in the WorldSBK calendar. The German circuit of Lausitzring will host the tenth round of the championship, which will be held between 16th and 18th September.
Tom Sykes, stated: “That was quite exciting and I had a lot of pressure from the Ducati riders all race long. We struggled with edge grip today so I had to change my style a little bit to defend my line. It destroyed the lap time but gave us the 25 points. Overall, it was good race for the spectators and a close one between three riders. I am happy enough but it was a difficult race in some ways. The restart was one more thing to think about and we made some changes, making the best of the situation. We never had the perfect set-up but I feel we made a good compromise. We have made a good weekend, with pole position, a second place and a win. We will go into the summer break on a high and try to learn from the information we took from the previous Misano round and this one, and then try to put the jigsaw together for the last part of the season.”
Jonathan Rea, stated: “To not finish is disappointing because up to that point I felt so good with the bike. Even when I got stuck in some traffic at the beginning I was able to close down the gap to the leaders. I feel it was one more race we could have really capitalised on, but this is racing sometimes. We need to analyse everything with the bike. When I went wide in T7 I rejoined the track and it seemed I had a problem. As soon as I closed the gas the rear was locking and I heard some noise. I carried on through some corners, arrived in turn one and it was really locking a lot. Then in T2 something was wrong so I pulled in. We have to take the rough with the smooth because we have had a really good run so far, but it is a frustrating way to go into the summer break. I wish the Lausitzring round was next weekend because I feel really good with the bike and that is a huge motivation for me.”
In race two Kawasaki riders Anthony West (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) and Roman Ramos (Team GOELEVEN Kawasaki) secured ninth and tenth place finishes respectively. In the championship Ramos is 13th overall with 60 points. Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) was 13th in today’s race and Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) scored his first point of the season for 15thplace. Gianluca Vizziello (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) rounded out the finishers in race two in 17th position.