WSBK

Sykes Takes The WSBK Championship Lead After Double Race Win

Author: Aaryn Minerds

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Sykes Takes The WSBK Championship Lead After Double Race Win
Kawasaki Racing Team's, Tom Sykes continued his untouchable form from qualifying into both 21-lap SBK races at Imola overnight, taking his second ‰Û÷double‰Ûª of the year and in the process, the British rider took the championship points lead.

This was Tom‰Ûªs second such double win in three rounds and with previous championship leader Sylvain Guintoli finding bad luck with a DNF in race one, and finishing third behind Tom in race two, Sykes now leads by six points after 7 of 15 rounds have been completed.

Sykes once more put in a perfect weekend, as he took both race wins, his sixth Superpole of the year, a new fastest lap in qualifying and a new lap record of 1‰Ûª47.274 in race one.

‰ÛÏI have had two perfect weekends out of the last three events and for this I am truly happy." Sykes stated. "I enjoy this circuit so we have made the most of it.

"A perfect weekend so it could not have been any better. It is a special weekend for many reasons and also the incident last year with my 2012 team-mate Joan Lascorz. There was not one time on any lap when I have exited turn six and not thought about his accident. We are all thinking of Joan and I hope that this is a small, small tribute to him.

"Both the ZX-10R and myself have been working well. I have every single individual member of the Kawasaki staff and teams to thank, and our great technical sponsors. Without their help I would not be able to showcase myself so I truly am grateful.

"Hopefully now this is a beginning of a challenge but we will see how we go.‰Û
Sykes Takes The WSBK Championship Lead After Double Race Win
Tom Sykes claimed the championship lead after his win in race two - Credit: Kawasaki Racing
Sykes dominated race one at Imola. Starting from pole, he managed to pull away from 2nd place Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia) halfway through the race, keeping a strong pace that only the young Italian was able to match, in the first part.

Sykes had a controlled approach in the early laps, making his way from 4th to the lead, then pulling away for victory. Giugliano did all he could to stay with the winner, eventually finishing a lonely second.

Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) achieved a solid 3rd place ahead of Marco Melandri (BWM Motorrad GoldBet), as the Italian lapped close to his former team mate, but could not make the podium. The two riders saw a recovering Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) getting in the mix until the Ulsterman crashed out at turn 19, during the nineteenth lap, not long after he moved up to 4th place. Rea got the hole-shot at the start, before running wide at Turn 6 and rejoining in 11th position.

Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Aprilia) finished 5th after a good battle with Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) and Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki).
Sykes Takes The WSBK Championship Lead After Double Race Win
Jonathan Rea bounced back for a solid second place in race two after crashing out of race one - Credit: Honda Racing
Sykes completed a fantastic double-win at Imola, when the Hudderfield-born rider led every lap of race two to cross the line victorious for the 10th time in his WSBK career ‰ÛÒ and to secure his 5th win of 2013.

After the disappointment of the first race, Rea redeemed himself to end up a lonely second ahead of works Aprilia rider Sylvain Guintoli.

"Really mixed emotions today." Rea commented after moto 2. "We had really good pace all weekend, but not enough for Tom [Sykes] today, who seemed like he had something in reserve, especially when it got hot this afternoon.

"I pulled a big ‰Û÷holey‰Ûª in race one and thought ‰ÛÏI‰Ûªm gone here‰Û
Sykes Takes The WSBK Championship Lead After Double Race Win
Race one podium - Credit: Kawasaki Racing
Round 7 results - Imola: Race 1
1. Tom Sykes 37m52.860s GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
2. Davide Giugliano 7.198 ITA APRILIA Althea Racing
3. Eugene Laverty 9.484 IRL APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team
4. Marco Melandri 10.323 ITA BMW BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team
5. Michel Fabrizio 18.697 ITA APRILIA Red Devils Roma
6. Chaz Davies 19.531 GBR BMW BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team
7. Leon Camier 22.412 GBR SUZUKI Fixi Crescent Suzuki
8. Ayrton Badovini 29.142 ITA DUCATI Team Ducati Alstare
9. Loris Baz 36.828 FRA KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
10. Leon Haslam 37.507 GBR HONDA Pata Honda
11. Carlos Checa 39.239 SPA DUCATI Team Ducati Alstare
12. Max Neukirchner 43.334 GER DUCATI MR-Racing
13. Federico Sandi 1'12.069 ITA KAWASAKI Pedercini Team
14. Vittorio Iannuzzo 1'30.685 ITA BMW Team Grillini Dentalmatic
15. Noriyuki Haga 1'30.773 JPN BMW Team Grillini Dentalmatic
16. Jonathan Rea DNF GBR HONDA Pata Honda
17. Jules Cluzel DNF FRA SUZUKI Fixi Crescent Suzuki
18. Sylvain Guintoli DNF FRA APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team
Sykes Takes The WSBK Championship Lead After Double Race Win
Race 2 Podium - Credit: Kawasaki Racing
Round 7 results - Imola: Race 2
1. Tom Sykes 37m51.947s GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
2. Jonathan Rea 5.032 GBR HONDA Pata Honda
3. Sylvain Guintoli 10.201 FRA APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team
4. Marco Melandri 13.120 ITA BMW BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team
5. Chaz Davies 13.630 GBR BMW BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team
6. Loris Baz 23.949 FRA KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
7. Leon Camier 25.420 GBR SUZUKI Fixi Crescent Suzuki
8. Michel Fabrizio 36.511 ITA APRILIA Red Devils Roma
9. Leon Haslam 40.184 GBR HONDA Pata Honda
10. Ayrton Badovini 41.100 ITA DUCATI Team Ducati Alstare
11. Jules Cluzel 47.888 FRA SUZUKI Fixi Crescent Suzuki
12. Carlos Checa 52.182 SPA DUCATI Team Ducati Alstare
13. Max Neukirchner 56.352 GER DUCATI MR-Racing
14. Federico Sandi 1'15.992 ITA KAWASAKI Pedercini Team
15. Noriyuki Haga 1'25.210 JPN BMW Team Grillini Dentalmatic
16. Eugene Laverty DNF IRL APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team
17. Davide Giugliano DNF ITA APRILIA Althea Racing
18. Vittorio Iannuzzo DNF ITA BMW Team Grillini Dentalmatic

Championship standings
1. Tom Sykes 235 pts
2. Sylvain Guintoli 229 pts
3. Eugene Laverty 191 pts
4. Marco Melandri 182 pts
5. Chaz Davies 154 pts
6. Loris Baz 136 pts
7. Jonathan Rea 125 pts
8. Michel Fabrizio 120 pts
9. Davide Giugliano 99 pts
10. Leon Camier 80 pts
11. Jules Cluzel 77 pts
12. Max Neukirchner 60 pts
13. Carlos Checa 59 pts
14. Ayrton Badovini 59 pts
15. Leon Haslam 42 pts
16. Federico Sandi 28 pts
17. Ivan Clementi 18 pts
18. Vittorio Iannuzzo 15 pts
19. Niccolo Canepa 11 pts
20. Alexander Lundh 10 pts

Top Image: Tom Sykes dominated the Imola round of the WSBK, winning both races from pole position
Credit: Kawasaki Racing

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