5 September 2011 Sykes Takes First WSBK Race Win On Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R!

Having qualified sixth at the Nürburgring Tom Sykes secured a brilliant debut win for the latest Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R and himself in a wet race two, finally red-flagged after 13 soaking laps.
This was Kawasaki’s first WSBK race win since 2006, when Chris Walker took full points at Assen. This was also Tom’s first career WSBK race win and his success in Germany puts him 11th overall in the championship, just one point from the top ten.

Tom had a dramatic day all round, running well in the early laps of a dry race one before slipping back to 11th as he lost rear grip. His right ankle was still not feeling 100% back to normal after his big Silverstone crash, but in a wet race two he rode with composure and controlled aggression in ever-changing track conditions, capitalising when previous race leader Noriyuki Haga fell from the lead. Sykes also repelled occasional pressure from second place finisher Sylvain Guintoli, to win by four seconds.

Joan Lascorz had a strong race one on his Ninja ZX-10R, going seventh after starting from the fourth row as he pulled through the pack in impressive fashion. He did not have the same kind of feel in the rain as Tom in race two and finished 11th. He is 13th in the championship, only three points behind Sykes.

Pedercini Team rider Mark Aitchison was 12th in race one then a faller in race two, after running in high positions for much of the time. His team-mate Roberto Rolfo secured points in each race; 13th in race one then 14th in race two.

Tom Sykes: “To get a first World Superbike win under my belt is fantastic, also with the new Kawasaki. Everybody in the team knows every time I put my leg over the bike it is all or nothing; that is the way I ride, and fortunately today that commitment paid off in race two. I got a gap behind me in the worst conditions but as the track had less water on it for a time, unfortunately our times seemed to tail off and I came under pressure from Sylvain. But as the standing water increased again we found our pace. In race one everything went to plan at the start but both the wrong tyre choice and my physical condition did not help, so when it started raining I had a bit of a grin to myself. We changed the bike quite a lot from the last
time in Misano when we got pole position so obviously it was a little bit of a gamble in wet conditions. The guys gave me a great package today.”