1 July 2013 Sykes Takes The SBK Championship Lead After Double Race Win!

WSBK, Imola, Italy, 30 June 2013
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) continued his untouchable form from qualifying into both 21-lap SBK races at Imola and in taking his second ‘double’ of the year also he took the championship lead.
This was Tom’s second such double win in three rounds and with previous championship leader Sylvain Guintoli finally 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 1’47.274 in race one. He has now scored five wins in 2013, more than any other individual rider. He also took his career total of SBK wins into double digits, with ten in total. In the championship table Tom leads Guintoli by 235 points to 229.

Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) was in poor physical shape after a very fast fall on Saturday in Superpole and fought hard to be ninth in race one, unable to push hard because of the pain. After more effective treatment in time for race two, Loris was more like his competitive self and made good use of the improvements his crew and Kawasaki had found with him in recent Aragon tests. He finished race two sixth and is still sixth in the championship, with 126 points.

Federico Sandi (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) proved to be 13th in race one and 14th in race two.

In the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup race the top Kawasaki rider was Lorenzo Savadori (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) who finished fourth, ahead of fellow Ninja ZX-10R riders Leandro Mercado (Pedercini) and Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki). In the points, Guarnoni is third overall, 25 points from the lead with half a season left to run.

Tom Sykes: “I have had two perfect weekends out of the last three events and for this I am truly happy. 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.”

Loris Baz: “The main problem for me in race one was the pain in my left shoulder after my big crash in Superpole but to be honest it was sore everywhere so I could not stay with the guys in front. I had great pain in my ankles so I cannot change direction fast and I cannot brake well with the rear brake. In race two it was better and I had some more effective painkillers. From the beginning I tried to stay with them and fight with them really hard behind Leon, then pushed hard in the middle of the race even though it was very tiring. I had good confidence with the bike and I am sure if I was 100% I would have been even closer to the front. But saving a top six position in these conditions was not too bad. I felt like I had done 80 laps at the end, I was just destroyed!”

Click here to watch the video of the Italian round!