2 September 2013 Sykes Wins First German Race And Regains The Championship Lead

WSBK, Nürburgring, Germany, 1 September 2013
Tom Sykes took his official Kawasaki Racing Team Ninja ZX-10R to a win and a fourth place finish at the Nürburgring to regain the championship lead after a raceday that Loris Baz was forced out of
In race one Sykes was the leader for every lap in the final race classification, and although he had been passed by Marco Melandri near the end of the scheduled 20 laps, the red flag was shown for an oil spill and two subsequent crashes just behind the leading trio.

Sykes was awarded the race one win on the count back rules, which discount the lap the race was stopped on. As he was the leader on lap 17, Tom took the win.

In race two Sykes found his machine set-up not quite as effective as it had been in race one and although he was in the leading group throughout he could not get to the front. Another red flag, for a crashed machine’s spilt oil, stopped the race at the 18-lap stage this time, with Sykes fourth and only 1.189 seconds behind the winner.

KRT rider Loris Baz had been on strong form all weekend but suffered a high-speed crash going into the final chicane in morning warm-up. He was taken to hospital where it was found he had suffered a fractured C2 vertebra but without suffering any neurological complications or spinal injury. After reaching hospital he was awake, alert and making jokes with his medical team. He will remain in hospital in Germany for 24 Hours to allow a specialist to see him on Monday. A decision will be taken then to see if he needs further treatment or just time to rest and recuperate.

Mark Aitchison (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) finished each Nürburgring race in 11th place. Federico Sandi (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) did not finish either German race.

In the championship fight Sykes now leads Sylvain Guintoli by one point, 287 to 286, with four rounds and eight races remaining.

Leandro Mercado (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) scored his first ever win in the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup category in the 11-lap race in Germany and in doing so is now third in the championship, with two races remaining. Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) took fourth place today while Romain Lanusse (Team MRS Kawasaki) went fifth.

Tom Sykes: “It is very difficult to tell if I could have come back at Marco in the last two laps of race one but when he passed me I was preparing to push the pace a bit more. I am sure all three or four of us in the front group were able to improve our lap times right at the end but the decision to stop the race has gone in our favour for a change. I will take the result and I am very happy for the 25 points. It was the first time all weekend we have had a small issue with the bike set-up. I went to bed last night expecting probably a few more points in race two but it is racing and things like this happen. It seems that we had some limitations in that race, which is a shame because over race distance I was 100% confident in myself, in the Ninja ZX-10R that we could make 1’54 laps even at the end. We proved that through practice this weekend. I think we know where we can improve and I am very happy to have the people around me that I have. It was important to keep Sylvain Guintoli behind me in that second race as we saw how every point counts last year. It adds to the end of season points basket and after this weekend we are leading the championship again.”