Featured WSBK – double delight for Kawasaki for Race Two at Assen

Discussion in 'Racing' started by Simon, Apr 23, 2018.

  1. Simon

    Simon Professional storyteller
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    Assen proved to be a happy hunting ground for Kawasaki as Tom Sykes and Jonny Rea secured a Team Green 1-2.

    The Race Two victory was the first win for Sykes since Misano in 2017 in emphatic fashion, while championship leader Rea finished a strong second today, despite launching from the third row of the grid after winning the first Assen race on Saturday.

    Sykes, who stated on pole, looked unbeatable on Sunday, running clear of his early rivals and maintaining a remarkably consistent high pace throughout.

    Rea found the going tougher – the three-time champions was fourth after Lap One, then third after four laps, before taking second place on Lap Six.

    By that stage Sykes had already opened up a gap of 3.5 seconds, which grew as Rea had to defend his position.

    Maintaining his own high pace, Rea had to fight off the keen attentions of eventual third place finisher Michael van der Mark in the middle of the 21-lap race.

    However, Rea reasserted himself to cross the line 5.445 seconds behind Sykes while keeping van der Marks Yamaha two seconds behind him.

    Tom Sykes, said: “The Ninja ZX-10RR today was great on a clear track. I was disappointed with Race One, for a number a reasons.

    “But what can I say about the win today? I have not had an easy time in the last 18 months or so, but the good thing is that Marcel is not just my crew chief, but also such an amazing friend. He has helped me and gently reminded me of where we have come from in the past, and how we got to where we are now. I knew that the results have not justified the efforts we have put in until now. I also knew last night that a little bit of magic and the Sykes’ spark was there. I think there is no doubt in my speed and today we converted that into all 21 laps. I am very, very happy for this and it was quite emotional to win today.”

    Rea was less pleased with his performance. He said: “My track position did not help in the beginning. I wasted a lot of tyre life and energy coming from ninth.

    “When I had free track I could see that the gap remained constant. I also ran into some issues with vibration, backing in and the bike becoming a bit unstable. I managed my own race then and totally accepted that today was not going to be my day.

    “Tom was stronger but my race was compromised by my ninth place start. You cannot give a guy like Tom pole position after his pace yesterday. Kudos to him and his team they did a great job, and I can take my points and march on to Imola. I have a 30-point lead. It was target achieved at this round and I am feeling better with the bike each week.”
     

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