Sykes And Baz Unlucky But Staring Wins For Kawasaki In Superstock1000

July 3, 2012

Kawasaki Racing Team riders Tom Sykes and Loris Baz both lost valuable points scoring
opportunities today due to simple bad luck and a crash from another rider that put Sykes out of a podium place.

Tom, who set a blistering new track best in Superpole on Saturday, found slightly cooler conditions today and despite losing some ground at one stage of the race he fought back to secure what looked like a safe podium finish behind the leading duo.

Sykes was taken out from behind when another rider crashed and his sliding machine took Tom’s back wheel away from under him while at an extreme lean angle. The high-speed crash left Tom bruised but undamaged, but the same could not be said of his official Ninja ZX-10R machine. It had to be almost completely rebuilt due to the new-for-2012 single bike rules, which prevent riders from having two complete bikes in the pit box at any time.

Rapid and full repairs were made in time for Tom to compete in race two but high winds helped to keep him down in a final eighth place, despite lapping in fifth in the early laps.

Loris Baz found his own problems today, including the adverse effects of the high winds, but in each race he had some bad luck. He was run off track by crashing riders in front of him in the very first corner, and then his gear-linkage broke when he was about to get back into a points scoring position. In race two his quick shifter developed an issue but he carried on to the flag, finishing 20th. Leandro Mercado and David Salom (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) were also unfortunate on race day, with Salom just one place away from a point in race two at his home race in Spain and Mercado only 18th. Neither rider completed race one.

A class-leading 1-2 for Kawasaki in the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup race saw Bryan Staring (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) take his and the Ninja ZX-10R’s first race win at this level, and be followed home in second place by another Kawasaki rider, Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS). Former Australian champion Staring led for almost the entire race and also took a new race lap record of 2’01.446 on lap five, as he finished over eight seconds up on Guarnoni. The young French rider in his turn rode hard and effectively to catch and then pass Lorenzo Baroni and score his first podium in this class. Jeremy is now sixth overall, on 46 points, with Staring seventh on 45.

Tom Sykes: “We are far from happy because we had a fantastic test last week and learned a lot. We came here this weekend and were very strong, even in hot conditions, and I could do good lap times for a long time. I was confident for today’s races but unfortunately the winds came along and that looks like it has pushed us over the edge again on the front traction side. We were already critical but we had the best of he situation this weekend. I was expecting a good result on the Ninja ZX-10R, but we could not do anything about it. We were still heading for the podium in race one but unfortunately someone tried a silly manoeuvre in race one and it has cost me dearly, and Kawasaki, because we could have been sitting top three in the championship still without that. The boys in the team did a fantastic job and the bike was ready when the pitlane opened for race two, so credit to them, but it is not the ideal situation for any of us to be in. Al my boys put together a top bike for race two it was just unfortunate that with the windy conditions we were just not able to deliver. That mistake by another rider has upset me a bit and put us back but I am sure with a test tomorrow we can keep working and we will get there. I am confident we can come strong.”

Loris Baz: “We were just unlucky today. I was pushed wide in the first corner so that was the first piece of bad luck. Riders crashed in front of me to I had to go straight. My race pace was quite good and I think I could have finished 11th, but then my gear linkage broke a few laps in. I had to come in then. My pace was good in race two but the wind was quite difficult it made it hard to find a solution to it. I wanted to lean off more to pull the bike into corners but when I did the wind caught my body and made it even worse. I had a few laps to sort it and then the shifter broke so it is just bad luck. It is nothing we have done wrong, just bad luck.”

Bryan Staring: “We had a lot of firsts in the race and it was a great race for me. I worked hard with the team and this is our second year together in Europe. I love the circuit here in Spain and everything came together for us in the race. We made some fantastic lap times and we were able to win the race so it was incredible for all of us.”

Jeremy Guarnoni: “A very good result for us as it is a new thing for me to be in the podium in Superstock 1000. I am now there with my MRS team and I have to be so happy for the race result we all took. I had some contact with Sylvain Barrier and I tried to push and push to get to Lorenzo Baroni and then pass him for second. I am happy for Bryan and Lorenzo also, because it was a very good race.“

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