Sykes Leaves Assen Third In The Points
April 23, 2012
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) could not fully capitalise on his pole position at Assen after finding a technical problem in race 1 and then finding himself on an imperfect tyre choice in race 2.
Tom’s fortunes in the two races at Assen were as changeable as the weather on raceday. In the first
running of race one Tom’s bike suffered a faulty water pump hose clip and he was forced to retire
from what had started out as a leading position. Rain returned just as Tom was experiencing his
difficulties and the race was stopped soon after Tom had pulled out of the race. He was unable to
make the restarted wet race, run over nine laps, which awarded full points and was won by Sylvain
In race two, run over the full 22-laps, Tom got the holeshot but Jakub Smrz had opted for an
intermediate front tyre and shot into the lead for a time. Tom found his hard rear tyre option
difficult to work with on a track surface that started out with some damp patches on it, but then
rapidly dried out. He slowly dropped back; fighting all the way and ultimately rallying as his hard
tyre started to work better as the race progressed.
Sykes therefore took ten points for his sixth place finish in race two, and in doing so remained is
third place in the championship fight, only 13 points from new leader Max Biaggi, and 12 points
behind Carlos Checa, who no-scored in race two.
Team Pedercini Kawasaki’s rookie SBK rider, Leonardo Mercado, scored a best Kawasaki finish in race one, tenth in fully wet conditions. He followed that up with another points scoring ride to 15th and another point in race two.
Pedercini man David Salom was 13th in race one, and 12th in race two. Mercado and Salom both have nine points, with Mercado ranked 19th and Salom 20th.
Tom Sykes: “A tricky day but things could have been worse. It is just the way racing goes because
we have had good pace all weekend with the ZX-10R and that pole time was very good from yesterday and I was confident o build on that. In race one we were able to do something from pole but unfortunately we had a small issue with the clip for the radiator hose. In race two with many things to consider, we chose a different tyre in the rear, the hard one, and it looked like it cost us a lot of time and caused me a lot of issues. At the end of the day we brought the bike and there are many positives to take away. We have issues. At the end of the day we brought the bike some very good circuits coming up for our bike.”