Sykes Misses The Podium By A Fraction At Sizzling Imola

September 25, 2011

WSBK, Imola, Italy, 25 September 2011 - Tom Sykes took his official Ninja ZX-10R to within a whisker of a podium finish in race one at Imola as his fellow Kawasaki rider Joan Lascorz battled hard to finish his races tenth and eighth.

Sykes was on great form from the outset of race weekend and led race one for four laps after making the most of his front row grid spot, and before eventual winner Jonathan Rea came past. In hot conditions Tom worked hard to get a dry weather podium and he was in third place right until the final lap, when championship leader Carlos Checa got past and held off Tom in the final corners by only few tenths of a second.

Lascorz had been forced to start from 18th on the grid after missing out on a Superpole place, but recovered as well as he could at a circuit he could not figure out optimum machine settings for in his rookie WSBK season.

In race two Sykes was on course for another podium-challenging ride but an inconsistent feeling from his braking set-up saw him lose places to other riders and he eventually retired.

In the points table Tom is 12th, Joan 13th, with only two points separating the top two Kawasaki riders in the category.

Mark Aitchison (Kawasaki Pedercini Team) was once more on good form, despite starting from 17th on the grid. He finished race one in 11th place, and race two ninth, only four seconds from Joan. Mark’s team-mate Roberto Rolfo suffered a head knock in practice and was 18th and then a non-finisher due to a technical issue today.

Tom Sykes: “We got a fourth position in dry weather and just missed the podium. I feel we would have been able to take a podium in race two as well. We are building on our positives and looking forward to France. I had an unfortunate brake problem; a little bit of a negative feeling with the brake so I could not go on with the race. It was a massive call to pull out but apart from that we have found some speed in the dry and been riding well. We are still working very well as a team and been consistently in the top five all weekend, which is very positive.”

Joan Lascorz: “I had several big fights with other riders, but for me it was very difficult to pass them because I did not feel good on the brakes at this particular circuit. We had some of the same problems as we had in practice but we improved them a little bit in race two. In race one I did not get a good start and it was difficult. In the first lap in the second chicane of race two I went straight but I lost time. My pace was good in the second race, so that is a positive to take away.”