Sykes Takes A Spectacular First Win Of The Season
May 6, 2012
There was no stopping Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) at Monza as he scored a clear win in the only SBK race to be completed today, thanks to weather conditions that constantly changed.
With the first race cancelled, the second race was delayed to let the track dry in some sections but at the green light Sykes set an unmatchable pace and soon put half the length of the straight between his Ninja ZX-10R and his pursuers. By the time the rains came back and the red flag came out to stop the race Tom had amassed a 9.709 second lead over a six rider group behind him.
Tom’s victory goes down in history as a full and well-deserved one, but because of the shortened race distance only half points were awarded to all the riders who scored today.
Sykes and his team had opted for a slick tyre set-up on the drying track, soft on front and rear, and the choice worked perfectly. This was Sykes’ second victory for Kawasaki in SBK racing, and his first in the 2012 season. The final result of his Monza win is that he closed up on the championship leaders, and is now only six points behind Max Biaggi, and four behind Carlos Checa.
New rider for Monza, Sergio Gadea (Kawasaki Racing Team), fell in the attempted first race after the rains started and his bike was damaged enough to not make it to the second race.
Team Pedercini Kawasaki rider David Salom suffered what was at first thought to be a broken left collarbone when he crashed in the first running of the cancelled race one, but it was later diagnosed as a dislocated left shoulder. His team-mate Tati Mercado scored 16th place in the race and just missed out on a points score by a tenth of a second.
Kawasaki secured a podium in the first race of the day, the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup, thanks to Christoffer Bergman (BWG Racing Kawasaki), who finished second. Team Pedercini Kawasaki Superstock 1000 FIM Cup rider Bryan Staring did not make the race after suffering little finger injuries on Saturday, but Jeremy Guarnoni, his team-mate, scored a strong ninth. Loris Baz fell from his MRS Kawasaki and no-scored.
Tom Sykes: “My second win for Kawasaki but my first this year and it was nice to get that one under the belt. It is a shame that it is only half points but we put on a good show in eight laps and I hope I put on a good show for the Italian fans. This was my first podium at Monza so that is good and the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R has been working fantastically well. Conditions have often been very bad so there has been a lot of talk and other things going on but it has been my job to keep focused. From the green light the feedback on my bike was fantastic and I was able to go about my business in a good way and keep out of trouble. I had a great start and got myself into the lead and as Elvis once said, “It’s now or never." We went for it and every lap the bike was getting better, the track conditions better and I was confident with our package today that we could do a good race distance.”
Sergio Gadea: “My first time on a 1000cc bike and I was very happy with the team, the bike and all things. The bike is very powerful. I enjoyed racing in this championship. I fell in the first race on lap three when it started to rain and we could not get out again for race two.”