Tom Fights Hard And Leaves Misano Third Overall

June 12, 2012

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) had a highpoint of fourth in race one at Misano today but kept his third position overall. Loris Baz was unlucky in race one but rode well to go eighth in race two.

Sykes, who once again started raceday from pole position, took an early lead in race one, only for
Jonathan Rea to pass him. Tom was in contention for the win for a few laps but as rear tyre grip
issues on the warming tarmac played their part he had to drop back. He was as low as seventh on lap 13 of 24, but battled back to fourth at the flag, only eight seconds from the race winner Max Biaggi.

As Biaggi doubled up his wins in race two, and as the temperatures climbed in the Adriatic coastal
sun, Sykes and his team chose a tyre that was unable to handle the great increase in track
temperatures and Tom had to ride hard as his rear traction dropped off, finishing seventh.

The end result for Sykes and KRT is that Tom remained third in the championship, with Biaggi on
moving clear of new overall second place rider Rea.

On his Kawasaki Racing Team Ninja ZX-10R Loris Baz was unlucky to be forced out in race one when the electronic part of his gearshift started to fail. He had qualified well in Superpole and was
able to make up ground in race two, finishing right in the wheel tracks of his team-mate Sykes, for
an eighth place finish. This equalled his best finish in SBK racing so far, and put him to 19th in the championship.

Kawasaki Team Pedercini competitors Leandro Mercado and David Salom found no good fortune on raceday, with Salom having a technical issue in the opener and Mercado finishing 19th. Salom fell in race two and re-injured his right shoulder, while Mercado was 16th and one place away from
scoring points in the second race. In the Superstock 1000 race Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) was sixth and Bryan Staring (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) seventh. New Team Pedercini Superstock rider David McFadden fell in the race and no scored, after qualifying tenth.

Tom Sykes: “To be honest race one was not too bad after we have had a difficult weekend trying to find traction with the bike in hot conditions. We have done a great job in the first part of the year and we know where we can improve. In race one we did what we needed to do to finish top four. I’m satisfied with race one best four and eight seconds off. It was certainly good compared to last year. Track temperatures went up considerably for race two and unfortunately because we have been struggling with bike setting we had to concentrate on this. We were very limited on track time for tyres and the main focus for us was to improve the bike to get the result. In race two we made the wrong tyre selection. We did not have the tyre experience to gamble on another tyre choice. Rea chose a different tyre and look what happened to him. If we had done the same we would still be in the same ballpark. Others made bigger mistakes today. So, we lost a few points but I'm still third in the championship after a bit of a hard weekend.”

Loris Baz: “I had a problem in race one, with the electronics in the gear shifter, after five laps. I tried to ride without it for ten laps but it became a bit risky, so I came in. I knew I had a good race pace so I think in race one I could have finished between tenth and 12th, something like that. In race two I tried to start a bit better, which I did not do! Then I tried to go faster in the first few laps and then our race pace was really good, so I could come back to Laverty, Tom and some other riders. I was comfortable where I was so I did not want to make a stupid mistake trying to overtake Tom. For me eighth is really good. I was comfortable where I was so I did not want to make a stupid mistake trying to overtake Tom. I would have liked to try and pass Tom but I did not want to take any risks.”