Double Podium Takes Sykes Closer To The Lead
May 14, 2012
Two third places on home soil for Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) put him within five points of the championship lead as his new rookie team-mate Loris Baz scored a strong eighth place in race two.
Starting from pole for the fourth time this year Sykes led both Donington races and finished within 1.609 seconds of the win in the first 23-lap contest of the day. He was in combative and consistent form in race one but in race two he had no choice but to let his pursuers finally get past when he made a small error.
Tom looked set for a fifth place in the second race, after the second close and entertaining fight entered the last lap, but calamities for riders up front saw him promoted to third. Despite finishing behind championship leader Max Biaggi in race two he is now only five slender points behind the Aprilia rider. Tom has now scored five podiums in the nine races so far, including his win last time out at Monza.
Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) made up places in both his starts from 18th on the grid, going 16th and just out of the points in race one, then taking a great eighth in a second race with only 15 finishers.
Kawasaki Team Pedercini rider Leandro Mercado had a double no score today, as did his Donington team-mate, Gary Mason.
Tom Sykes: “Race one was a fantastic race, I really enjoyed it and it certainly felt like a long one as it seemed to go on for many laps. Overall I think we had a very good show, lots of passing and a little bit too much at some corners, especially at the Foggy Esses, which seemed to claim a few victims. Unfortunately we seemed to struggle at one particular part of the track and that definitely affected our race performance. Yet again we got the holeshot and led for a number of laps in race two, but I was missing a bit of feeling with the wind, which was unfortunate. I managed to stay out front but made one mistake and all the other guys came past at a rate of knots. We didn’t quite have the best setting this weekend but a pole position and two podiums are great for myself and he Kawasaki team. I had the best seat in the house for the last couple of laps of race two, but for me five minus two equals a podium so I’m very happy!”
Loris Baz: “Race two was really good, to be eighth is a result even if there were some crashes from other riders. I think it would have been about 13th or 14th without those and that is really positive for a first race. But crashes are part of racing and I took some good opportunities. If you look at my lap times I did nearly all my laps alone in front of a group and if you take off the first lap I was about 0.9 seconds from the pace of the fastest riders, like Tom, Rea or Melandri. Less than one second from the top riders in my first race of the fastest riders, like To at this level is pretty good.”