Points For Sykes And Lascorz
April 17, 2011
WSBK, Assen, Netherlands, 17 April 2011 - Joan Lascorz and Tom Sykes secured valuable championship points in both the Assen Superbike races as recuperating rider Chris Vermeulen started the opening race but had to pull in to retire.
Results in qualifying and practice had indicated that the official Kawasaki riders could use the softest rear race tyres available but in race one this did not prove to be the case, meaning that Lascorz went 11th and Sykes 14th, struggling to maintain lap times in the second half of the race. Race two was not any easier for the duo after a tyre choice change, as Sykes finished 11th and Lascorz 12th in race two.
Chris Vermeulen found that his leg muscles had still not recovered enough to compete over full race distance but he was in a good points scoring position until he was forced to withdraw with cramp in his leg on lap nine. He did not start race two.
Pedercini Team Kawasaki rider Mark Aitchison had the honour of taking the best single Kawasaki result of the weekend, tenth in race one, but his team-mate Roberto Rolfo fell in that race and just missed out on a point in race two.
Lacorz and Sykes share 26 points in the championship and are just outside the top ten.
Tom Sykes: “Race one was unfortunate because we went for a soft A rear tyre which we thought was going to work. That did not pay off but in race two we chose the C tyre, a harder one, and probably the one that the majority of the field was on. It is still early days yet for us and we know what we can do when we find the right settings. I feel it is a question of getting better balance on the bike and having a bit more speed, but I think we will get both of them pretty soon.”
Joan Lascorz: “In the first race the bike was good at the start but then very quickly, lap six or seven maybe, I lost the best grip and I could not get it back. In the first part of the second race I felt very low grip on a different tyre choice at the start but then it started to come in. Things improved and there was a better balance of the bike at that time. At least I could ride it better, so I picked up my pace and overtook a few people.”
Chris Vermeulen: “I stopped just because of a lack of strength in my leg but we went out to try and complete the full races. We still got some useful data in any case. My leg just cramped up and I had to stop after a few laps. My pace was not so bad and I was holding down a points scoring position but I just could not get to the end. This is the first time I have been able to feel the bike really working, and I made some set-up changes because I was pushing at a decent level sometimes this weekend. I am happy with what the team has done but we have a lot of work still to do, just because I am a long way behind my team-mates in learning the bike at present. I think I should be ready for a full weekend of racing at Monza.”
Mark Aitchison: “Race one was good for us and I am stoked to be inside the top ten for the first time. I really started to enjoy myself. A few guys crashed in race one but we will take the results while they are there. I feel we are getting there with the bike settings now.”