Progress For Sykes As Vermeulen Makes Race Return
April 28, 2010
WSBK, Assen, Netherlands, 25 April 2010
With both regular Kawasaki Racing Team riders competing for the first time since the opening race in Australia, Tom Sykes and Chris Vermeulen each went into the points at Assen.
After finishing fourth in the morning warm-up, thanks to some improved front fork settings, Sykes rode aggressively and well in the first race, inside the top ten for periods and only slipping to 12th on the last few laps.
Vermeulen battled bravely despite his right knee injury causing him discomfort, finishing 17th from the 20 riders who made it across the line in the first 22-lap race.
In race two Sykes was taken out by another rider when they collided on lap one, and the Englishman was unable to continue. He is still 16th in the championship, on 17 points.
Vermeulen scored two points for 14th in race two, his determination to ride as best he could despite his lack of mobility and strength paying off in the end. He is 20th in the rankings.
Tom Sykes: "After Superpole the boys and I had a look at the data and to their credit they came up with a good idea for warm-up, which was a vast improvement. We suddenly found some extra pace and were fast and consistent for this session. In race one I had an OK start but the weather conditions were a lot warmer than in the morning warm up. I got away in the top 10-11 and was holding my own but gradually lost a lot of grip in the front towards the end of the race and had to settle for 12th. Race two was a big disappointment for me as I got caught up with some desperate riders who made a mistake on lap one and I paid the price. Both the team and I were gutted as we were looking really good for an improved result for race two."
Chris Vermeulen: "We finished both races, one in the points. It was difficult to race and I had painkillers and taping on the knee all weekend. We managed to get there even if the bike set-up was not ideal because we had to compromise the settings and my riding position because of the injury. But that side is only going to get better. I am hoping it will be 100% better by the time we get to Monza but it may not be. With two more weeks of physiotherapy my knee will improve and I will see how we are in Italy. Scoring points is a real positive we can take out of this weekend."