Sykes Wins Opening Laguna Race!

September 30, 2013

Tom Sykes won the first race he has ever competed in at Laguna Seca on the USA, taking a full point score
in a final 12-lap contest that was stopped a restarted twice. David Salom (KRT) was 11th.

The Laguna round already featured an unusual format of one race today (Saturday) and then the second

one planned for Sunday, rather than then the normal fashion of having both traces on the same day. The
return of SBK racing to the 3.610km American track for the first time since 2004, however, had some

surprises of its own thrown in on the opening day.

Race One was scheduled for 26 laps but after a rider fell and his bike punctured the inflatable track safety

barrier the first attempt at the race was stopped with only six laps gone. A second start only lasted eight
laps of the planned 20, when three riders fell at the same corner and the red flags came out for the

second time.

Tom and his team had made small but important adjustments to take on the final challenge of a third race

– the only one which would count today – and over 12 laps Sykes proved unbeatable. He had qualified
second on the grid after Superpole, which was held earlier today in its usual three phase format.

Sykes won race one by a final 1’253 seconds after a classic game of wait and pounce. He passed long

time leader Chaz Davies with two laps to go and pushed hard from that point on, taking a confident victory
as the following riders found no answer to his late attack. He also set a new lap record, of 1'23.803, on lap


He now takes a 22-point advantage, over championship second place rider Sylvain Guintoli, into the

second race of the weekend on Sunday 29th. This was Tom’s seventh race win of 2013.
Supersport World Championship rider David Salom replaced team regular Loris Baz at this round and he

narrowly missed out on Superpole qualifying, going 16th off the grid. After a poor start in the final leg, he

pushed on to finish 11th on the race - despite hitting a plastic trackside marker with his left knuckles at the

super-fast turn one.

Mark Aitchison had a great ride to tenth on his Kawasaki team Pedercini Ninja ZX-10R earning six

valuable points, while his team-mate Federico Sandi scored two points for 14th place today.

The teams have it all to do again on Sunday, for what is scheduled to be a 26-lap race.

Tom Sykes: “It was hard having three starts but it ended up good for us with a race win. Sylvain Guintoli

was riding really strong but when it counted, in the last of the three legs of the race, he had a bit of an
issue. We came together at the entry to turn one off the start and our contact pushed my brake lever

down from its normal position. That was a bit awkward to deal with for a little while but I got my head

around it. I think the short race may have favoured some of our competitors and the BMW guys were

really fast out of the traps. I was pushing to stay with those guys for a while but in the end it was a good

race for us and it played out well for myself and the Ninja ZX-10R. Another race tomorrow so that is what I

am thinking about now.”

David Salom: “My race was not so bad but I hit my left hand on the trackside plastic marker – the small
orange cones - and I have a lot of pain in my finger! My start was not good but in each of the three races I

was a bit better. I fought with Atchison and Fabrizio but three laps before the end I hit the track marker

and then I had to slow down. Each session I have been feeling better on the bike. I am still trying to stop

using Supersport lines and approach to the laps because you have to ride the Superbike in a very
different way, but I am learning.”


Race 1
1 Tom Sykes Kawasaki ZX-10R
2 Chaz Davies BMW S1000 RR
3 Eugene Laverty Aprilia RSV4
4 Marco Melandri BMW S1000 RR
5 Sylvain Guintoli Aprilia RSV4
6 Davide Giugliano Aprilia RSV4
7 Jules Cluzel Suzuki GSX-R1000
8 Toni Elias Aprilia RSV4 Factory
9 Ayrton Badovini Ducati 1199
10 Mark Aitchison Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
14 Federico Sandi Kawasaki ZX-10R
DNS Alex Lundh Kawasaki ZX-10R
DNS Loris Baz Kawasaki ZX-10R

Race 2
1 Eugene Laverty Aprilia RSV4
2 Davide Giugliano Aprilia RSV4
3 Marco Melandri BMW S1000 RR
4 Tom Sykes Kawasaki ZX-10R
5 Sylvain Guintoli Aprilia RSV4
6 Jules Cluzel Suzuki GSX-R1000
7 Toni Elias Aprilia RSV4 Factory
8 Roger Lee Hayden Suzuki GSX-R 1000
9 David Salom Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
10 Michel Fabrizio Honda CBR1000RR
DNS Alex Lundh Kawasaki ZX-10R
DNS Loris Baz Kawasaki ZX-10R
DNF Federico Sandi Kawasaki ZX-10R
1 Tom Sykes Kawasaki ZX-10R 361
2 Eugene Laverty Aprilia RSV4 338
3 Sylvain Guintoli Aprilia RSV4 337
4 Marco Melandri BMW S1000 RR 319
5 Chaz Davies BMW S1000 RR 259
6 Loris Baz Kawasaki ZX-10R 180
7 Michel Fabrizio Honda CBR1000RR 177
8 Jonathan Rea Honda CBR1000RR 176
9 Davide Giugliano Aprilia RSV4 169
10 Jules Cluzel Suzuki GSX-R1000 160
16 Federico Sandi Kawasaki ZX-10R 47
23 Alex Lundh Kawasaki ZX-10R 10