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Sykes wins for Kawasaki at Brands Hatch
8 August 2010
Tom Sykes has won Kawasaki's first British Superbike Championship race in six years after taking the honours in a shortened race two at Brands Hatch.
Having settled for a modest fifth place in race one, the World Superbike regular put the overnight changes to his PBM ZX-10R to good use to snatch the lead from Michael Rutter and resist Ryuichi Kiyonari to the chequered flag.
Just as was the case yesterday, the second race was split into two halves after a nasty accident involving race one winner Alastair Seeley and Andrew Pitt forced a stop at four laps.
Having started from pole position, Seeley had slipped down to fifth position when he high-sided out of Surtees, leaving his Relentless Suzuki stricken on the crest of the hill. While those directly behind managed to dodge the bike, Pitt wasn't so lucky, clipping the front wheel and being sent down heavily. Pitt was tended too on track before being taken to the medical centre.
Prompting a red flag, the three laps prior to that had already seen its fair share of drama after Josh Brookes crashed out at Druids whilst leading. Although he got going again, his decision to pit meant he wouldn't be able to take the restart.
With the race shortened to 14 laps, Michael Rutter assumed pole position, ahead of Kiyonari, Sykes and Michael Laverty, the quartet holding position at the restart.
Sykes quickly made his presence felt by moving up to second position ahead of Kiyonari before the lap was out, before then proceeding to dispose Rutter of the lead on lap four.
While he was never able to pull away from Kiyonari, who gave chase in the closing stages once he had worked his way past Rutter, Sykes was able to cross the line a comfortable winner. His success marks a fourth career BSB win for himself and Kawasaki's first since Scott Smart won for the Hawk team back in 2004.
Kiyonari and Rutter held on to make up the podium, with Michael Laverty resisting the attentions of James Ellison to claim fourth place on the surviving Relentless Suzuki. The Ulsterman did, however, secure the fastest lap and will duly start race three from pole position.
Having begun the first start down in 20th, Tommy Hill put in a good fight back to finish in sixth position, the Suzuki rider benefiting from Brookes's failure to finish to bring him level on points at the top of the standings again.
Stuart Easton went some way to ending his dismal run of luck with his ride to seventh, ahead of Yukio Kagayama, Dan Linfoot – who was running as high as fifth prior to the red flag – and Gary Mason.
Steve Brogan, meanwhile, claimed Evo glory in 14th overall, but only after his drive-through penalty was negated by the red flag that placed him at the back of the grid and thus in contention.
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