Tom Sykes rued the mistake that could have cost him a famous World Superbike victory after misreading a flag midway through the first race at Donington Park.
The Rizla Suzuki rider had the crowd up on their feet as he battled his way up to second place from seventh on the grid before planting a move on Troy Bayliss for the lead at Coppice.
With easily the quickest bike on the circuit, Sykes promptly began pulling away to a margin of almost four seconds by lap ten when the red flags were produced due to several accidents occurring around the circuit.
Despite the second race starting on aggregate, Sykes admits he was hugely frustrated to be forced to come back into the pit-lane as he was convinced Bayliss was backing off.
“I got a perfect start from the second row of the grid and while the circuit was damp, I committed myself early,” he told Crash.net Radio
. “Then Kiyo went down so me and Troy were left to battle. I thought I had a slightly better pace that Troy, so I made a pass at Coppice when he ran a little bit wide onto the greasy stuff.
“I think Troy was settling for second because I was pulling away from him and then the red flags came out… I couldn't believe it! I was in such a strong position as well.”
Getting away well for the restart, Sykes was in control until the second lap when he misread the white and red flag and promptly slowed down. However, Bayliss didn't do likewise and swept past into the lead.
With Sykes losing almost two seconds, Bayliss was able to sprint away to break down the aggregate gap and win by just over a second.
“It was my own fault,” he added. “I misread one of the flags and it cost me about 1.7secs. I also had a moment coming round the second turn, so Troy came past me like I was stood still. I quickly re-grouped but Troy had plenty of breathing space.”