Tom Sykes's hopes of turning his tremendous qualifying performance at Assen into a World Superbike Championship race victory were cruelly scuppered by the breaking of an innocuous clip that caused water to spew from his radiator.
The Kawasaki rider was controlling the race for 12 of the 22 laps when the clip holding the hose came off, prompting water to leak over his rear tyre. With the following pack fearing he was leaking oil, Sykes was motioned to pull off the circuit, which he subsequently did just two laps before the race was stopped anyway because of rain.
Seeking better fortune for race two, Sykes adopted a slick set-up on the ZX-10R, but couldn't make the hard compound tyre work, causing him to slip back to what would become sixth position.
Ruing the missed opportunity to potentially score a win and take the championship lead, Sykes was nonetheless phlegmatic about the circumstances out of his control..
“A tricky day but things could have been worse. It is just the way racing goes because we have had good pace all weekend with the ZX-10R and that pole time was very good, so I was confident of building on that. In race one we were able to do something from pole but unfortunately we had a small issue with the clip for the radiator hose.
“In race two with many things to consider, we chose a different tyre in the rear, the hard one, and it looked like it cost us a lot of time and caused me a lot of issues. At the end of the day we brought the bike and there are many positives to take away. We have some very good circuits coming up for our bike.”