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Sixth win helps Sykes nose ahead once more
2 September 2013
Tom Sykes is back on top of the World Superbike Championship standings after picking up a slightly fortuitous sixth race win of the season at the Nurburgring.
Having qualified on the front row, Sykes led for the majority of the opening race, but was coming under increasing pressure from behind when Marco Melandri made his charge for the lead at the start of lap 19.
However, when the race was red flagged shortly afterwards, the result was declared at the end of lap 18, when Sykes was still leading. As such, the Kawasaki man was awarded the win on count-back, a timely success that went a long way to bridging the gap to Sylvain Guintoli in the standings.
Though Sykes admits he was slightly lucky with the circumstances given he doesn't know whether he could have come back at Melandri, he was happy to have a fate go his way.
“It is very difficult to tell if I could have come back at Marco in the last two laps of race one but when he passed me I was preparing to push the pace a bit more. I am sure all three or four of us in the front group were able to improve our lap times right at the end but the decision to stop the race has gone in our favour for a change. I will take the result and I am very happy for the 25 points. It was the first time all weekend we have had a small issue with the bike set-up.”
Coming into race two seeking a similar result, Sykes struggled to stay with the leaders early on, but a determined push to keep Guintoli behind meant his fourth place was good enough for him to squeeze ahead by the slenderest of margins.
“I went to bed last night expecting probably a few more points in race two but it is racing and things like this happen. It seems that we had some limitations in that race, which is a shame because over race distance I was 100% confident in myself, in the Ninja ZX-10R that we could make 1'54 laps even at the end. We proved that through practice this weekend.
“I think we know where we can improve and I am very happy to have the people around me that I have. It was important to keep Sylvain Guintoli behind me in that second race as we saw how every point counts last year. It adds to the end of season points basket and after this weekend we are leading the championship again.”
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