Defending World Superbike Championship Tom Sykes has resumed his place at the top of the overall standings after reeling off a pair of impressive wins at Motorland Aragon on a historic day for Kawasaki.

The KRT rider set a stunning early pace in the first race to ease home to a lights-to-flag victory, 4.2 seconds ahead of team-mate Loris Baz, in turn heading up Kawasaki's first one-two in the class since 1993.

Pushed somewhat harder in race two, Sykes - having gotten the hole-shot at the start - pulled an early lead of 0.7 seconds before getting reeled in by Baz. Feeling less comfortable on the harder tyre, the pair ran in tandem for the following eleven laps and with Marco Melandri making a late charge, Sykes needed all his cunning to stave off the Italian's late effort.

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"After four or five laps it felt far from perfect. Race one was good, we had a great set-up and even I was surprised at our consistent pace," he said after the race. "With the cold track I was expecting more of a drop. So in race two I thought it was going to be straightforward. I went for the [harder option]. After race distance I was still able to make 58.3s / 58.4s. But with our experience in race one and the critical change in temperature in race two on the starting grid we thought we'd try and go for the safe option."

"Maybe this wasn't the correct choice and for this reason I had to dig extra deep and try and make the best of a bad situation. The two guys behind me for sure had more grip but we were able to put the ZX-10R on the piece of tarmac those guys were looking for. I'm very happy to hold on to the win under those circumstances because it could have quite easily been hopeless."

The possibility of a double win looked increasingly challenged with a lap remaining once Melandri had closed to within a tenth of a second. It all came down to the final hairpin when Melandri shot up Sykes' inside, only to run wide on the exit. Nonetheless, Sykes says he was always ready for the Italian.

"Basically I had a plan for the last lap and when it came to the crucial part of the race in the last hairpin I knew that he would try a pass. He kept me honest the whole race and I knew I had a little margin on the last lap. I used all of that, braked very late and knew if someone could pass me and make it stick they deserved the win.

"Marco tried it, wasn't quite able to make the corner so it was nice. I have respect for Marco as he could have quite easily tried to do something dirty but he made the pass, went passed the limit and used his experience. [It was] Great racing."

Coming after an indifferent weekend at Phillip Island, the double win sees Sykes leapfrog to the top of the WSBK standings, four points ahead of Baz. In turn, Kawasaki now lead the manufacturers' standings too.