A podium in race two gave Tom Sykes an opportunity to express his unhappiness following his controversial clash with Kawasaki team-mate Loris Baz during the opening encounter at Sepang, the World Superbike Championship leader saying the Frenchman 'proved a lot of people right' at his expense.
The first public sign of a break down in relations between the two Kawasaki riders, though Sykes had hinted at his displeasure with Baz over tactics used in their tight fight for victory at Donington Park, their collision at the start of the first race in Malaysia brought matters to a dramatic head.
Prompted by Baz clipping the rear of Sykes's ZX-10R into the tight second bend, the accident – which also eliminated Alex Lowes – saw Sykes suffer his first DNF since the Moscow Raceway in 2013 and proved a big blow to Kawasaki's manufacturer title hopes in light of Aprilia's double 1-2.
Indeed, Sykes kept his reaction to the incident succinct but scathing in his race two press conference comment.
“I won't talk too much about race one. Unfortunately Loris proved a lot of people right at my expense… It's a big shame, because we had a little bit of information and this morning I felt comfortable in warm-up. The Aprilias were fast, but I think I could have challenged them. It wasn't to be, but we can try and come back strong at the next round."
Despite suffering with a hand injury picked up in the tangle, Sykes went on to finish third in the second race and is now 13 points ahead of Sylvain Guintoli in the overall standings.
“We got a podium and we are still leading the championship, which is very important. I had a bit of a limitation in race two which created a little bit of instability with the bike because I was not able to use my right hand to its full potential.
"It is was difficult to see the two guys up front go away because if I was riding fit then I think we could have tried to give them something to think about. My crew chief had a good chat with me before race two, and he said we needed to try and do the best we can. Third is the best we could have done in that race.”