Tom Sykes was left to curse the misfortune that befell him in both World Superbike races in Portim?o as he saw Jonathan Rea increase his championship lead to 124 points.

Just over an hour after comfortably topping morning warm-up, Sykes was involved in a close race long scrap with Rea in race one. With two laps remaining the Englishman led until a technical fault wouldn't allow his ZX-10R to rev over 9,000 rpm.

Losing critical time in the closing stages of the penultimate lap, Rea was left to ride clear for his ninth win of the year as Sykes punched his fuel tank in frustration.

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"It has not been a great day for us and it was such a shame that we had a small technical issue in race one and the a flat rear tyre in race two," said Sykes. "In race one the revs dropped for a while and then it cleared again, so I could finish second."

A deflating rear tyre, caused by a damaged wheel rim, prevented him from challenging Rea in race two. At one point the Englishman's pace dropped four seconds below the leader as he fell down the top ten, eventually ending the race eighth.

"The tyre had started to go down in pressure from the beginning of race two and it is such a shame because I think we had a good bike set-up today. I really wanted to evaluate the bike in race two so we will never truly know the real race performance.

"We have a test tomorrow so we will use that as a good opportunity to try a few more things. We have had a consistent weekend in many way so it was shame to have this bad luck as Jonathan was on form, and we needed to capitalise."


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why was the rim damaged - rider error? did he hit the kerb on exiting the pits a la last year? or was it an issue with the rim even before he left pit lane. Interested to know? If Tom caused it - rider error, stop hitting the painted stuff. If issue was before leaving pits - someone needs to be looking for a new job! That could have been a very major off for the rider at 200km +