Tom Sykes has made small in-roads into Jonathan Rea's mammoth World Superbike Championship lead for the first time in 2015 after putting up some stiff defence against his team-mate in both races at Laguna Seca.

Unable to get on terms with double race winner Chaz Davies, Sykes instead spent both 25 lap races fighting a rear-guard action against his champion-elect Kawasaki counterpart Rea.

Though Rea made it past more than once, some savvy riding by Sykes would see him snatch the position back each time and defend all the way to the line.

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Whilst disappointed not to have the pace to challenge Ducati's Davies for victory, Sykes was otherwise pleased to get the upper hand over Rea in a year that has seen him comfortably out-performed by his new team-mate.

"Jonathan and I had a great battle for the entire first race. I had plus zero on my pit board, so I just had to manage the situation. I felt the rear tyre drop and had to compensate in some areas, trying to do some things slightly differently. It was not ideal but overall I am happy with second position considering the circumstances.

"We made two small changes for race two and it was strange because at the beginning I felt I had a really good bike set-up but in the rain Chaz took a couple of more risks. It paid off because he made a big gap and I think that was probably the deciding factor in the race.

"We had a couple of warnings and I was just not able to stick with Chaz. Overall, I am fairly satisfied but we were just not close enough. Two second places are acceptable but another rider took the prizes this weekend."

It is the first time this season Sykes has scored more points than Rea over a race weekend, though the margin between the two still stands at 125 points with four rounds remaining.