Jonathan Rea says he is content with third place in race one at Donington Park after being continually hit with a mechanical problem which shifted him into false neutral on his Kawasaki ZX-10R.
The reigning World Superbike champion made a solid start to the Donington Park opener and after Chaz Davies slid off at Goddards while leading the Kawasaki rider was hunting down Davide Giugliano for the lead.
However, his race took a blow on lap 10 when he ran wide at Goddards which dropped him from second to fourth and despite re-taking third from Lorenzo Savadori the defending champion failed to close the gap to the top two.
Rea says his race pace was continually compromised by his bike shifting into false neutral on five separate occasions and was forced to ride around the mechanical fault.
“I hit false neutral five times in the race and that is not acceptable,” Rea said. “Something must be broken because it felt more mechanical than electrical and the same thing happened yesterday.
“Still, I'm very happy to consolidate with third place and congratulations to Tom, he did a great job to win. I know how many races he has won here but there's a little bit of frustration for me because in the middle part of the race even after the first mistake we had the pace to catch them but it wasn't to be.”
Despite conceding ground to race winner Sykes in the World Superbike championship Rea actually extended his advantage in the riders' standings after Davies failed to score in race one.
At the exact halfway stage of the 2016 season, with 13 of the 26 races completed, Rea holds a 58-point lead over the Ducati rider and 61 points on Sykes who is third.