Misano, San Marino: So close yet so far for 'disappointed' Sykes

Tom Sykes states he is “disappointed" with himself after failing to execute a pass on team-mate Jonathan Rea; loses race by just 0.090s.
There were a raft of positives to take from the first World Superbike race at Misano but Tom Sykes couldn't escape that small tingle of frustration after losing out to team-mate Jonathan Rea by just 0.090s.

Sykes said he was “disappointed with myself” at being unable to force a pass in the closing laps, when he was never more than a handful of tenths behind the Northern Irishman.

The Englishman had secured his sixth pole position in eight races earlier in the day, and overnight changes to his Kawasaki ZX-10R gave rise to the belief that victory was possible in the 21-lap affair.

Yet, as he explains, “When I tried in the last two laps I wasn't able to put my nose in a good position.

“I have to be happy," said Sykes. "I was less than a tenth from the win and I know that yesterday everyone was impressed by Jonathan's pace. From that point we have to take the positives. We've been consistent in the last few rounds and we've come here, where Jonathan has been strong. He's won here on the Honda and the Kawasaki.

“We had the potential to win the race but we weren't able to get the right track position on the last lap. I'm disappointed with myself. We had a chance to maybe pass earlier but then it would have been a different race. Lots to consider for tomorrow and we have to try and improve.

“We can rest tonight knowing we have a good package but perhaps one or two small changes will be necessary. The surface of the rear tyre was quite damaged but the performance was quite good. The bikes were moving but the surface looks worse than the performance.

“I have to give credit to those guys [at Pirelli]. Full edge grip is still consistent and gives you feedback. Still, we had a lot of rubber remaining so it was not a big issue.”

Knowing Sykes was close behind, Rea put his race tactics into action midway through the scrap. The reigning world champion dropped his lap time by close to a second, before upping the pace. Sykes, however, was able to respond.

“It was quite dangerous in a way,” said Sykes of this tactic. “We went from fast times we were going into turn one and I almost ran into the back. At turn four I had to go around the outside. It wasn't a case of dropping the lap time a few tenths. I think we went from a 35.6 to a 36.4.

“It nearly caught me out because he stopped the bike completely in some corners. I notice he did it at half distance and also ¾ distance. Obviously there was a lot of thinking on his behalf but he was in front and it's easy for him to dictate the pace. I'm a little disappointed because I wasn't able to pass. He was still getting good acceleration off the corner.”

On whether Sykes' stretching of the championship gap to Chaz Davies gave him any sense of satisfaction, the Englishman added, “Honestly I'm not focused on that. I enjoy winning races. I'm happy with our performance but I'm still disappointed we didn't take the benefits.

“Jonathan did a great job and deserves the win but our whole performance this weekend, the guys did a great job to give me a better feel. I feel we potentially deserved the win. We were less than one tenth away but hopefully we can improve for tomorrow.”

Related Pictures

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Jonathan Rea and Sykes, WSBK Race1, Misano WSBK 2016
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Yamaha pack up for long haul, Misano WSBK 2017
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Faccani, SSTK1000 Race, Misano WSBK 2017
Faccani, SSTK1000 Race, Misano WSBK 2017
Rinaldi, SSTK1000 Race, Misano WSBK 2017
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Rinaldi, SSTK1000 Race, Misano WSBK 2017

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