Tom Sykes has given his appreciation to team-mate Jonathan Rea for allowing him to finish second in the final race of the year to secure the runner-up spot in the World Superbike championship.
The already-crowned champion had been hunting down Chaz Davies for the victory in the final race of 2016 but upon realising he wasn't likely to catch the Aruba.it Racing Ducati rider before the chequered flag he eased off to allow Sykes to finish second and confirm a first Kawasaki one-two in the riders' championship.
Sykes has shown his appreciation to Rea for the gesture having battled through a tricky race weekend which was hit by a stuck rear brake which lost him a huge chunk of track time in FP2.
“After Jonathan passed me he was closing in on Chaz but obviously when he looked at Chaz's lap time he would have had to do something special to win,” Jonathan has had two great seasons and he has been the man to beat. It was a very good gesture from the other side of the team and this is something that I appreciate so much.”
“To finish runner up has a better ring to it than third and Kawasaki has gone 1-2 in the Riders' Championship this year. It was a strange weekend in some ways but finally in the first part of race two, which eventually got red-flagged, I was preparing for a longer race.
"I think our pace at the end could have also been quite good over 17-laps. In the restart to finally do some 1'57 laps was something unexpected.”