WSBK Motorland Aragon: Lights-to-flag for Sykes in Spain

Tom Sykes leads Loris Baz for Kawasaki's first WSBK 1-2 result since 1993; Rea picks up podium in third after last lap Giugliano clash
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  • Tom Sykes cruises to a dominant first WSBK win of the season for Kawasaki
  • Loris Baz follows in second place for Kawasaki's first 1-2 in 21 years
  • Jonathan Rea finishes third after contact with Davide Giugliano on the final lap

Defending World Superbike Champion Tom Sykes has opened his 2014 victory account at Motorland Aragon with a dominant lights-to-flag victory for Kawasaki.

The 2013 champion snatched the lead at the first bend from pole position and proceeded to multiply his advantage steadily over the course of the race, never once coming under any discernible pressure as he cruised to his first victory of the season.

A maiden win at Aragon for Sykes, Baz's run to second position behind his team-mate would see Kawasaki pick up its first WSBK 1-2 result for 21 years, when Scott Russell beat Aaron Slight at Donington Park in 1993

A fairly uneventful race, Baz and Davide Giugliano were the only riders to attempt to tackle Sykes in early stages, but neither could get on terms with the British rider as they instead settled into their own battle for second position.

After ceding the position to Giugliano early on, Baz was back up to second place by lap seven and though it wasn't enough for him to make in-roads on Sykes, his performance is enough to see him take the lead of the overall standings for the first time in his career.

Losing touch with Baz, Giugliano found himself under pressure from Jonathan Rea in his determined bid to secure only the second WSBK podium for the 1199 Panigale R. On his tail by the final lap, Rea suitably set Giugliano up for a pass down the long back straight into the hairpin, but the Italian's efforts to undercut him on the exit would instead result in the pair making contact as Rea attempted to regain his line.

Giugliano would come off worse, slipping off his Ducati, leaving him down in eighth position once he had remounted, while Rea was able to stay upright and claim his first podium of the season.

The Italian's tumble would subsequently work to the advantage of team-mate Chaz Davies, the Welshman finishing fourth and showing pace once he had worked his way past the two factory Aprilias he was bottled up behind in the opening stages.

Indeed, Aprilia would suffer a dismal race as neither front row starter Sylvain Guintoli nor Marco Melandri could stay with the pace. Guintoli ran fourth initially but would eventually fade to a distant sixth, while Melandri appeared to battling technical issues as he plummeted to a frustrated 11th by the chequered flag.

Heading in the other direction, meanwhile was Eugene Laverty, the Irishman showing front running pace in a lowly order after running off twice early on. As low as 14th at one point, Laverty staged an impressive fight back to haul himself back up the order, benefitting from Giugliano's crash to finish a fine fifth.

Behind Guintoli, Toni Elias turned in a solid run to seventh on the Red Devils Roma Aprilia, ahead of the recovering Giugliano, while Leon Haslam and Alex Lowes completed the top ten after their own race-long battle.

Outside the top ten, Leon Camier turned his WSBK EVO pole position into a comfortable victory on his return to WSBK competition, the BMW Italia rider benefitting from an early exit for main rival Niccolo Canepa after the Ducati rider suffered technical problems.

13th across the line but removed from the final results Ayrton Badovini and Bimota can at least take heart that the BB3 was quick in race trim as it finished an 'unofficial' second in class. Together with Christian Iddon 'finishing' 17th, the bike would also prove reliable.

Their removal from the results would see David Salom take 13th place instead, to extend his EVO lead, ahead of Jeremy Guarnoni and Sheridan Morais.

Other riders failing to see the chequered flag included Claudio Corti, Fabien Foret, Geoff May and Michel Fabrizio, each of them suffering with mechanical problems.

Tagged as: Kawasaki , Tom Sykes

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April 13, 2014 12:59 PM

Suzuki MGP 2015 for Sykes could be an option but with Laverty on Suzuki and DePuniet being very familiar with and working to develop the Suzuki not sure if he will go there, although Suzuki would be silly not to look at him as a viable option!! Sykes has been through the ringer with development duties on the Kawasaki (by development, I mean feedback for development) not sure if he wants to do that again because that means a few years on the backfoot, possibly with no chance of (relative) success or challenge of victory even in the occasional races. He may well stay at Kawasaki...good pay, top bike with all the possibility for success (for championships)...cannot say the same for MGP...unless he lands a Yamaha or Honda factory bike next year...2016 may be the year as things should even out with control ECU etc etc! by then he may think he is too old and just stay with WSBK anyway.

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