WSBK Aragon: Sykes rebuffs Melandri for Aragon double

Tom Sykes shows a cool head to resist a last lap lunge from Marco Melandri to claim his second WSBK victory at Motorland Aragon.
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  • Tom Sykes claims a classy double WSBK victory at Motorland Aragon
  • Melandri attempts a pass for the lead on the last lap, but runs wide to gift second back to Baz
  • Sykes and Baz move clear in the overall standings after two Kawasaki 1-2 results in Spain

Tom Sykes has taken a marvellous double World Superbike Championship victory at Motorland Aragon after coolly rebuffing a determined Marco Melandri on the final lap of the second race in Spain.

Having dominated the first race for his maiden win of the season, Sykes was made to work much harder in race two, coming up against persistent pressure from team-mate Loris Baz for most laps, before a charging Marco Melandri hauled himself into the mix during the final laps.

Indeed, prior to the final lap showdown, the battle for victory looked destined to come from the Kawasaki camp as Baz kept Sykes honest from the word go, the Frenchman never anything more than a shadow to his team-mate as the pair steadily edged away from the chasing pack, at this stage led by Jonathan Rea.

However, the race would come alive in the final laps as Baz upped the pressure on his team-mate and Melandri mounted a remarkable fight-back up the order having struggled during the early stages of the race.

On the tail of the ZX-10R pair with three laps remaining, Baz instantly sensed it was his time to move, duly attempting to wrest the lead off Sykes into the hairpin with just over two laps to go. However, the youngster didn't quite get the bike stopped in time, allowing Sykes to re-pass and the close-following Melandri to slip through too.

It meant Melandri was well placed to challenge Sykes coming onto the final lap, with all eyes on the hairpin once more to see whether the Italian could grab a last gasp win. As it happens, a wobbly entry onto the straight would lose Melandri momentum and though it wouldn't stop him from making a lunge from far back, Sykes would spot the move coming and duly hang back, simply re-passing on the exit of the bend as the Aprilia ran wide.

It meant Sykes was free to reel off his second victory of the day, while Baz was also able to benefit from Melandri's impatience, snatching back second position to complete the landmark of a double Kawasaki 1-2.

The result also means Sykes and Baz lead the overall standings, with Kawasaki on top of the manufacturers' reckoning too.

Contrary to the top three, the remainder of the pack would finish somewhat more spaced out, not least when Chaz Davies came down on lap four.

Race one podium winner Rea had run third early on but would lose ground to the Aprilias late on, finishing fifth behind Sylvain Guintoli, while Davide Giugliano was another who failed to match his race one pace as he ended his day in sixth place.

A frustrating day for Eugene Laverty, another poor start put paid to his challenge early on, the Irishman finishing seventh on a rather trying day for the Suzuki team. Still, he fared better than Alex Lowes, who ended his race in the gravel trap after a crash.

Leon Haslam came out top of his race-long tussle with Toni Elias in eighth, while David Salom was a surprise winner in the EVO class in tenth having battled through the pain barrier of a broken scaphoid.

The Spaniard finished ahead of rivals Niccolo Canepa and Leon Camier, the latter losing time late on with a brief run off track to cross the line in 13th, but be classified 12th once the Bimota of Ayrton Badovini is removed from the results.

Completing the points, Sheridan Morais picked up more digits in 13th, ahead of fellow Kawasaki EVO riders Luca Scassa and Fabien Foret.

Tagged as: Kawasaki , Tom Sykes , baz

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April 13, 2014 1:44 PM

Say what you will about Melandri but he will go for the win!! Smart or not he makes it exciting!! I am happy for Sykes but I want Melandri to do well also...but this field is so talented I am having a hard time picking a favourite... I want Guintoli to show good, Chaz, Leon Camier...Alex Lowes.... I guess this just bodes well for the series...lots of likeable and talented riders... Good job Sykes!! and Baz....

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