TOM SYKES EXTENDS WORLDSBK LEAD IN PORTUGAL

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) scored a commanding win in the first race at the Portimao round of the FIM Superbike World Championship, with his team-mate Loris Baz (KRT) joining him on the podium in third. Despite finishing off podium in race two Sykes extended his championship lead to 43 points. KRT SBK Evo rider David Salom won the Evo class in race one.

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With a dry race opening victory and then a wet weather affected eighth in race two Sykes had a day of contrasts but the final result was an increase in his championship lead, and a season victory tally of seven so far. Sykes joined Max Biaggi on a career total of 21 SBK race victories after Portimao.

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For Baz a sixth in race two was as much as he could get when the weather conditions changed unexpectedly and the full wet second race, of only 18 laps, was completed. Added to his podium score from race one he still managed to score enough points to remain in third place in the championship, only five points behind the second place rider.

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Tom Sykes: “I enjoy winning races and the good thing is that the Ninja ZX-10R is giving me the feedback to be able to do this so I am very happy at the moment. I had a poor start in race one and it is a long race round here, long enough race to make some corrections. I am happy because we had a good gap then the rain started to come. When you are leading the championship and leading the race you do not want to do anything stupid and it was very difficult to calculate the levels of grip because in some parts of the circuit it was raining more heavily than in others. The team gave me great pit board signals and luckily the cloud disappeared with a good amount of laps left, to go so I could take an advantage again. In the wet conditions of race two we had some issues but I cannot be disappointed because we have shown great potential. Sometimes we are dealt these strange races and there was too much for me to lose today. Some other riders made mistakes and so I extended my championship lead compared to when we arrived here.

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