WSBK Malaysia (1): Sykes confirms in the first round
Much faster than his opponents in Superpole, Tom Sykes was just as intractable during the first race at Sepang. Ninja # 66 takes moral ascendancy over championship rivals Rea and Davies who accompany him to the podium…
Much faster than his opponents in the Superpole, Tom Sykes was just as intractable during the first race at Sepang. Ninja # 66 takes moral ascendancy over championship rivals Rea and Davies who accompany him to the podium…
First Superbike race Sepang 2016
Tom Sykes started very well from his pole but his neighbors in the front row got off to a good start. The three men are neck and neck when it comes to taking the brakes and it’s Alex Lowes who takes the lead in the first corner !
The Yamaha n ° 22 is followed by the two official Kawasaki and the factory Ducati of Chaz Davies! Davide Giugliano, Michael Van den Mark, Nicky Hayden, Markus Reiterberger, Jordi Torres and Lorenzo Savadori complete the Top 10. The two Honda riders (VDM and Hayden) fight from the first lap !
Sykes attacked Lowes on the brakes of the very last corner and started the second lap in the lead. Rea brakes Lowes in turn at the end of the next straight line, that of the pits. Alex tries to resist but must eventually pull away and opens the door for Chaz placed in Jonathan’s wheel. Giugliano observes, followed by Hayden and VDM.
Sykes takes off on the 2nd lap, which he buckles more than a second faster than Rea! The peloton clings to "Number One". Hayden is the most aggressive at the start of the race – after Sykes, "of course" -: the n ° 69 overtakes the n ° 34 Ducati when braking the last hairpin..
Tom Sykes attacks again in the 3rd lap then maintains his two second lead over Jonathan Rea in the following loop. Chaz Davies stays a few lengths behind the No.1 Ninja while Alex Lowes struggles to keep pace and is caught by Nicky Hayden almost as fast as the leader !
Behind the four Britons and the American are the Italian Giugliano, the Dutch Van den Mark, the Spanish Torres, the German Reiterbeger and the Australian West! In the 6th lap however, the official Panigale n ° 34 entered the Top 5 thanks to a mistake by Lowes, now ninth on his factory R1 n ° 22.
Leading the race since the start of the second lap, Sykes continues to ride with his hand. Rea and Davies give him back half a second per lap: Are No.1 and No.7 saving more on their rear tire for the end of the race? Difficult to say: the n ° 66 slows down on the 7th lap, but his two pursuers turn a little slower.
Starting with the softer tire, Hayden and Giugliano fight for 4th place five seconds behind the Rea-Davies duo. Reiterberger joined them in the 9th lap: Markus was much more comfortable than Nicky and passed him, but then ran into Davide. In the background, Savadori falls.
Torres and Van den Mark in their turn approach Hayden as the halfway mark is just passed. Ninth, Alex Lowes is dropped. Anthony West holds a solid tenth place at the helm of Sylvain Barrier’s Ninja.
In front, Rea is 4.5 seconds behind Sykes when there are only five laps to go … and the poleman continues to turn a little faster than his rival! Unbeatable at Imola two weeks ago, Davies is unable to keep pace with the Kawasaki and will no doubt settle for 16 points for third place.
At the 11th passage in the return straight, Reiterberger is betrayed by his S1000RR: the German champion can wring out and then shake his right grip, his engine no longer seems to respond! His teammate Jordi Torres therefore inherits fourth place !
Alex Lowes takes advantage of a second wind and goes back one by one his opponents at the end of the race: Van den Mark, Hayden then Giugliano are overtaken by the Yamaha n ° 22! Alex doesn’t intend to stop there: Torres is next in his sights, less than a second ahead…
Sykes was in full control of the end of the race, with his lead reaching over five seconds. A real feat given the curse of the Polemen in Sepang. Likewise, victory in the first four races on this circuit had always been played out in less than a second. !
The last lap of the race is identical to the first: Sykes completely dominates his subject – his subjects Rea and Davies who accompany him on the podium – while Van den Mark and Hayden once again put on the show by fighting for seventh place..
Torres finally manages to keep his small second ahead of Lowes to the checkered flag and equal his best result of the season. Giugliano finished this first Malaysian round in sixth position, 20 seconds behind the winner and 12 seconds behind his teammate. West and Camier complete the Top 10.
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