SBK Aragon Race One: Sykes Wins At A Canter

Tom Sykes claimed the first victory of his World Superbike title defence after dominating race one at Aragon. The Briton led a comfortable Kawasaki 1-2 ahead of Loris Baz who, by finishing second, has moved level with Sylvain Guintoli at the top of the championship.

The outcome of the race was never in doubt from the moment the red lights went out, Sykes storming into the lead ahead of Baz and Marco Melandri but the Aprilia didn’t run third for long as tyre problems took over, sending the Italian plummeting down the order. Instead the battle for third would be between Davide Giugliano and Jonathan Rea with the Ducati rider holding the advantage for much of the race but as they powered down the back straight on the last lap, Rea surged ahead. Giugliano was in no mood to settle for fourth and dived back up the inside at the hairpin but as Jonathan closed the door, the two made contact and Giugliano was unseated.

Rea took advantage to finish third and claim his first podium since winning at Silverstone last August. Chaz Davies benefitted from his teammate’s misfortune to finish fourth while Eugene Laverty rose to fifth, an impressive result considering an error on lap three had dropped him to thirteenth. Sylvain Guintoli had similar tyre problems to his teammate which kept him back in sixth while Toni Elias took seventh, just pipping Giugliano after the Ducati rider had remounted.

Leon Haslam and Alex Lowes ran nose-to-tail all the way to the end with the Honda rider just edging it to take ninth with both overhauling the disappointed Melandri who eventually limped home eleventh.