Sykes Unstoppable in Race One at Sepang

Tom Sykes claimed his first World Superbike victory since Thailand with a dominant display in race one at Sepang. The 2013 champion ended a six-race winning drought in fine style, leading every lap on his way to victory by over five seconds from Kawasaki teammate Jonathan Rea.

The weekend hadn’t got off to the best start for Sykes who ended Friday practice in eleventh spot, forcing him to compete in SP1 on Saturday morning but the Yorkshireman unleashed his true pace when it mattered, not only advancing to the second session, but claiming pole position by 0.756s from PATA Yamaha’s Alex Lowes.

At the start, Lowes outdragged the Kawasakis on the run to the first corner, putting Yamaha in the lead of a World Superbike race for the first time since their comeback. Their joy would be short-lived though with Sykes outbraking the Lincolnshire man into the re-profiled final corner while Rea and Ducati’s Chaz Davies soon demoted him to fourth at the start of lap two.

On the first flying lap, Sykes was a full second faster than his rivals and despite his previous tyre woes, the pole-man didn’t lose ground or grip in the closing stages, maintaining a 5.600s lead over Rea. Davies proved unable to hit the heights of Imola two weeks ago, finishing eight seconds down in third, while Althea BMW’s Jordi Torres held off Lowes for a fine fourth.

Davide Giugliano was sixth ahead of the Hondas of Michael van der Mark and Nicky Hayden while Pedercini stand-in Anthony West rode superbly to take ninth, just ahead of Leon Camier’s MV Agusta.


WorldSBK 2016: Fassi Malaysian Round – Race One Result

166. Tom SykesKawasakiKawasaki Racing Team33:30.48725
21. Jonathan ReaKawasakiKawasaki Racing Team+5.60020
37. Chaz Racing – Ducati+8.03916
481. Jordi TorresBMWAlthea BMW Racing Team+17.66613
522. Alex LowesYamahaPata Yamaha Official WSBK Team+18.61311
634. Davide Racing – Ducati+19.87110
760. Michael van der MarkHondaHonda World Superbike Team+24.1209
869. Nicky HaydenHondaHonda World Superbike Team+25.4618
913. Anthony WestKawasakiPedercini Racing+32.9897
102. Leon CamierMV AgustaMV Agusta Reparto Corse+35.4646
1125. Josh BrookesBMWMilwaukee BMW+39.4375
1217. Karel AbrahamBMWMilwaukee BMW+39.8604
1399. Luca ScassaDucatiVFT Racing+46.7213
1412. Xavi ForesDucatiBarni Racing Team+52.6342
1516. Josh HookKawasakiGrillini Racing Team+1:10.5991
169. Dominic SchmitterKawasakiGrillini Racing Team+1:19.352
1711. Saeed Al SulaitiKawasakiPedercini Racing+1:21.034
184. Gianluca VizzielloKawasakiTeam GoEleven+1:51.315
1910. Imre TothYamahaTeam Toth+1 Lap
NC21. Markus ReiterbergerBMWAlthea BMW Racing Team+4 Laps
NC32. Lorenzo SavadoriApriliaIodaRacing Team+7 Laps
NC15. Alex de AngelisApriliaIodaRacing Team+9 Laps
NC119. Pawel SzkopekYamahaTeam Toth+10 Laps