Sykes Hangs on to Revive Title Challenge

by Louis Suddaby

Tom Sykes breathed new life into his World Superbike Championship challenge with a nail-biting victory in race two at Laguna Seca. The Yorkshireman held off the Ducatis of Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies for a hard-fought win and with Jonathan Rea forced to retire through mechanical problems, Sykes has closed to within 46 points of his teammate in the title chase.

Giugliano looked a threat from the start with the Italian storming past polesitter Sykes for the lead on lap three but a heavy crash for Team Toth’s Pavel Szkopek brought out the red flags, stopping Davide in his tracks. At the restart, Giugliano moved straight into the lead but an astonishing sequence saw both Kawasakis power past into the Corkscrew on lap four.

After a short battle with his teammate, Rea emerged ahead but the championship leader’s 100% podium record for the season would grind to a halt along with his ZX-10R on lap six. The Ulsterman had already tumbled to tenth after running wide at turn six but the extent of his problems soon became apparent when the motorcycle coasted to a stop.

Sykes regained the lead from the two Aruba Ducatis but the Kawasaki was unable to distance the Panigale machines, leaving the 2013 champion to withstand relentless late pressure. In the end, the Ducati duo were too busy squabbling with each other to launch an attack on the leader with Davies diving through into second on three consecutive laps, only to be repassed immediately by Giugliano. Sykes held his nerve just ahead to claim his fifth win of the year.

Xavi Fores edged out home favourite Nicky Hayden for fourth while Jordi Torres finished sixth on the leading Althea BMW. Michael van der Mark, who crashed at the Corkscrew before the red flag and had to take the restart from the back of the grid, finished a superb seventh while Niccolo Canepa took eighth after his PATA Yamaha teammate Alex Lowes fell at the final bend.


WorldSBK 2016: GEICO US Round – Race Two Result

166. Tom SykesKawasakiKawasaki Racing Team29:35.28525
234. Davide Racing – Ducati+0.20920
37. Chaz Racing – Ducati+0.78616
412. Xavi ForesDucatiBarni Racing Team+11.37913
569. Nicky HaydenHondaHonda World Superbike Team+12.21911
681. Jordi TorresBMWAlthea BMW Racing Team+12.46510
760. Michael van der MarkHondaHonda World Superbike Team+13.7059
859. Niccolo CanepaYamahaPata Yamaha Official WSBK Team+20.4498
913. Anthony WestKawasakiPedercini Racing+29.1537
1040. Roman RamosKawasakiTeam GoEleven+33.0136
1135. Raffaele de RosaBMWAlthea BMW Racing Team+39.9105
1217. Karel AbrahamBMWMilwaukee BMW+40.0594
139. Dominic SchmitterKawasakiGrillini Racing Team+49.2113
1422. Alex LowesYamahaPata Yamaha Official WSBK Team+51.3472
1511. Saeed Al SulaitiKawasakiPedercini Racing+54.7831
1656. Peter SebestyenYamahaTeam Toth+1:03.249
164. Gianluca VizzielloKawasakiGrillini Racing Team+1:25.191
NC1. Jonathan ReaKawasakiKawasaki Racing Team+16 Laps
NC32. Lorenzo SavadoriApriliaIodaRacing Team+19 Laps
NS15. Alex de AngelisApriliaIodaRacing TeamNon Starter
NS2. Leon CamierMV AgustaMV Agusta Reparto CorseNon Starter
NS25. Josh BrookesBMWMilwaukee BMWNon Starter
NS119. Pawel SzkopekYamahaTeam TothNon Starter
NS61. Fabio MenghiDucatiVFT RacingNon Starter

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