Tom Sykes opened his account for the 2018 WorldSBK season with a dominant lights-to-flag victory in race two at Assen on Sunday. The Briton, who had started from pole position after finishing fourth in race one, led away from the start and was never threatened with team-mate Jonathan Rea recovering from ninth on the grid to complete a Kawasaki 1-2.
The 2013 champion had endured a difficult start to the 2018 season, failing to finish on the rostrum since the opening race in Australia, and Sykes later admitted that the victory carried enormous emotional significance.
“The Ninja ZX-10RR today was great on a clear track. I was disappointed with yesterday’s race, for a number of reasons. But what can I say about the win today? Big thanks to my family, friends and ultimately the crew. I have not had an easy time in the last 18 months or so, but the good thing is that Marcel is not just my crew chief, but also such an amazing friend. He has helped me and gently reminded me of where we have come from in the past, and how we got to where we are now. I knew that the results have not justified the efforts we have put in until now. I also knew last night that a little bit of magic and the Sykes’ spark was there. I think there is no doubt in my speed and today we converted that into all 21 laps. I am very, very happy for this and it was quite emotional to win today.”
Much like in race one, Rea was embroiled in a battle with Yamaha’s Michael van der Mark with the world champion proving too strong once again, taking second spot. The home favourite completed a double-rostrum for the weekend in third with Xavi Fores the leading Ducati in fourth.
Chaz Davies lost crucial ground in the championship chase with fifth while team-mate Marco Melandri was beaten to sixth by the MV Agusta of Jordi Torres. Loris Baz was eighth ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu with Lorenzo Savadori dragging his Aprilia RSV4 into the top ten.
WorldSBK 2018: Motul Dutch Round: Race Two
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