Superbikes - Nurburgring WSBK: 'It's was important to keep Guintoli behind me' - Sykes

Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes came away from the World Superbike races at the Nurburgring with a win and a fourth place finish to regain the championship lead. Now the Yorkshireman has to prevent Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli from snatching the top spot again, and is on a mission to out pace the Frenchman over the next few rounds.

Superbikes - Nurburgring WSBK: 'It's was important to keep Guintoli behind me' - Sykes

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Nurburgring WSBK: ?It?s was important to keep Guintoli behind me? ? Sykes

In race one Sykes was the leader for every lap in the final race classification, and although he had been passed by GoldBet BMW's Marco Melandri near the end of the scheduled 20 laps, the red flag was shown for an oil spill and two subsequent crashes just behind the leading trio.

Sykes was awarded the race one win on the count back rules, which discount the lap the race was stopped on. As he was the leader on lap 17, he took the win.

In race two Sykes found his machine set-up not quite as effective as it had been in race one and although he was in the leading group throughout he could not get to the front. Another red flag, for a crashed machine’s spilt oil, stopped the race at the 18-lap stage this time, with Sykes fourth and only 1.189 seconds behind the winner.

In the championship fight Sykes now leads Guintoli by one point, 287 to 286, with four rounds and eight races remaining, and the Englishman is confident that he can improve.

“It is very difficult to tell if I could have come back at Marco in the last two laps of race one but when he passed me I was preparing to push the pace a bit more. I am sure all three or four of us in the front group were able to improve our lap times right at the end but the decision to stop the race has gone in our favour for a change,” said Sykes.

“I will take the result and I am very happy for the 25 points. It was the first time all weekend we have had a small issue with the bike setup. I went to bed last night expecting probably a few more points in race two but it is racing and things like this happen.

“It seems that we had some limitations in that race, which is a shame because over race distance I was 100% confident in myself, in the Ninja ZX-10R that we could make 1’54 laps even at the end. We proved that through practice this weekend.

“I think we know where we can improve and I am very happy to have the people around me that I have. It was important to keep Sylvain Guintoli behind me in that second race as we saw how every point counts last year. It adds to the end of season points basket and after this weekend we are leading the championship again.”

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