Round 10 Race 1 Germany
With Tom Sykes finishing the first race of the Lausitzring weekend in second place, and his team-mate Jonathan Rea crashing out after finding a false neutral in the entry to a turn, it was a day of diverging fortunes for the official Kawasaki WorldSBK riders.
Early in the 21-lap first race Sykes was sitting second and Rea third on their Ninja ZX-10Rs, having started second and sixth on the grid respectively.
A dry race unfolded after a wet track surface had welcomed the riders in the final free practice session, and Superpole 1, earlier in the day. As Tom set about trying to keep pace with runaway race winner Chaz Davies, Rea was settling into his rhythm behind.
Tom held a good pace to the end to make sure he kept second place from a closing Nicky Hayden but a gearchange issue on lap seven saw Rea run wide on corner entry, at turn ten, and then crash out as his bike re-engaged gear, suddenly regaining rear traction.
With Rea and Tom 1-2 in the championship before the Lausitzring weekend had begun they enter the second and final day in the same order, but with Rea’s points advantage now reduced to 26.
In the Manufacturers’ Championship Kawasaki still has a very healthy leading advantage, now set at 90 points.
“I feel we have had an acceptable race. For sure not perfect but second position compared to many others is fairly good. I would like to say a big thank you to Marcel, Danilo and my side of the garage because I feel we achieved the best we could in the short time available. We had no previous data reference here and we were able to make a good race. We had to experiment a lot and I think we found an acceptable set-up. Not perfect, because ten seconds to the lead is quite a gap, but I was able to react to my pit board with Nicky Hayden sitting behind me. Tomorrow we need to find a bike set-up where I can do the lap times a little bit more easily. Today I was missing some apexes and tomorrow we need to try and iron that out. There is a lot of pressure at this time of the season and we have seemed to find some kind of momentum, so we have to build on that.”