Round 9 Race 2 USA
A battling and front-running win from Kawasaki Racing Team rider Tom Sykes gave him his fifth race victory of the season on the latest model Ninja ZX-10R,
in what was a shortened 21-lap Sunday Superbike World Championship race. Championship leader Jonathan Rea (KRT) retired from the race on lap six after experiencing a technical issue, recording his first no-score of the season.
After the first attempt at running the second WorldSBK race of the Laguna weekend was stopped by a red flag incident the shortened restart provided a spectacular contest for the fans. After Rea had dropped back from the lead after running wide, and then retired a short while later, it was a straight fight between 2013 world champion Tom Sykes and two chasing Ducati riders.
Despite constant pressure from behind Sykes kept the lead from lap three onwards to record his fifth win of 2016, and the 31st of his career. He was 0.209 seconds ahead of Davide Giugliano and 0.786 seconds in front of third place rider Chaz Davies.
Tom has now won as many WorldSBK races as double champion Colin Edwards and is equal sixth in the all-time race winners’ rankings.
The end of the Laguna Seca weekend will lead to the start of the long summer break in the WorldSBK calendar. The German circuit of Lausitzring will host the tenth round of the championship, which will be held between 16th and 18th September.
“That was quite exciting and I had a lot of pressure from the Ducati riders all race long. We struggled with edge grip today so I had to change my style a little bit to defend my line. It destroyed the lap time but gave us the 25 points. Overall, it was good race for the spectators and a close one between three riders. I am happy enough but it was a difficult race in some ways. The restart was one more thing to think about and we made some changes, making the best of the situation. We never had the perfect set-up but I feel we made a good compromise. We have made a good weekend, with pole position, a second place and a win. We will go into the summer break on a high and try to learn from the information we took from the previous Misano round and this one, and then try to put the jigsaw together for the last part of the season.”