SYKES RACKS UP THE POINTS IN SPAIN AS ANDREWS CRASHES OUT2010-04-12 16:52
Kawasaki Racing Team rider Tom Sykes continued where he left off in Portugal two weeks ago by claiming another double points haul in round three of the 2010 Hannspree World Superbike Championship at Valencia in Spain this weekend.
After qualifying in 18th, the 24-year-old Yorkshireman from Huddersfield battled to a fine 11th place in the opening leg, whereby he was holding a top ten placing for much of the race aboard the factory Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R, before giving himself lots of work to do in the aggregate second leg due to an electrical problem whereby he climbed from 23rd place to 15th at the flag.
As a result of five points scoring rides in the opening six races, Sykes holds 16th in the title chase going into the next round at Assen in two weeks time.
With Australian Chris Vermeulen still sidelined due to injury following his crash at Phillip Island in the opening round, British Superbike Championship rider Simon Andrews was drafted in to the Penrith-based Paul Bird Motorsport squad as replacement for the weekend but the 26-year-old from Evesham endured a difficult weekend.
After qualifying in 24th position, Andrews finished in 18th place in the opening race but early on in race two, he was hit by Honda rider Vito Iannuzzo on the high-speed home straight causing the Kawasaki and rider to clatter into the pit wall meaning the race had to be stopped.
Andrews was attended by medics at the scene before being taken to the circuit medical centre and was fortunate to be released with nothing more than a couple of broken bones in his foot and severe bruising.
Tom Sykes: "I got a good start in race one and was happy enough with eleventh as we found some good consistency with lap times. I was hoping to stay inside the top ten but we struggled a bit to sustain grip over the entire race distance but we got some points back on the board for the team. For race two I had another good start but unfortunately had a hiccup on the electronics and was then pushed back down. We then had a red flag so I had to start way back in 22nd place on the grid. The restart was difficult as I got a face full of cement dust and had something in my eye the whole race. It's a shame because I had really good pace and was lapping faster than in race one and feeling confident that I could move ahead. I got into a battle with the people in front of me who were doing slower laps which damaged my own lap times. Overall we've taken away some points this weekend and we'll keep chipping away and prepare for a good race with more luck in Assen."
Simon Andrews: "It has been a great learning experience to ride for the Kawasaki Racing Team and to be part of the paddock. I enjoyed working with the guys for both the test and the race. We started the weekend with a few chassis issues but we were slowly turning that around and making steady progress. Race one was OK and in race two I got a good start and was finding a decent rhythm. When Tom went past me, I was hoping to stay with him and gain some places but the next thing I knew I was hit from behind on the straight and can't remember much after that. The team are saying I am lucky as from what I've been told it looked pretty bad on the TV but my left foot is a bit smashed up and pretty painful right now. I have broken the heel and top bone of my foot and have obviously a few bruises to contend with but overall I'm fine. I'd like to thank the team for the opportunity to ride and how disappointed I am in having to end the weekend this way."
Paul Risbridger, Team Manager: "It's been a rollercoaster weekend for the team. We started well on Friday morning but appeared to have some chassis issues as the temperature increased. On Saturday morning we went back to a base line which showed improvement and Tom did a very good lap time in Superpole 1 so it was disappointing that he missed out on Superpole 2. On Sunday we again made improvements in morning warm up and were looking forward to the race. In race one Tom put in a fantastic performance and showed consistent lap times which he was rewarded a well deserved eleventh place. Unfortunately Tom got off to a slow start in race two after some problems with the electronics and had to play catch up and wasn't able to repeat the finish he had in race one however it was good to complete both races in the points. Simon had a good test here with us and we were pleased to welcome him into the team. I feel that this was a good experience for him but it was very unfortunate he had a bad accident in race two. We hope he can recover as quickly as possible."
The next round is at Assen in the Netherlands over the weekend of 24/25th April 2010.
RACE 1 FINAL RESULTS
11. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) 5 points
18. Simon Andrews (Kawasaki Racing Team)
1, L. Haslam (Team Suzuki Alstare)
2. M. Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia Racing)
3. J. Toseland (Yamaha Sterilgarda Team)
4. T. Corser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)
5. N. Haga (Ducati Xerox Team)
6. J. Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda)
7. C. Crutchlow (Yamaha Sterilgarda Team)
8. L. Lanzi (DFX Ducati Corse)
9. G. Guintoli (Team Suzuki Alstare)
10. J. Smrz (Team PATA B&G Racing)
RACE 2 FINAL RESULTS
15. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) 1 point
DNF. Simon Andrews (Kawasaki Racing Team) crashed lap 3
1. N. Haga (Ducati Xerox Team)
2. C. Checa (Althea Ducati)
3. M. Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia Racing)
4. L. Haslam (Team Suzuki Alstare)
5. J. Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda)
6. S. Guintoli (Team Suzuki Alstare)
7. J. Toseland (Yamaha Sterilgarda Team)
8. S. Byrne (Althea Ducati Racing)
9. C. Crutchlow (Yamaha Sterilgarda Team)
10. J. Smirz (Team PATA B&G Racing)
Source: Cartersport Motorsport Media
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