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Assen WorldSBK: Runaway race-two win for Sykes

Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes said on Friday he had the pace to win, but he started too far back to compete for a podium in the final laps.

Today, from pole under the reverse grid rules, Sykes showed stunning pace for all 21 laps and won by a massive 5.445 seconds from the modern-era Assen great and team-mate, Jonathan Rea, ending the reigning champ’s run of wins at the Dutch track.

The Kawasaki one-two was only threatened, but really threatened, for a time by the flying local Dutch rider, Michael van der Mark on the Pata Yamaha who finished 7.5 seconds from Sykes, and just too far from Rea to challenge him.


Sykes said: “The feeling is incredible and I have had a bit of the struggle at times, so what can I say but thank you to the team. This is a gentle reminder of where we have come from, which was priceless. A bit like the old Sykes is back. The bike was working good but suffered a bit with the front tyre and then rear tyre, but I controlled the race from my pit board. I have got that one off my back and hopefully we can carry on.”

Xavi Fores (Barni Ducati) was fourth, after shadowing Sykes in the first half of the race, but succumbing to Rea and VDM in quick succession.

Chaz Davies’ Aruba Ducati Panigale was really struggling for pace in the final laps with chatter from a worn rear tyre but held on for a fifth place, more than 18 seconds from Sykes on another warm day in the Assen sunshine.

Jordi Torres (MV Agusta) and Marco Melandri on the second works Ducati had a close dice at the end, with Torres sixth and Melandri seventh.

Loris Baz (Althea BMW) was eighth, leading a three rider group home, from Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia).

PJ Jacobsen (Triple M Honda) was the only Honda rider in the race after Jake Gagne’s injuries put him out of action, and he was 13th.

In the championship Rea has 159 points, Davies has 129, Melandri 115, Van Der Mark 103 and Sykes now up to fifth with 101.

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