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Phillip Island WSBK: Sykes, Melandri ‘cooked tyres’ in pursuit

Tom Sykes and Marco Melandri both admitted to killing their rear Pirellis as they came through the pack in today’s second WorldSBK outing and neither had the grip to stay with leaders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes when it came to the final push.

Sykes started alongside them due to the unique way in which the front three rows are switched for the second race but didn’t make the best of the traffic and got bogged in ninth for too many laps while Melandri, who started in tenth, set a load of fastest laps but that left him with nothing at the end.

“I’m disappointed with race two and almost feel like I let myself down a little bit. After the start I struggled to get track position and I lost the lead bunch. I spent ten laps trying to close them down and trying not to overstress the rear tyre,” said Sykes, speaking at the track.


“When I got on to the back of them, I had done the hard work but it was game over. I had taken the best out of the tyres and when those boys wanted to go again with the laptimes I had overcooked the tyres. However, if someone had offered for me to leave Phillip island in third position, then I would have almost taken it. I was stronger than this time last year.”

Melandri found himself in the same boat as Sykes but had been more forceful when it came to making up places from his tenth spot on the grid.

“I got a good start but lost a lot of time so was very far at the beginning. I pushed hard but when I catch them, the tyre was at the limit so in the last three laps when they push a bit more it was difficult to answer. I make a good last lap but too late for me.”

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