Kawasaki's Tom Sykes has brushed off the 'bad luck' the saw him drop out of yesterday's second World Superbike race at Portimo and with it the chance to win this year's crown save for a huge mistake from Max Biaggi at the Magny-Cours finale.
The Huddersfield rider was only 14.5-points adrift of the Roman Emperor when he took the first-race win but then retired from the second outing with a blown engine while Biaggi took a podium and boosted his lead to 30.5 points with only 50 left on the table.
We have had some good luck today and also had some bad luck. Obviously on the good luck side in race one, in the first start, we were really struggling. We made two big changes to the bike after the red flag so on the restart it was a different motorcycle and I was able to do what I wanted with it. I felt more comfortable. So a big thanks to the team and Kawasaki for the snap decision to make those changes," said Sykes.
"I was feeling confident for race two because we had done a lot of work this weekend and I definitely felt we could have had a very strong race. Honestly I felt I could have been top two in that second race, or maybe even better, but it is what it is. Everybody has seen today what happens in racing. Melandri has been relatively on the pace this weekend and through a change of luck of his own he went out of two races.
"So anything and everything can happen. We had a win in race one, we had problems in race two, and that is what happens sometimes. We are racing at a very high level and sometimes you get dealt this card. I accept it even though it is hard to take having got to within 14.5 points of the lead after race one. I felt I could have reduced that gap again. But it was not to be, so what can you do? We go to France next, pick up where we left off and try to have a strong weekend.”