|Sykes continued Assen domination after winning Race 1
Photo: World SBK
Kawasaki Racing’s Tom Sykes took his first victory of 2013 in the opening race of the day at Assen, with an astonishing 8 second lead ahead of Jonathan Rea.
All 17 riders piled into turn one and it was lone Pata Honda rider Jonathan Rea who led into the first corner, closely followed by fellow Brits Tom Sykes and Eugene Laverty. Sykes was quick to take the lead from Rea, whilst Guigliano went under Laverty at De Strubben to take third position. The top five riders broke away from the rest of the pack, leaving Kawasaki Racing’s Loris Baz in 6th ahead of Jules Cluzel and Carlos Checa.
With open track ahead of him it didn’t take Sykes long to start eeking out a gap on compatriot Rea, and by the end of lap six he pulled an astonishing lead of over three seconds. Behind the Yorkshire Grinner, a battle for second ensued between Jonathan Rea, Eugene Laverty, Davide Guigliano and Sylvain Guintoli.
After dropping off the Althea Racing rider Guigliano it was Rea, Laverty and Guintoli fighting it out for the last two podium spots. With Sykes pushing his lead out to over 9 seconds, it was down to these three to provide the entertainment and they didn’t disappoint. Seven passes over the last 14 laps and it looked as if any of the three could take the second position spot, and it was Rea who snatched second from Guintoli on the last lap.
Meanwhile, injured Fixi Crescent Suzuki rider Leon Camier finished a heroic ninth position, 30 seconds behind Sykes. Italian BMW Motorrad GoldBet rider Marco Melandri failed to score after gearbox problems on the warm up lap meant he was unable to start.