Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes had a mixed day in Portugal at the Algarve circuit of Portimao, finishing race one on the podium however he was forced to start from pit-lane for race two following a crash
|Sykes had a mixed weekend at Portimao
Photo: Kawasaki Racing Team
on the sighting lap.
Starting from pole position in race one, the 27 year old was locked in a battle for the lead before dropping back from Melandri and Guintoli in first and second with just two laps remaining, resulting in a podium finish for the KRT rider. His luck changed in race two however and his race was over before it even began. Sykes clipped the kerb at turn one on the sighting lap, causing a heavy fall but he was able to get back to his garage in time to start the race. Starting from pitlane it wasn’t long before the Yorkshire Grinner was back at his box with a broken sensor on his electronic system. Sykes re-entered the race for the third and final time, setting a new lap record of 1.42.175.
Crossing the line seven laps down Sykes failed to score a point, pushing him 28 points behind Guintoli in the championship “I expected the first race to be just as close as it was, and obviously the guys who finished first and second were riding really strongly, but I was struggling a little bit with race performance. But we made a good podium and scored good points. Portimao is not one of my strongest circuits and still we could fight for the win. In race two the fall was my fault because in turn one on my out lap I ran over the kerbstone on the inside. The piece of kerbstone looked quite flat but in the last moment I realised it was a big high kerb and it chucked me over the front of the bike. The bike flipped, landed on me and it was a big crash. It hurt my right leg and gave me a headache. We had made improvements on the bike for race two and we proved that was the case because we went on to break the lap record. I was just riding to the limits of the bike in each race. This is my worst circuit but in both races we raced to the limit of the package and it felt easier to do this record lap time in race two. I feel I have let a few people down but I do not want to be too hard on myself as it is the first mistake I have made for a long time.”