Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes stormed to another dominant victory in Italy this morning, winning under scorching skies by 7.198s ahead of home hero Davide Giugliano. Starting from pole position after
|Sykes dominated in Race 1
setting two new lap records, Sykes didn’t take advantage of his clear run to the first corner and it was Jonathan Rea led the way ahead of Giugliano and Sylvain Guintoli.
Rea’s lead was a short one however as the Pata Honda rider ran on at Villeneuve, dropping down into 13th position at the start of the first lap. This gifted the lead to Giugliano on his Aprilia ahead of Guintoli, Sykes, Laverty and BMW Motorrad rider Marco Melandri. By the second lap Giugliano seemed to have pulled a lead of the rest of the field by over half a second, however it didn’t take Sykes long to re-group and set the fastest lap on lap two which led him to the Italian by lap six of 21. Back with the fight for third and drama ensued as world championship leader Guintoli was forced to retire on lap 6 as his engine blew, giving Sykes a good chance to pull an advantage on the Frenchman. The Yorkshire Grinner then didn’t look back and eventually dropped Giugliano off by lap 14, pulling two second lead. Sykes didn’t slow down however and eventually crossed the line with a lead of over seven seconds from the Italian.
Elsewhere on track, wildcard and WSBK veteran Noriyuki Haga was down fighting with his team-mate Iannunzzo for 15th position in what’s been a lackluster return to the paddock for the Japanese rider. Down in 9th position there was a battle of the injured with Kawasaki Racing Team’s Loris Baz and Leon Haslam both riding bruised and fighting for the top ten finish, with Frenchman Baz crossing the line victorious in 9th position. Following his run-off on lap 1, Rea had re-grouped and was up fighting for a podium finish on lap 17. However, Rea was perhaps pushing too hard on his Pata Honda machine and crashed out of the race at Rivazza two with three laps to go ending his heroic race with a DNF. This left Melandri and Laverty to fight it out for the final step of the podium, with Laverty crossing the line in third, giving his team something to smile about at their home race.