Sykes Takes World Superbike Point Lead

Tom Sykes has taken the World Superbike championship lead. (World Superbike Photo)
Tom Sykes has taken the World Superbike championship lead. (World Superbike Photo)
Tom Sykes has taken the World Superbike championship lead. (World Superbike Photo)

NURBURG, Germany – Tom Sykes and Chaz Davies each picked up victories during Sunday’s World Superbike event at the Nurburgring, with Sykes gaining enough points to take over the World Superbike championship lead.

In race one Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) was declared the winner after the race was red-flagged on the 18th lap as a result of two crashes that involved Jonathan Rea and Leon Camier.

Both riders lost control of their bikes at turn nine on the oil left on track by Federico Sandi’s Team Pedercini ZX-10R broken engine.

Once the race was called, Marco Melandri was in the lead after a successful overtake in the first turn but, as the final results were based on the previous lap, Sykes was awarded with the victory over Melandri. Chaz Davies completed the podium.

The three riders, along with Rea, rode together up front, but it was Sykes who led almost the entire race after overtaking Melandri at the second turn during the opening lap.

Rea and Camier were both flown by helicopter to the hospital. Rea was diagnosed with a broken left femur, while Camier was sent for precautionary measure due to an injury on the top of his neck.

In race two Davies got back on the top step of the podium in a race that was red-flagged on the 19th lap after wildcard Matej Smrz suffered a high-side and landed on track next to his YZF-R1.

Davies successfully defended the lead in the final laps in a three-way battle with second place Laverty and Melandri. Davies was able to repeat the same results scored last year in the two races, and achieved a long-awaited race win after the double victory at Aragon earlier in 2013.

Despite the absence of three top riders due to injuries sustained today – Loris Baz during the warm-up, Camier and Rea in first race – race two was characterised by a fierce battle up front for the win. Sykes and Sylvain Guintoli finished fourth and fifth respectively after being very close to the front for most of the 18 laps completed.

Sykes and Guintoli are separated by one point in the World Superbike standings, with Sykes now the new leader in the standings at the end of the tenth round of the season.