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Jun 08, 2014 - 04:13 PM
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Sykes Podiums And Maintains Championship Lead
Posted by: newsla on Jun 08, 2014 - 04:13 PM
Sykes Podiums And Maintains Championship Lead

Tom Sykes (KRT) scored a third place in race two to recover from a race one DNF and keep his championship lead after six rounds of the championship have been completed. Loris Baz (KRT) secured a fifth place finish in race two, while David Salom won the first SBK Evo race of the day and has a clear lead in the Evo points table.


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2013 World Champion Sykes qualified in second place on the Sepang grid on his Ninja ZX-10R and after a coming together with his team-mate Baz and another rider he recovered from a painful right hand injury to score a strong third place finish in race two. In taking another 16 points to add to his 2014 total he broke through the 200 points barrier and has a 13-point lead over Sylvain Guintoli, 201 to 188.

Baz fell under braking into the second corner of the first lap of race one and after his bike had collided with Sykes’s machine neither rider could restart. Baz recovered strongly in the shortened second race and finished in fifth place, pushing hard in the sweltering conditions. Loris is now fourth in the championship, with 170 points.

David Salom took a stunning win in the Evo class in race one, but a poor start off the line meant he had to fight hard for his overall 13th place finish, and was third in the Evo classifications. In the Evo points table Salom has a 17-point lead.

The second race was only ten laps long, not the planned 16, after an oil spill halted the first start it after only a few laps. Race one went the full 16 laps, which was a test in the high air and track temperatures at the Malaysian circuit. Track temperatures rose to almost 60°C in race two.

Misano in Italy is the venue for the seventh round of the series, with raceday on Sunday 22 June.

Tom Sykes: “We got a podium and we are still leading the championship, which is very important. We made a change to the machine after Superpole and in warm-up I was very happy with the Ninja ZX-10R and did some great lap times before the race. I was feeling very confident. We had a gap to make up to the Aprilias all weekend but in warm up I felt that we could have gone racing and at least challenged them. I had a bit of a limitation in race two which created a little bit of instability with the bike because I was not able to use my right hand to its full potential. It is was difficult to see the two guys up front go away because if I was riding fit then I think we could have tried to give them something to think about. My crew chief had a good chat with me before race two, and he said we needed to try and do the best we can. Third is the best we could have done in that race.”

Loris Baz: “In race one I made a good start and Alex Lowes cam inside in the first corner and we were together. I just wanted to pass him in the second one. Tom braked really hard to make sure he did not touch anyone in front of him and I had to brake really strongly too. When I did I lost the front and my bike took him and Alex out. It is a big shame for the team but I could not do anything. For me I crashed alone and my bike took somebody out and unfortunately it was Tom. In race two I tried everything to follow the top three guys but we were missing some grip in the exits of the corners, the slow ones. Here it is worse than most other tracks because the straights after the corners are really long. I lost time in all the straights but I was catching them in the other parts of the race. I made a small change after the red flags came out but I could not do anything more. Maybe I could have been fourth but I lost the rear on the last lap and Toni Elias overtook me on the straight, so that was it. Not the best weekend for sure but it will be OK in Misano.”

David Salom: “It was great to win in race one but it was very hard. The weather conditions were very difficult but we took the win we wanted and it is because we have worked very hard this weekend and all season. We got more points in the championship after these races. Even if I got beaten in the second race, because I had a really bad start, we still left here with a good championship lead. It was not possible to stay with Leon Camier but I had a fight with the other Evo riders, and beat them to the flag.”

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