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Top Ten for Sykes in Australia

Sunday 27th February 2011
For immediate release

World Superbike Championship – Round 1 – Phillip Island, Australia - 27th February 2011

Top Ten for Sykes in Australia

Kawasaki Superbike Racing Team rider Tom Sykes gave the brand new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R its competitive debut and came away from the opening round of the World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island in Australia with a pair of battling top ten placings.

After a good qualifying session which had him as third fastest on combined times, the Huddersfield rider eventually slotted the Paul Bird Motorsport-prepared machine onto row three of the grid for the two races following Superpole with his Spanish team mate Joan Lascorz one row further back on his World Superbike debut.

Sykes-Lascorz

Joan Lascorz (17) and Tom Sykes (66) in action on the brand new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R at Phillip Island.

With overnight rain giving way to drier conditions for Sunday’s two 22-lap races at the classic 4.445km circuit near Melbourne, Sykes was looking good in the early stages of race one and eventually crossed the line in eighth position which he followed up with a solid ninth in race two, despite handicapping himself with a poor start.

As a result, the 25 year old Yorkshireman holds eighth place overall going into his and the Penrith-based team’s home round at Donington Park in four weeks time.

For Lascorz, who was celebrating his 26th birthday today, it wasn’t the best start to his World Superbike career as he crashed out of race one on lap 13 and then had to retire from the second race with a tyre problem.

Tom Sykes:  “I’m happy to be eighth in the championship after the first round as you only have to look at the timing sheets to realise there is a real quality field out there. Less than a second covers something like the first 20 riders in qualifying, so it is quite pleasing in many ways to have been in there. I am a racer and I want to progress quickly but this is the first year with the new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R and I am sure we can make even more progress very soon. Everybody in my garage is keen to win, that is what this whole project is about, but it is early days.”

Joan Lascorz:  “We had different settings on the bike because the conditions changed and it proved difficult in Superpole. I used a qualifying tyre but it made no real difference to the lap time so we had to gamble in the races. It’s unfortunate to come away with no points but I hope for better luck at Donington.”

Paul Bird, Team Owner:  “Tom finishing in eighth and ninth is OK as it’s important to get a result and points on the board at the opening round but a top six would have been better and I think he was capable of that. Joan was unlucky to slip off in the first race but his team made a wrong tyre choice in race two and he paid the penalty for that. Hopefully, we can progress further at Donington next time out and as well as Tom and Joan; we hope to welcome Chris Vermeulen back.”

Results – Race 1
1, C Checa, Althea Racing
2, M Biaggi, Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team
3, L Haslam, BMW Motorrad Motorsport
4, E Laverty, Yamaha World Superbike Team
5, M Melandri, Yamaha Word Superbike Team
6, M Fabrizio, Team Suzuki Alstare
7, J Smrz, Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing
8, T Sykes, Kawasaki Racing Team
9, N Haga, PATA Racing Team Aprilia
10, T Corser, BMW Motorrad Motorsport
J Lascorz, Kawasaki Racing Team – DNF

Results – Race 2
1, C Checa, Althea Racing
2, M Biaggi, Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team
3, M Melandri, Yamaha World Superbike Team
4, J Rea, Castrol Honda
5, L Haslam, BMW Motorrad Motorsport
6, L Camier, Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team
7, N Haga, PATA Racing Team Aprilia
8, M Fabrizio, Team Suzuki Alstare
9, T Sykes, Kawasaki Racing Team
10, R Xaus, Castrol Honda
J Lascorz, Kawasaki Racing Team – Retired 

Championship Standings after Round 1
1, C Checa 50pts
2, M Biaggi 40pts
3, M Melandri 27pts
=, L Haslam 27pts
5, M Fabrizio 18pts
6, J Rea 17pts
7, N Haga 16pts
8, T Sykes, 15pts
9, E Laverty 14pts
=, J Smrz 14pts

Picture attached (courtesy of GeeBee Images), Joan Lascorz (17) and Tom Sykes (66) in action on the brand new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R at Phillip Island.

For further information on the Kawasaki Racing Team visit www.kawasaki-racingteam.eu

ENDS

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