Britain’s Tom Sykes is the new leader of the World Superbike Championship after completing a perfect Imola double with a runaway victory in race two.
The Kawasaki man picked up from where he left off after victory in race one to cruise to another lights-to-flag win at the famous San Marino circuit. Sykes was largely unchallenged throughout the race as he took the chequered flag comfortably from Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea and Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli.
The maximum 50-point haul from the weekend has elevated Sykes to the top of the World Superbike standings and he is the first Kawasaki rider to do so for nearly 20 years.
Unlike race one, Sykes made a strong start and led the field at the end of the opening lap with Davide Giugliano right in his wheel tracks. The Italian was the only rider able to cope with the Kawasaki’s early pace but hopes of a repeat of the race one podium were soon dashed by a crash on lap three.
This promoted Rea to second and the Ulsterman was determined to make up for his error which cost him a podium in race one. Despite his determination, he was unable to challenge Sykes who quickly built up a healthy lead.
Attention soon swung to the battle for third between Eugene Laverty, Guintoli and Marco Melandri with just a fraction of a second covering the trio. However, on lap four, the dice was blown wide open when Laverty lost the front and crashed gifting Guintoli third.
Close battles were few and far between and so it was Sykes who marched on to take an unchallenged win from Rea and more importantly secured the lead in the championship.
Guintoli managed to break away from Melandri in the final laps to secure a comfortable third.
The dice for fourth position provided entertainment with Melandri and Chaz Davies swapping places before the Italian managed to get the better of his team mate on the final lap.
Frenchman Loris Baz ended his weekend on a high coming home in sixth ahead of Leon Camier, Michel Fabrizio, Leon Haslam and Ayrton Badovini.
The World Superbike Championship heads to Russia for Round 8 on July 21.
Race 2 – Imola
|1||Tom Sykes||Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R||21 laps|
|2||Jonathan Rea||Pata Honda CBR1000RR||+5.032s|
|3||Sylvain Guintoli||Aprilia Racing RSV4||+10.201|
|4||Marco Melandri||BMW GoldBet S1000RR||+13.120|
|5||Chaz Davies||BMW GoldBet S1000RR||+13.630|
|6||Loris Baz||Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R||+13.949|
|7||Leon Camier||Fixi Crescent Suzuki GSX-R||+25.420|
|8||Michel Fabrizio||Red Devils Roma RSV4||+36.511|
|9||Leon Haslam||Pata Honda CBR1000RR||+40.184|
|10||Ayrton Badovini||Alstare Ducati 1199 R||+41.100|
|11||Jules Cluzel||Fixi Crescent Suzuki GSX-R||+42.888|
|12||Carlos Checa||Alstare Ducati 1199 R||+52.182|
|13||Max Neukirchner||MR Ducati 1199 R||+56.352|
|14||Federico Sandi||Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10||+1:15.92|
|15||Noriyuki Haga||Grillini Dentalmatic BMW S||+1:25.20|
|16||Eugene Laverty||Aprilia Racing RSV4||4 laps|
|17||Vittorio Iannuzzo||Grillini Dentalmatic BMW||2 laps|
|18||Davide Giugliano||Althea Racing RSV4||2 laps|