Tom Sykes secured a brilliant race one win after a tense battle with Carlos Checa at Portimao today. The factory Kawasaki rider dominated the restarted race to secure his third win of the year and move to second in the overall championship standings.
He said: “In the restarted race I had a much better set-up and I could feel what the tyres were doing. I was managing the tyre from the start of the race and my end of race pace was good. Carlos was a match for me at the end but the good thing about racing with Carlos is that you know he’s not going to do anything stupid – unlike some other riders.”
Checa looked like he had the pace to overhaul Sykes in the closing laps after reeling him in during the second half of the race.
Checa said: “It was a difficult race and riding on a drying track with wet tyres is always a challenge. At the end I had better pace than Tom, but it was not clear where I could pass him and he was covering his lines very well.”
Sylvan Guintoli secured another podium for the PATA Ducati team before reminding everyone that he doesn’t have a ride for 2013 following the news that his team’s main backer – PATA will move to Honda as title sponsor in 2013.
Max Biaggi kept a cool head to finish fourth but the big loser was Marco Melandri who crashed on the first lap of the original race after hitting Biaggi. Melandri was subsequently hit by Chaz Davies who was left nowhere to go. Melandri got up from the impact but at a time of writing had been taken to Portimao hospital from an X-ray and MRI scan on a bruised right kidney.
The crash ultimately ends Melandri’s and BMW’s title aspirations as it remains highly unlikely that he will be back at the circuit to compete in race two.
Portimao - FIM Superbike World Championship - Race 1
1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 31'42.011
2. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 31'42.311
3. Sylvain Guintoli (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1098R 31'44.743
4. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 31'53.575
5. Brett McCormick (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 31'53.782
6. Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 31'53.803
7. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 32'10.704
8. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 32'11.592
9. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 32'13.518
10. Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 32'13.598
11. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 32'13.721
12. John Hopkins (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 32'15.178
13. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 32'19.854
14. Alexander Lundh (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 32'20.004
15. Matteo Baiocco (Red Devils Roma) Ducati 1098R 32'21.408
16. Lorenzo Zanetti (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1098R 32'21.677
17. Norino Brignola (Grillini Progea Superbike Team) BMW S1000 RR 32'24.445
18. Lorenzo Lanzi (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert) Ducati 1098R 32'42.367
19. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 32'21.209
RT. David Salom (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 27'26.899