WSB: Sykes: 'Rea is pushing to beat me, that's why he crashed'

Published: 26 May 2017

Tom Sykes has suggested the reason Jonathan Rea toppled off in this morning’s opening World Superbike session is down to him pushing hard to end his team-mates Donington Park winning-streak this weekend.

Rea ran on at the Melbourne loop early in FP1 and suffered a low speed fall on the grass, but would later also run on at the same place in FP2.

It wasn’t all problems for the Ulsterman, however, who fought back to top both FP1 and FP2 sessions ahead of his team-mate.

While it’s well known there is no love lost between the two Kawasaki riders, Sykes was quick to poke at his team-mate when asked about Rea closing in at a circuit where the Yorkshireman has won the last eight races in a row.

“I think it’s no secret that my team-mate is out to try his best to put a stop to [my winning streak] and I think that’s why you’ve seen him run on and crash today. He’s definitely pushing! He’s had a lot of success and now I think this is something he’s very keen to achieve, so we obviously need to think about it.

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“We need to step our game up tomorrow to go racing. It’s difficult to say if he’s closer than in the past, he’s good on initial lap times sure and he’s there in consistency but I don’t think my consistency is too shabby.”

However, Rea was quick to point out his incident this morning wasn’t down to pushing too hard, but instead an issue with the brake as he came into the Melbourne loop.

“I arrived at the corner, braked with one finger and the lever came right back to the bar. I don’t know if I had a headshake or whatever could have caused that. You’re so hard on the brakes here I had to take my hand off the brake and pump it, I had everything under control until I hit the grass and toppled over, I felt like such an amateur!” 

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