WSB: Sykes slams reverse grid system

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Tom Sykes has slammed World Superbike’s reverse grid system after losing out to Jonathan Rea in yesterday’s second race at Donington Park.

While the Kawasaki Racing Team rider was full of compliments for his team-mate, who he says beat him fair and square, he felt that the reverse grid system robbed fans of the battle the race could have been.

Rea and Sykes’ pace was almost identical in the closing stages of Sunday’s race, but with Rea having got to the front earlier than Sykes he was able to maintain a gap to comfortably take the win.

In Saturday’s race one, Sykes and Rea had been much closer until the Ulsterman suffered a catastrophic tyre failure and crashed out of the race at Craner curves.


“Jonathan started on row four, which was behind me, so in a way I can’t say the reverse grid cost me the win,” Sykes admitted. “But, the circumstance itself definitely penalised me. Yes, Jonathan started on row four but he was on the outside of the track so could make a much better line into turn one to avoid the mess.

“As a professional rider, I would say scrap the idea. All I’ve seen with the reverse grid is a much bigger mess in the first laps but then after that the same guys at the front. Jonathan was leading on lap two, I was second not long after that. Yes, it creates more tension but it also creates more possibility for danger.

“I think if anything it destroys the show, in race one Chaz had great pace initially and he was fighting, then there was me and Jonathan and I think the fight was better! In race two, Jonathan had gone by the time I got to the front. Which fight was better?” 

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing