DON­ING­TON WSB DRAMA CHAMP BOUNCES BACK

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

Tom Sykes joined Jonathan Rea and Chaz Davies as the only rid­ers to win races so far in 2017 with a his­to­ry­mak­ing race one win at Don­ing­ton Park. His vic­tory meant that he had se­cured nine con­sec­u­tive wins at the track, eclips­ing Carl Fog­a­rty’s long­stand­ing record of eight.

But, un­like the pre­vi­ous four years where he was able to claim vic­tory in race two, Sykes had to yield to his high-fly­ing team-mate Rea, but not with­out putting up a fight.

Al­though grace­ful in de­feat, Sykes cited the new-for-2017 re­verse grid rules which sees race one’s top three line-up on the third row of the grid for race two as an is­sue.

He said: “I saw Jonathan go around the out­side from his nat­u­ral start­ing po­si­tion and it made his race very easy. There was also an early crash in the last turn. It was very danger­ous and that made us all hes­i­tate.”

When asked if it was all to do with the new rules, Sykes knows he can­not com­pletely blame the new regs, but he says they def­i­nitely played a part.

“In terms of what the fans came here to see, which was a big, big bat­tle, the re­verse grid to­tally pissed on the bon­fire!”

Sykes be­lieves he could have claimed an­other dou­ble had he and Rea started from first and sec­ond on the grid like they did in race one.

“As a pro­fes­sional rider I would say, scrap the idea. We have seen too many ac­ci­dents with other rid­ers try­ing a bit too hard. They al­most get over-ex­cited and try to do some­thing dif­fer­ent and with the re­verse grid all I have seen is a much big­ger mess in the first lap. Jonathan was lead­ing in lap two, so it is not re­ally chang­ing much.”

Sykes says there has not been any great dis­cus­sion about the new grid pro­ce­dure re­cently.

“It is al­most none of my busi­ness as I turn up and ride a bike but maybe it’s time for a dis­cuss­sion. Does it change the show? I don’t think so. If any­thing it de­stroys the show. In race one it was Jonathan and me. The fight was bet­ter but in race two with the re­verse grid Jonathan was gone. Which fight was bet­ter for you – race one or race two? This an­swers the ques­tion.”

Sykes’s win in race one puts him on a new ca­reer to­tal of 32 vic­to­ries and the week­end saw him re­duce the points de­fecit to his Kawasaki team­mate to 55.

“In my best case sce­nario I was ex­pect­ing to close 10 points on the leader, but we closed 20,” he said. “We pushed to the max­i­mum and never went over the limit.”

‘The fans came here to see a big, big bat­tle, but the re­verse grid to­tally p***ed on that bon­fire!’

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