WSB: Tom Sykes extends lead after eventful day in Portugal
Last Updated: 06/07/14 5:32pm
WSB championship leader Tom Sykes at Portimao in Portugal on Sunday
Tom Sykes experienced contrasting fortunes during Sunday’s two World Superbike Championship races in Portugal but still did enough to extend his lead in the overall standings.
The British rider was a dominant winner of the opening race at Portimao, before slipping to eighth in the second race which was won by compatriot Jonathan Rea.
In the first, Sykes grabbed the lead on lap four and remained in charge for the remaining 17 as he held off Sylvain Guintoli – his nearest challenger in the title race – by 2.539 seconds.
However, the second was much more eventful for the 28-year-old for Huddersfield who was in second spot for the first seven laps before slipping back to finish 17.164 seconds adrift of Rea’s pace.
Rea led at the end of each circuit to cross the line 6.817 seconds in front of runner-up Davide Giugliano of Italy.
But the main talking point of race two was the collision between Aprilia team-mates Guintoli and Italian Marco Melandri on lap 12 of 18 – while they were battling for second and third place.
Frenchman Guintoli was able to remount and finish seventh but saw his deficit in the title race slip from 39 to 43 points – despite overtaking Sykes on the penultimate lap.
Rea’s victory keeps him in fourth spot in the overall standings – 49 points behind Sykes and just one adrift of third placed Loris Baz.
The ninth round of 13 takes places at Laguna Seca in the United States on July 13.