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“Sykes’ Spark” reignites Huddersfield ace’s title race

Credit: Kawasaki WorldSBK

Tom Sykes took his first win since Misano in 2017 during race two at Assen, leading every lap without a single challenge to take a lights-to-flag victory. The 2013 champion looked good at the end of the race on Saturday, where he was fourth but is now a race winner in 2018, the fourth different winner from four rounds.

The Huddersfield ace used his front row start to his advantage, going around the outside of Fores at turn one to maintain first place. From then on in, it was never in doubt, even by the time Jonny Rea had burst through to second place.

“The Ninja ZX-10RR today was great on a clear track. I was disappointed with yesterday’s race, for a number a reasons. But what can I say about the win today? Big thanks to my family, friends and ultimately the crew. I have not had an easy time in the last 18 months or so, but the good thing is that Marcel is not just my crew chief, but also such an amazing friend. He has helped me and gently reminded me of where we have come from in the past, and how we got to where we are now.

“I knew that the results have not justified the efforts we have put in until now. I also knew last night that a little bit of magic and the Sykes’ spark was there. I think there is no doubt in my speed and today we converted that into all 21 laps. I am very, very happy for this and it was quite emotional to win today.”

The next round of the championship comes from Italy and Imola, just south of Bologna, making it Ducati’s home round. Sykes took a double win at Imola in 2013 on his way to the title, whilst taking his first of three poles at the circuit back in 2010. From 18 races he has taken part in at the circuit, he has had only one DNF.

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