Sykes led both races today and battled hard to try and win each one. He was 3.432 seconds from the winner in race one and only 1.708 seconds from double race winner Eugene Laverty in race two. Crucially, at this advanced stage of the year, Sykes beat his closest rival Sylvain Guintoli each time and he now leads him by eight points, gaining seven points on him this weekend.
With Loris Baz not riding at Istanbul Tom flew a strong solo KRT flag this weekend, scoring his seventh Superpole win of the year on Saturday, two podiums which take his season total to 13 and he also broke through the 300 points barrier, with a new total of 323.
Mark Aitchison (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) scored 11th in race two after retiring in the opening race, while Federico Sandi (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) had a good day in taking 11th in race one and 12th in race two.
Laguna Seca in the USA hosts the next round of the championship, with race one on Saturday 28 and race two on Sunday 29 September.
Tom Sykes: “Two podiums today even though it was the first time for me here. We had only two-and-a-half hours track time against two top riders who have previous experience of this circuit. We made two or three changes to the bike between races and I think everybody saw that our bike was working a bit better in the second one. We started that race quite strongly and I was able to lead again but some of our competitors were using the tyres a little bit better, so Eugene Laverty was able to catch me. Unfortunately I did not have the package at the end of the second race to fight back and try to win it. I believe that we can learn and improve from this weekend. I wanted to win in race one as well; I pushed hard but I feel if I pushed any harder I may have overstepped the mark. The changes we made this weekend should help for the future races. We are leaving with an improved points lead and that can only be a good thing.”
2013 WORLD SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP - OVERALL STANDINGS (After 11 of 14 rounds)
1.TOM SYKES KAWASAKI 323
2.SYLVAIN GUINTOLI APRILIA 315
3.EUGENE LAVERTY APRILIA 297
4.MARCO MELANDRI BMW 290
5.CHAZ DAVIES BMW 239
6.LORIS BAZ KAWASAKI 180
7.JONATHAN REA HONDA 176
8.MICHEL FABRIZIO HONDA 168
9.JULES CLUZEL SUZUKI 141
10.DAVIDE GIUGLIANO APRILIA 139
16.FEREDERICO SANDI KAWASAKI 45
19.MARK AITCHISON KAWASAKI 20