Kawasaki Challenge for Donington Podiums
Kawasaki World Superbike team riders Tom Sykes and Joan Lascorz were unlucky not to come away with some silverware after a strong performance at round two of the World Superbike Championship at Donington Park today.
The Paul Bird Motorsport duo proved the potential of the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R with a pair of great rides which saw Spaniard Lascorz just pipped for fourth position by Leon Haslam's BMW on the last lap of race two whereas earlier in the day, Sykes had been challenging for a podium in race one when he slid off with just six laps remaining.
Yorkshireman Sykes, who qualified on the front row in third position, was looking strong in race one when he crashed at the Foggy Esses without injury as Lascorz came home in tenth position.
In race two, a mechanical problem thwarted Sykes' bid and he battled to twelfth place as World Superbike rookie Lascorz, in only his fourth race was in with a chance of a podium but had to settle for fifth.
Chris Vermeulen was hoping to return to race action at Donington Park but after Friday's qualifying, the team took the decision to withdraw him to allow his injured knee to heal further.
Tom Sykes: "I was delighted to qualify on the front row and prove the potential of the Kawasaki ZX-10R and had real hopes of a podium. I had a minor problem with downshifting and was disappointed to crash out in race one and then the problem re-occurred in race two and I just had to bring the bike home. But we've been strong this weekend and we will take this into Assen next time."
Joan Lascorz: "I went for a safe setting in race one as it was important I scored some points but for race two, we were more aggressive and it paid off. I was strong early on and knew I'd drop back with my tyre choice but I'm pleased to be battling inside the top five."
Paul Risbridger, Team Manager: "Despite perhaps not getting the results we deserved, it has been a strong weekend for us. Tom qualifying on the front row was great and I'm disappointed that he had some problems which prevented him getting a good result. Joan has been plugging away all weekend and to see him dicing with the likes of last year's runner up Leon Haslam is encouraging."
The next round takes place at Assen on 17th April.