Assen WSBK: Sykes claims first win of 2018

Assen WSBK: Sykes claims first win of 2018
By: Lewis Duncan , Journalist
Apr 22, 2018, 11:57 AM

Tom Sykes eased to his first World Superbike win of the 2018 season, while teammate Jonathan Rea beat home hero Michael van der Mark to second as the Aruba Ducatis struggled.

Tom Sykes, Kawasaki Racing
Tom Sykes, Kawasaki Racing
Michael van der Mark, Pata Yamaha
Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing
Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing
Michael van der Mark, Pata Yamaha
Toprak Razgatlioglu, Kawasaki Puccetti Racing

Poleman Sykes repelled Barni Ducati's Xavi Fores to take the holeshot at the start, while van der Mark and Saturday race winner Rea cut through from row three to complete the top five on the opening lap.

The charging van der Mark and Rea cut through on Marc Melandri at the end of lap one, the Italian forced to run through the final chicane, dropping him to eighth, while an error at Turn 1 then saw him fall further back to 10th.

Sykes' advantage had extended to well over a second over Fores, with it opening out to three seconds when Rea launched a daring raid of the customer Ducati rider at the Ramshoek to take second on lap four.

Van der Mark demoted the Spaniard to fourth at the chicane, and shadowed Rea for the next eight laps until the KRT rider ran wide at the final chicane and allowed the Yamaha man to move through.

Rea launched a failed retaliation at Turn 1 a lap later, but reclaimed the position at Turn 5 and proceeded to build up a two-second advantage over the Yamaha over the final laps.

Ahead, Sykes cruised across the line to take his first win since Misano last year, while Rea and van der Mark held station to complete the podium, with Fores the top Ducati runner at the chequered flag in a distant fourth.

Chaz Davies started from row three along with Rea and van der Mark, but a mistake at the first turn on the opening lap left him with work to do.

The Welshman managed to cut his way through to fifth, but his pace dropped dramatically in the closing stages as he encountered an issue with his Panigale.

He still made it across the line in fifth ahead of MV Agusta's Jordi Torres and his Aruba Ducati teammate Marco Melandri, while Toprak Razgatlioglu held Lorenzo Savadori at bay to finish ninth.

Alex Lowes ran with his Yamaha teammate van der Mark and Rea in the early stages, but a crash at the chicane midway through ended his hopes of a rostrum.

The Briton was able to remount and got the finish in 14th. Leandro Mercado and Roman Ramos also crashed, but were unable to return to the action.

Race results:

1 66 united_kingdom Tom Sykes Kawasaki 33'36.444  
2 1 united_kingdom Jonathan Rea Kawasaki 33'41.889 5.445
3 60 netherlands Michael van der Mark Yamaha 33'43.951 7.507
4 12 spain Xavi Fores Ducati 33'47.760 11.316
5 7 united_kingdom Chaz Davies Ducati 33'55.397 18.953
6 81 spain Jordi Torres MV Agusta 33'58.858 22.414
7 33 italy Marco Melandri Ducati 33'58.959 22.515
8 76 france Loris Baz BMW 34'00.441 23.997
9 54 turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu Kawasaki 34'00.689 24.245
10 32 italy Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 34'01.097 24.653
11 34 italy Davide Giugliano Aprilia 34'18.251 41.807
12 21 italy  Michael Ruben Rinaldi Ducati 34'18.290 41.846
13 99 united_states PJ Jacobsen Honda 34'23.960 47.516
14 22 united_kingdom Alex Lowes Yamaha 34'29.799 53.355
15 37 czech_republic Ondrej Jezek Yamaha 34'30.509 54.065
16 68 colombia Yonny Hernandez Kawasaki 34'34.202 57.758
Ret 36 argentina Leandro Mercado Kawasaki 16 laps 16 laps
Ret  40 spain Roman Ramos Kawasaki 16 laps 16 laps
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