News 1 Nov 2017

Race on for second in WorldSBK between Sykes and Davies

Runner-up position in championship going down to the wire at Losail.

Source: Supplied.

The battle for the runner-up spot in the World Superbike Championship (WorldSBK) will come down to the wire this weekend at Qatar’s finale as Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati) and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) enter the round tied on 363 points.

With the title wrapped up by Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) in France last month, the runner-up spot is wide open between the pair, where the best performing rider in both outings this weekend will be credited the vice-champion position.

Davies says he’s looking forward to the battle, although he’s adamant on finishing on a positive note that would see him with second place firmly in hands.

“I’m looking forward to the last round,” said Sykes. “I do like racing in the lights at night, as it brings a different element to it. In the last couple of years, the Panigale R has been really competitive in Qatar. We improved quite a lot over there and last year we finally had a really strong pace, which led us to a double win.

“We didn’t seize second place in the championship back then because we headed into the last round trailing by a few points, but this time we’re even, so it’ll be exciting. We’re looking forward to the battle and we’re ready to put up a fight. We’re keen to finish the year on a high note.”

Sykes, who’s been dealing with a hand injury, stated the injury feels better than the previous round, revealing he favours racing under lights at the Losail venue.

“This is the final round of the year and the season has passed by almost without realising it in some ways,” Sykes commented. “My hand is feeling better than it did in Jerez where all those many changes of direction meant things were not ideal. I was still not fully myself at Jerez but I am looking forward to the last races. Losail is a lovely venue and I really enjoy riding at night under the lights.

“I also enjoy the general layout and the weekend timetable. In the final round we will try to get the bike settings to suit my riding style in the best way possible. I have gone quite a way to try and change my riding style to suit the changes that came in this year. In Qatar we will see if we can get the bike set-up to do the rest. Right now we’re working toward making sure we take the runner up slot in the final championship standings.”