Sykes shows race winning pace
RIZLA SUZUKI'S Tom Sykes led both of today's third round races at the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park and declared his intentions for the rest of the season.
In race one Sykes led in wet but drying conditions before eventually finishing in fifth place; and in the second dry race he led for the first 10 laps before clashing with another rider and crashing unhurt.
Rizla Suzuki's Atsushi Watanabe scored his first top 10 finish of his British Superbike campaign in the second race. In the opener he claimed points finishing in a competitive 13th position. Ducati's Shane Byrne won both races at the 2.69 mile Cheshire track.
Rizla Suzuki is back in action at the Brands Hatch GP circuit in Kent this Sunday, May 11th. This race was originally the opening round but postponed due to heavy snow. It is a shortened two day meeting with practice on Saturday and racing on Sunday.
Tom: "I'm incredibility frustrated; I thought I could have won my first Superbike race today for Rizla Suzuki. I was leading comfortably whilst watching my pit signals and the race was under control when another rider clashed with me and I crashed.
"I will be focusing on the positives from this meeting and can't wait to get my Rizla Suzuki back on track at Brands Hatch later this week. We proved we have the bike, rider and team to challenge for race wins and that is my intention for the rest of the season."
Atsu: "My feeling with my Rizla Suzuki is improving with every lap I complete. Finishing ninth is ok but I want better.
"We return to Oulton Park later in the year and this I am looking forward to. I now know base setting and how to go fast here - watch out for Atsu."
Jack Valentine Rizla Suzuki Team Manager: "Tom was very unfortunate not to win his first Superbike race today. We are all looking forward to the remaining races as it is very clear that the Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 is capable of winning and Tom Sykes without a doubt is ready for a victory. It will come soon.
"Atsu in only his second race meeting has got into the top 10 at possibly one of the hardest tracks to master. His talent is beyond doubt and we are all eager to see what he can achieve at Brands Hatch, a circuit he has already ridden on his Rizla Suzuki.
"I am proud of the effort, determination and professionalism shown by the entire Rizla Suzuki team. Hard work and effort will bring its just rewards and this team is capable of winning - roll on the next round."
Race one results:
1: Shane Byrne (Ducati) 32:29.161
Race two results:
1: Shane Byrne (Ducati) 21:13.862