Release Date: Monday 29 February 2016

SHARK men in the top-ten Down Under

This weekend SHARK’s World Superbike riders - Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Alex Lowes (PATA Yamaha) and Sylvain Guintoli (PATA Yamaha) - were in action at the opening round of the 2016 Championship at Phillip Island, Australia.

 

Sykes enjoyed his first race outing of the season on the new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R, scoring points finishing the races fifth and sixth. Starting from the front row after qualifying on pole, Sykes had a good start in race one leading during the early stages. However, losing ground in two areas of the circuit he dropped back to cross the line fifth.

 

Meanwhile in race two Sykes again was in the leading pack, and led the way for ten laps of the 22-lap race, however two incidents pushed the Kawasaki rider back to sixth place where he crossed the line.  

 

Guintoli impressed as Yamaha made its much-anticipated return to SBK after he showed the potential of the YZF-R1 by battling amongst the lead group and finishing both races sixth and fifth. However, team-mate Lowes suffered a disappointing start to the season, also making his debut on the R1. The Lincolnshire man qualified fifth, but crashed out of race one, unhurt, with six laps to go.

 

Sunday’s race preparations got off to a bad start after a crash in warm-up forced him to use his spare machine for the race. However, a strong start placed the 26-year-old fourth during the first lap, but a technical issue pushed him back to 21st by the end of lap one. Fighting hard, Lowes managed to regain places and crossed the line 14th collecting two points.

 

The next round of the championship takes place 11-13 March at Thaliand’s Chang International circuit.

 

Tom Sykes:

"We are definitely knocking on the door in terms of our showings at Phillip Island. I felt really comfortable in race two up until lap ten. Going into the hairpin I struggled on the downshift. I missed gear and ran off the track. Unfortunately, on that lap I lost 1.6 seconds. A couple of laps later Giugliano and I came together and I lost another 1.6 seconds. Overall, we made a couple of small changes to the bike for today and I felt much, much more comfortable. Unfortunately I was not in the correct track position in the last five laps of the race. I am happy for the progress we have made and it something we can take forward. I have never been great here, for some reason, because I love the place."

 

Sylvain Guintoli:

“It’s been a really solid weekend for us and a strong start to the season here at Phillip Island. Obviously after the hype of the return of Yamaha and the new YZF-R1 in the Superbike World Championship there was a lot of expectation, but the reality is that we are still at the very beginning of the project. Like we said at the team launch a month ago, it is going to take some time to be able to win races but saying that, we've been a lot more competitive here that I thought we would be! We've been able to show some really good strengths, and also highlight where we need to keep improving, so this is very valuable data and experience for us as riders, for the team and for Yamaha.”

 

Alex Lowes:

“It's been a difficult and disappointing weekend in terms of results for me, but overall there are a lot of positives to take. My knowledge and understanding of the YZF-R1 and how best to ride it have developed a lot throughout the week, as we have shown in the improvement from Friday practice through Saturday. I had good pace in yesterday's race and a great start today, but unfortunately my crash this morning meant I had to roll out the spare bike for this afternoon and as it had only done two or three laps before this, there was a small technical issue that meant I couldn't push as I would have wanted. That's racing, and sometimes you just have to take the positives where you can, but I think we have many strengths to develop at such an early stage in the project and as the season progresses I will be pushing to achieve the best result I can for each and every race.”

 

SHARK men in the top-ten Down Under
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SHARK men in the top-ten Down Under
Tom Sykes - action
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SHARK men in the top-ten Down Under
Sylvain Guintoli - action
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SHARK men in the top-ten Down Under
Alex Lowes - action
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