Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes has been battered by the effects of a triple-title-winning team-mate for three years and personal issues for what he says is about 18-months, but at Assen all the possible negativity was transformed into a race win that Sykes feels he could have had on Saturday.
His pace on both days was race-winning but his early laps and then his final laps on day one were not.
Grinning after winning, and almost tearfully happy, he explained why his nearly-there day one became an emphatic Sykes party day 24 hours later.
“I got into bed last night and I was disappointed with Saturday’s race,” Sykes told bikesportnews.com. “Even my team manager said, “why did you not pass Davies?” Because it was quite impossible – but we saw that today with Krummenacher in WorldSSP. He was about eight tenths faster but when he got to the leaders there it was difficult to pass, he finished second but had the speed to win by a long way.”
The negativity of his problems in his personal life were also used to good effect at Assen, for a change it seems.
“I changed nothing on my bike since Saturday,” said Sykes. “I have had a little bit of a personal battle recently and most of the secret was releasing this back into the race. We have had race winning performance at all the rounds this year. I proved to myself and some other people that the speed is not in doubt.”
He continued on the same theme as he explained how he won with such endless, crushing pace, with no rivals really interfering with his plan for all 21-laps.
“I have not had an easy time in the last 18 months or so,” confirmed Sykes. “Unfortunately in a battle the bike is not behaving how it should be, and I have said to the press that on a clear track it would be different – but people do not believe this outside of racing, or whatever. Last night I knew a little bit of the magic was there.
“I was amazed to see the gap on the pitboard in race two and I am very happy for this today. It is quite emotional and I was quite silent on the slowing down lap for a while, for a number of reasons, both professional and personal. Such a fantastic win especially in Jonathan Rea’s back garden. Really emotional.”
After having to play second fiddle to Rea on track, Sykes also thinks this race could change a few more minds about him closer to home. “Sometimes I am not happy with some of the comments inside the Kawasaki Racing Team, that perhaps come to me about my riding,” said Sykes. “But like I said today, on this Assen circuit that is Jonathan’s circuit, we can out some of those doubters back in the box.”
Sykes was rueful about his missed chance on Saturday, but said a start off the front row then may have been enough for him to make it two. “This weekend could have been and should have been a double,” he said, before explaining why he was not on the first grid row.
“But it is a chain of events. Rinaldi was an absolute dickhead in qualifying. Both of us could have missed both races. On data I was only a tenth off Jonathan, which could have been a front row start and influenced yesterday’s race result. But it is what it is. Today has made up for it.”