In the opening dry race Tom got a lightning start and by the end of the first 2.12-mile lap he had taken the lead. He relinquished the front spot by lap seven and then settled into a fight for the last step on the podium, eventually making a tough pass on Ducatiís Shane Byrne on the final corner to secure third. Ducatiís Leon Camier won the race.
In the second race after making a geometry change on his Rizla Suzuki, Tom was visibly more comfortable. He led from the half-way point until the last two laps when he was passed by eventual winner Leon Haslam on a Honda. He held on to second place and is now a close third in the Championship race behind runaway leader Byrne and Haslam.
Rizla Suzuki travels to Silverstone for the penultimate 11th round of the British Superbike Championship in two weeks times, with the race action taking place on Sunday, 28th September.
Tom: ďA big thank you to my Rizla Suzuki crew and to PJ, my Chief Mechanic, they worked hard and made the double podium result possible. In the opening race I was struggling for grip and feel so PJ made some major changes to the chassis geometry for the second race that really worked. I only wish I could have rewarded the boys with a win.
ďItís tight in the race for second in the Championship and now Iím four points behind Haslam. Iíll be looking to get those points back with interest at the next round and as long as there is a mathematical chance of winning the Championship I am not going to give up, itís still all to play for.Ē
Atsu: ďIt has been a difficult race day for us and I am not happy with the results, I would prefer to be in top 10. I am OK that my lap times keep improving and my Rizla Suzuki is good but I want better result.Ē
Jack Valentine, Rizla Suzuki Team Manager: ďI am happy to have achieved two strong podiums but disappointed that we didnít get a win at the same time. Tom was brilliant in race two but a lack of grip with three laps to go allowed Haslam to nip past him and take the victory. The race for second place in the Championship is going down to the wire and while Shakey is still within reach, then we will keep going for the wins and see what happens.
ďAtsu tried hard but ended up in no-manís land. He needs to dig in and get into the group just in front fighting for seventh Ė 10th and that will bring on his performance. He can run the lap times and has a fast bike so will be eager to score more top 10s in the last two rounds.Ē
Race One Result
1: Leon Camier (Ducati) 27:06.760
2: Leon Haslam (Honda) +2.544
3: TOM SYKES (RIZLA SUZUKI) +6.113
4: Cal Crutchlow (Honda) +6.366
5: Shane Byrne (Ducati) +6.581
6: Michael Rutter (Ducati) +13.889
7: Michael Laverty (Suzuki) +19.031
8: Karl Harris (Yamaha) +19.583
9: James Ellison (Honda) +19.722
10: Simon Andrews (Yamaha) +24.907
12: ATSUSHI WATANABE (RIZLA SUZUKI) +31.013
Race Two Result
1: Haslam 27:04.305
2: TOM SYKES (RIZLA SUZUKI) +1.133
3: Crutchlow +1.614
4: Byrne +1.864
5: Camier +3.740
6: Rutter + 9.788
7: Ellison +17.037
8: Harris +18.735
9: Andrews +19.893
10: Laverty +21.857
12: ATSUSHI WATANABE (RIZLA SUZUKI) +34.079
Championship Positions (after 10 of 12 rounds)
1: Byrne 388
2: Haslam 294
3: TOM SYKES (RIZLA SUZUKI) 290
4: Crutchlow 265
5: Camier 241
6: Rutter 215
7: Ellison 193
8: Laverty 140
9: Andrews 140
10: Harris 91
15: ATSUSHI WATANABE (RIZLA SUZUKI) 58.