Rea: It was impossible to pass Sykes

Kawasaki rider Jonathan Rea has admitted that team-mate Tom Sykes didn’t get him a single opportunity to pass him in race two in Thailand on Sunday. 

After triumphing in race one on Saturday, Rea was looking to extend his lead at the top of the World Superbike standings, but Sykes prevented that with a sensational performance.

Despite finishing second, Rea, who is the reigning World Superbike champion, was delighted to secure 45 points at the Chang International Circuit.

“I’m happy to leave here with 45 points,” Rea told reporters. “The competition this year is so strong and the pace in both races was so fast. We made some small improvements for race two, I had a bike I could fight with and more traction.

“I enjoyed the first part of the race but on lap six or seven, Tom really dropped his pace. I wasn’t sure what he was doing but I was quite happy just to sit there but when I tried to make some moves, then his strategy completely changed.

“It was more about blocking me than going away. I did everything I could but when he is riding on point and defending so well, it was impossible to take the race win.

“I had a couple of plans in place, one was to get the holeshot and go away because we had a good pace from lap ten but the was a bit slow. I let Tom manage the race and he did a good job, and then I started thinking about places to pass but it was impossible. Tom did an incredible job and it gives me motivation to come out swinging at Aragon.”

Rea has already claimed 95 points this season, while Sykes is 29 points behind in second place.