Kawasaki's Tom Sykes won the first World Superbike race of his career today in treacherous conditions in a rain-hit race that was called after 13 of its scheduled 20 laps with just 13 bikes on track.Sykes, in his 74th World Superbike start, inherited the lead when race-long leader Noriyuki Haga crashed out of the race on the 11th lap (with a 10-second lead), giving Kawasaki its first World Superbike win since Chris Walker won in Assen in 2006 - in a race that was also held in a rainstorm.Second place went to Effenbert-Liberty Racing Ducati's Sylvain Guintoli in his best finish of the season. To make the day even better for the privateer Ducati squad, Guintoli's teammate Jakub Smrz returned to the podium for the first time since the Miller Motorsports Park round at the end of May.Castrol Honda's Jonathan Rea's return to racing was a successful one with the Brit ending up fourth after crashing on the 12th lap and remounting. He was six seconds adrift of Smrz, but some 10 seconds ahead of Yamaha's Eugene Laverty.Yamaha's Marco Melandri ended up sixth to gain a few more points back on World Championship leader Carlos Checa. Checa ended up eighth after running as far back as 14th before attrition started to set in. Ayrton Badovini rode the BMW Motorrad Italia S1000 R to seventh.BMW's Leon Haslam ended up ninth with Maxime Berger rounding out the top 10. Joan Lascorz, Troy Corser and Roberto Rolfo were the final finishers.In addition to Haga, Makoto Tamada, Leon Camier, Mark Atchison and James Toseland crashed out of the race.Checa now leads the championship by 76 points over Melandri, 378-302. Non-starter Max Biaggi is still third in the title chase with 281 points - 49 ahead of Laverty. Haslam is fifth with 176 points - 200 points behind Checa.Superbike Race Two

1.                  Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)

2.                  Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati)

3.                  Jakub Smrz (Ducati)

4.                  Jonathan Rea (Honda)

5.                  Eugene Laverty (Yamaha)

6.                  Marco Melandri (Yamaha)

7.                  Ayrton Badovini (BMW)

8.                  Carlos Checa (Ducati)

9.                  Leon Haslam (BMW)

10.                  Maxime Berger (Ducati)

 

World Superbike Headlines

By Cycle News Staff

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