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Wednesday 26 September 2012 Updated: 26/09 16:36
TOM SYKES had every right to be pointing the finger of blame as his World Superbike championship dreams all-but died in Portimao – but the Leamington rider cut a phlegmatic figure in Portugal.
Sykes arrived at the penultimate round of the WSB season with his Championship hopes alive and kicking – sitting just 26.5 points shy of leader Max Biaggi.
And, after winning the first race of the day in Portugal, the 25 points garnered moved Sykes to within just 14.5 points of the Italian with three races remaining this season.
However, the highs of victory in race one were replaced by a crushing low in the second when the 27-year-old Kawasaki Racing rider was forced to retire early with bike issues.
A solid third-place finish from Biaggi saw the Roman Emperor – who finished the first race in fourth – stretch his advantage back to 30.5 points.
That leaves Sykes with a mountain to climb at the season finale at Magny Cours on October 7 with just 50 points available however, the Grinner refused to be downcast.
Sykes had profited from the opening race being re-started to eventually take his third win of the season, and he said: “We have had some good luck and also had some bad luck.
“Obviously on the good luck side in race one, in the first start, we were really struggling.
“We made two big changes to the bike after the race was stopped so on the restart it was a different bike and I was able to do what I wanted with it.
“I felt more comfortable. I was feeling confident for race two because we had done a lot of work over the weekend and I definitely felt we could have had a very strong race.
“Honestly I felt I could have been top two in that second race, or maybe even better, but it is what it is.
“Everybody has seen what happens in racing. Anything and everything can happen. We had a win in race one, we had problems in race two, and that is what happens sometimes.
“We are racing at a very high level and sometimes you get dealt this card. I accept it even though it is hard to take having got to within 14.5 points of the lead after race one. I felt I could have reduced that gap again.”
Sykes, who is ranked second overall, will have to pick himself up to try and achieve the impossible in France next month and he added: “It was not to be, so what can you do? We go to France next, we pick up where we left off and try to have a strong weekend.”
British Eurosport is the Home of Bikes, showing all MotoGP, World Superbike and British Superbike races on Sky channels 410 and 411 and Virgin Media channels 521 and 525 as well as eurosportplayer.co.uk
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