Sport Sykes 'happy to put 2017 in a box' after race two crash cost him second in standings

15:35  05 november  2017
15:35  05 november  2017 Source:   Read Sport

Luthi out of Sepang race, Morbidelli crowned Moto2 world champion

  Luthi out of Sepang race, Morbidelli crowned Moto2 world champion Tom Luthi has been declared unfit to race in the Moto2 Malaysian Grand Prix due to an ankle fracture, securing the 2017 world championship for Franco Morbidelli. Swiss rider Luthi suffered a massive highside crash exiting Turn2 towards the end of qualifying at Sepang, and while escaping a concussion after a heavy hit to the tarmac, a fracture to his ankle forced him to withdraw from the event ahead of Sunday morning warm-up. Twitter: This was the crash that ended @ThomasLUTHI’s 2017 #Moto2 title hopes Get well soon Tom #MalaysianGP https://t.co/8xYU8bOgCG (@MotoGP) Trailing Morbidelli by 29 points ahead of this race, missing the Sepang race hands the world championship to the Italian. Morbidelli has been a fixture on the Moto2 grid permanently since 2014, and a switch to the championship-winning Marc VDS team last season turned him into a front-runner on the intermediate class. The Valentino Rossi-backed Italian stormed to victory in the first three races of the season, and he brushed off a crash at Jerez with a fourth win of the year at France two weeks later. He returned to the top step of the podium at Assen, and headed into the summer break in firm command of the standings after winning the German Grand Prix. Another win and a third in Austria and Great Britain put an eighth in a wet Brno to the back of his mind.

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Tom Sykes says he is putting the 2017 season ‘in a box’ after a crash in the early stages of race two cost him the chance to fight for runner-up spot in the championship.

The Kawasaki rider endured a tough Qatar weekend from the outset, with an engine failure in second practice robbing him of race set-up time, while a suspected faulty rear Pirellityre saw him struggle to sixth in race one.

a group of people riding on the back of a motorcycle: Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images Sport © Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images Sport Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images Sport

10 points down on Ducati’sChaz Davies in their battle for second, Sykes was in the podium places when he touched a white line rounding Turn 14 and slid into retirement.

Rea heads Sykes in opening practice in Qatar

  Rea heads Sykes in opening practice in Qatar World champion Jonathan Rea dominated the opening practice session for the final round of the 2017 World Superbike season in Qatar, with Kawasaki team-mate Tom Sykes second quickest. Rea – who is yet to win at the Losail Circuit – comes into this weekend’s final round of the 2017 campaign seeking to cap off his historic year with one more record, as he aims to surpass double world champion Colin Edwards’ points tally of 552 from 2002. The Northern Irishman must take victory in both races to do so, and he hit the ground running by hitting the top of the timesheets straight away with a 1m59.358s before lowering that to a 1m59.002s. With 10 minutes gone, Rea had dipped underneath the 1m59s bracket with a 1m58.933s to go almost seven tenths clear of second-placed Alex Lowes, who crashed at the first corner just before Rea extended his advantage. The Kawasaki man remained unchallenged at the top of the timesheets for the next 30 minutes, until stablemate Sykes edged ahead with a 1m58.355s. Keen to reassert his dominance, Rea blitzed the field with a 1m57.888s in the final five minutes before cementing top spot with a 1m57.666s on his final lap. Sykes could not better his 1m58.355s and ended the session second ahead of Ducati’sChaz Davies, with whom he is battling for second in the standings. After the Jerez round, the pair are level on 363 points. Lowes‘ team were able to repair his damaged Yamaha R1 and get the Briton back out on track in the closing stages. He managed a 1m58.

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This was Jonathan's fifth win from five starts in 2017 . Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) put a second official Ninja ZX-10RR on the podium, in third place. After qualifying second and third in Superpole 2 earlier in the day

Sykes – who broke his finger and wrist in a crash in Portugal in September – praised his riding gear for making sure he remained unscathed in the crash, and concedes taking second from Davies would have been difficult given the Welshman’s pace in second in the race.

“I’m absolutely OK. My gear did its job, Dainese and Shark did their job and I have walked away from that one,” said Sykes.

“There is nothing much to say really. I am just disappointed.

“We made some small steps with the bike, it felt better than it has done all weekend and I am confident that the bike, even if it wasn’t quick on initial lap time, if there’s one thing for certain it would have stayed flat for the race.

“So I was excited after the first couple of laps, but unfortunately it’s a small error.

Perez: Force India team orders must end now

  Perez: Force India team orders must end now Sergio Perez believes Force India should stop implementing team orders, which prevent him and team-mate Esteban Ocon from racing with fourth in the constructors’ championship sealed. After notable clashes in Montreal, Baku and Spa the pair were told they could no longer race freely until fourth place in the constructors’ standings had been made secure. The Mexican driver now wants to see the power put back into their hands. He told Motorsport.com: “They have told us that they have let us race once we secure the fourth place and I think it is important for Esteban and myself to show good trust, and that we can do good races between us.” Force India’s chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer slammed both drivers after the Belgian Grand Prix and even threatened them with race bans if their behaviour on track continued. Despite fourth in constructors’ standings sealed at the Mexican Grand Prix, Szafnauer is still hesitant about allowing his two drivers on the track without restrictions with two races and an end of season test still to go. After the race, he added: “We’ve got a couple of weeks to decide. You know it’s better for the fans if they are allowed to race, but at the same time, car parts aren’t cheap. “You crash into each other and maybe have to buy some more for the last race. You have a test after in Abu Dhabi. So all those considerations have to come in to play as well.

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2 nd goal came seconds after they blatantly cross checked an Anaheim player

“I ran maybe 2cm tighter, just touched a white line on a fast turn. There was obviously a little bit of sand on there and I lost traction at full lean angle.

“It is a small mistake with a big consequence and it is not the way I wanted to end the season.

“Fighting for second in the championship might have been a tall order looking at where Chaz finished, but 2017 is finished so we are happy to put it in a box and start again for next season.”

a man holding a sign: Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images Sport © Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images Sport Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images Sport

Davies carved through into the lead by Turn 2 after making, what he described as, the ‘best start’ of his career, though almost joined Sykes on the sidelines when he highsided exiting Turn 5 on lap four.

The Ducati rider managed to stay mounted, and settled into second when he was informed Sykes had crashed out.

“We sealed second position in the championship, which was our goal going into this round, so I’m very happy,” said Davies.

“It’s been another tough race. I probably made the best start of my career, then got my head down while keeping an eye on Sykes’ position.

“I nearly crashed at Turn 5, it felt like a rodeo but I hung onto it. Once I saw Sykes was out, I just tried to control the gap as second place was the best we could do today.”

a man wearing a hat: FIM Superbike World Championship in Qatar - Race 1 © Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images Sport FIM Superbike World Championship in Qatar - Race 1

Hamilton feels qualifying crash cost him easy victory .
Lewis Hamilton believes had he not binned his Mercedes into the barriers in qualifying he had the pace to win the Brazilian Grand Prix. Hamilton lost control of the car at Turn 6 on his first run, forcing him to start from the pitlane on Sunday following damage to the left-hand side of the Mercedes. The four-time world champion fought his way through the field to finish fourth just five seconds off race winner Sebastian Vettel, earning him the ‘Driver of the Day’ accolade. While Hamilton hailed his fightback as “fun”, the Briton reckons it was a missed opportunity for a 10th win of the season. “It was fun, it felt reminiscent of my karting days, when we started at the back, particularly my first year or two,” said Hamilton. “I think, on one side, I messed up yesterday and put myself in the worst position. “I was quick enough to win this race from pole to the [chequered] flag and I didn’t do that, so I made the job a lot harder today. “But waking up this morning, my goal was really to try to redeem myself for yesterday’s mistake and really do the team proud and try to get points back. I was trying to get up to third, but I just ran out of tyres at the end, but I enjoyed the race, I enjoyed the battle. “Hopefully that continues to show me but also to show everyone that I still have a lot of fire in my heart, I’m still young at heart and still got many, many more races to go!” Hamilton assured his accident on Saturday was behind him as he looks to finish the year on a high at the final round in Abu Dhabi. “I’ve had a very clean year with no crashes, then I damage the car,” he added. “But as I said, yesterday’s behind me, today has been positive, to get back to fourth, I have to be very, very grateful and happy with that for sure.

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