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Podium finishes secure second for Tom.

Byline: PETE BARROW Sports Writer peter.barrow@trinitymirror.com

HUDDERSFIELD racer Tom Sykes moved into second place in the World Superbikes Championship after two podium finishes in the fourth round in Holland.

On the famous Assen TT Circuit the 31-year-old took two second places behind his Kawasaki Racing Team colleague Jonathan Rea - who further extended his lead in the championship.

Now 2013 world champion Sykes has 131 points for the campaign, trailing teammate and reigning world champion Rea, who is on 195 points, but now back in front of Ducati's Chaz Davies on 111.

After a strong showing in race one, Rea started the second race of round four in Assen from ninth on the grid, but made a brilliant start and needed less than three laps to surge into the lead.

The Northern Irishman looked to be cruising to an 11th win at the Dutch circuit in the 200th race of his career, only to run wide on lap 10 and allow Kawasaki teammate Sykes to close the gap.

Sykes made a last-ditch bid for victory as he powered out of the final corner, but Rea held on for the win move 64 points ahead of Sykes in the standings.

However, Sykes, who has been hampered over recent weeks by stomach problem, was happy enough with his performance and said: "Obviously I did not feel 100 per cent fit but that is no excuse.

"On the bike we just had some limitations for the set-up in the first race. "We can make a change in set-and be stronger, taking all things into consideration.

"But it is all about confidence, so feel we can improve." The fifth round of the WSB Championship is in Italy at Imola's Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari over the weekend of May 12-14.

|Kyle Smith finally got his 2017 World Supersport season up and running with his first points at Assen. The fourth round in Holland brought a return of five points for the 25-year-old, who is from Fenay Bridge but is based in Spain, as he brought the Gemar Team Lorini Honda CBR600RR home in 11th place.

|OULTON Park proved a happy hunting ground for both Denby Dale rider Tom Tunstall and Marsdenbased team Mission Racing.

In the second round of the British Superbikes Superstock 1000 class campaign both picked up significant points at the Cheshire track.

For the Mission team BMW rider Chrissy Rouse moved himself into fourth in the championship standings with a second place finish. The 21-year-old Geordie was pipped by Mason Law, but took 20 points to take his season's tally to 63 points.

For veteran racer Tunstall the new season is unfolding very favourably.

On his Integro-backed BMW, Tunstall finished sixth and now lies 12th in the championship having taken 22 points so far.

Mission did not enjoy so much success in the Superstock 600 class with Jordan Gilbert slipping to fifth in the standings after not taking points at Oulton Park.

The next meeting for the Superstock 1000 and 600 racers is at Donington Park in the World Superbikes Championship meeting over the weekend of May 26-28.

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:May 4, 2017
Words:520
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