MOTORSPORT NEWS WORLD SUPER BIKES

Tom Sykes sets sights on strong finish

 Sykes heads into the last two rounds of the World Superbikes Championship well placed to retain his title.Huddersfield’s 2013 world champion finished fifth and then third place in round 10 at Jerez and the Kawasaki Racing Team Ninja ZX-10R rider now heads to France’s Magny-Cours and then Doha in Qatar with a 31 point lead over his nearest challenger Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli.

Tom Sykes
Tom Sykes

“A lot of hard riding got me the podium in race two because physically it was really difficult,” said the 29-year-old.

“I had to use a lot of rider input. We made some changes in race two and came close to the front in third place.

“There was nothing more I could do and tried my hardest. I always thought this weekend could be a little bit uphill.

“Overall, I have to say I am satisfied, particularly as we had some misfortunes in race one.

“We did a decent job and we have not lost too much ground.

“I am very motivated and we have tried a lot of things this weekend. We will continue with our racing season and the guys have worked super hard to cater to my requests and needs here, so it was nice to repay them with a podium finish in race two.”

In the first 20-lap WSBK race Sykes moved up and down the order after missing a gear near the start, and had to work hard to overcome a less than ideal race set-up in cool conditions to finish fifth behind double race winner Aprilia’s Marco Melandri.

A strong recovery from Sykes in race two, in which he finished third, saw him defend his championship leading status in determined fashion, with his 14th podium finish of the year leaving him now 31 points in the championship lead over Jerez double second place man, Guintoli.

In the Superstock class Fenay Bridge racer Kyle Smith was in the points again as he guided his Agro-On WIL Racedays Honda to a seventh place finish.