Motorcycling
Sykes makes solid start

29/02 Updated: 29/02 14:49

LEAMINGTON’S Tom Sykes is adamant a message has been sent out to the World Superbike paddock after he completed his best-ever weekend at the opening round of his fourth season on Phillip Island.

The 26-year-old has been solid if unspectacular since making the jump from the British to the global stage, finishing ninth overall in his first campaign in 2009 and then 14th and 13th.

Those previous two finishes came under the guise of the Kawasaki Racing Team and, with Sykes retained by the Japanese manufacturer this year, he appears to finally be finding his feet.

Sykes was the fastest rider during an official pre-season test at Phillip Island less than a week ago and he proved that was no fluke by storming to pole position in Australia.

He was in the top three for 13 laps of race one but, struggling with windy conditions, dropped to fourth before securing third in race two and Sykes believes his performances won’t go unnoticed.

“In race one I got a good start and over race distance I had been feeling really strong all week. It was a very difficult race though with the wind blowing me and the bike around,” said Sykes.

“But to be honest I had to use my head a bit and not get sucked into too much fighting. I was just trying to manage the gap behind.

“So to come away with a fourth, on a track like this, using the same tyres as the guys on the podium, is a bit of a first for us.

“It shows the progress Kawasaki has made over the winter and to take the podium on the last lap of race two was really satisfying.

“The bike has been working really well in winter testing so big thanks to the team; they were very focused.

“Race two was even windier than race one but my crew chief and team changed the balance of the bike and compensated for some things.”

Sykes took 29 points for his efforts in Australia and sits third in the overall rankings after one round – Max Biaggi, winner of race one, leading ahead of Marco Malandri with 45.

Reigning champion Carlos Checa topped the podium in race two and Sykes is adamant he showed on Phillip Island that he is more than capable of matching them this season.

“For sure we arrived at the limit but we were able to maintain a consistent pace right to the end. I had a good fight with Max for a couple of laps and a few corners,” he added.

“So to come away with pole position, third and fourth in the races I am over the moon especially as this circuit has never been a strong one for us in the past.”

British Eurosport is the Home of Bikes, showing all MotoGP, World Superbike and British Superbike races on Sky (410/411) and Virgin Media (521/525) or online/on mobile via eurosportplayer.co.uk

Popular Stories »

More sport »

Brakes bow out of Senior Cup

Leamington 0 West Bromwich Albion 1 ANY hopes

Khalsa are crowned champions

Khalsa 3 Warwick 0 THE champagne corks were

Lewis retains place at Lord’s

LEAMINGTON Cricket Club batsman Tom Lewis has been

OLs held at Pinley

Pinley 14 Old Leamingtonians 14 OLs were held

Regional sport »


Stratford Observer
Lewis revels in London experience

STRATFORD'S Keir Lewis revealed being roared down the home straight ...

Rugby Observer
First point on the road for Town

Southern League - Central Division Bedworth 1 Rugby 1 BANKHoliday ...

Coventry Observer
Sky Blues striker frustrated with Swindon Town point

SKY Blues striker Josh McQuoid admits he was disappointed not ...

Redditch Standard
Luckless Blues Ladies edged out by Gunners

Birmingham City Ladies 1 Arsenal Ladies 2 FA Women's Super ...

Business Directory »

See your advert here »