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Brno WorldSBK: Sykes again frustrated by race performance

Superpole number 45 came along for Tom Sykes at Brno, putting him even further ahead in this particular aspect of WorldSBK competition – but one pole became third place and Sykes was seven seconds behind his own team-mate Jonathan Rea and the win.

Sykes will be looking for a bike that turns better in race two than his bike did today, to utilise all of his rear traction. He ended up having to look behind for a long time as Alex Lowes was right with him, before the Yamaha rider dropped to fifth, and Michael van der Mark finished fourth, four seconds from Sykes.

“I was watching my board and listening to my tyres really, I did not want to push too much in the middle of the race and lay too much rubber on the track,” said Sykes. “I wanted to keep some on the tyre.


"Even though the race was shortened to 16 laps it is still along way around this circuit on the edge of the tyres. We had a decent bike in the middle of the race but we just missed out in the beginning.”

Again Sykes could not find his best form in a race, and it is made all the more annoying for him as he is so fast in qualifying. “It is so unbelievably frustrating. To have 45 pole positions but not be able to extract the best from the race tyre when it is fresh is a little bit frustrating. We will work hard tomorrow and try to go two places better.”

When asked why this year all the rider with the exception of Rea are having so many ups and downs, Sykes had some insiders insights to explain.

“Hard for me to say but Jonathan has been having an exceptional year and it is just a shame that we lost a lot of points at the beginning, around 40 points. I have been there or there about on the podiums scoring the results.”

He continued, “The Kawasaki has been well developed. In 2012 and 2013 it was a well developed bike and since then it has been the bike to beat. I think this is it, really. Jonathan is a good rider, riding in a very consistent package. I think that is the secret just at the moment.”

Some others do not have that consistency across the board, says Sykes. “Some of the other manufacturers are still specialising in certain areas, where the Kawasaki, when it was developed in those early years, we kind of tried to tick all the boxes.

"Some boxes we miss out on now, sure, like stopping, we are not quite as keen at stopping as some of the other guys, but we make up in other areas. Consistently, we might not be a ten in one area, but we are nine across the board. So, this is hard for other manufacturers to beat.

"There are two other manufacturers I see on the grid with great potential, and their time will come. The Kawasaki is a well developed bike and there is only so far you can go with that in terms of production base.”

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