Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes said he will continue to fight World Superbike championship leader Jonathan Rea after another double for the Ulsterman left him a huge 66 points adrift in the title race.
Sykes ran his team-mate close in yesterday’s race at Misano, finishing just 0.09s away from the win despite never making a passing move.
Sunday’s second race was a different affair though, as the Yorkshireman got the lead on lap one and held onto it until lap 17, when Rea first passed him and then quickly gapped him to win by nearly three seconds.
When asked whether Rea had gotten stronger, or he had struggled, Sykes surmised it was likely a combination of the two that led to the reigning champion making up another five points in his strong title lead.
“Yeah I don’t know,” he answered. “I think a little bit of both, I wasn’t as strong as I intended but also probably he found something extra.
“That’s how it looked because yesterday I don’t think he was quite so strong at the end of the race and I think I missed a very good chance to win.
“It’s disappointing for that, but pole position and two times second is normally an acceptable weekend so for this I’m grateful.
“It’s just a shame because Jonathan is obviously the one who’s in the championship and like I say we lost some ground but it doesn’t matter if I finish second or tenth as long as he was beaten as we obviously have negative effect in the points results.”
Sykes said his problems were mainly steering-based and being able to turn, particularly in the first sector.
Despite the gap, the championship’s second placed man said he will challenge Rea all the way and he believes the championship is still alive, if only just and that tomorrow’s schedule test will help.
“Everyone keeps pointing it out that he’s got the gap, but there’s still five more rounds to go so we’ve got a long time to go, so giving up isn’t my focus yet,” declared Sykes.
“The focus is clear, we’ve had our limitation all weekend, a similar limitation to what we’ve had for a long time but in race two it was really clear.
“Hopefully tomorrow we’ll have good conditions because I’m very interested to find a solution for this and I’m confident we can do so.”