Tom Sykes’ return to WorldSBK drew closer on Tuesday as pre-season testing concluded at Philip Island ahead of 2023’s opening round.
While the timesheets may not have read to his liking - Sykes’ 1’32.075 best placed him 19th in the combined results on Tuesday evening - and despite two turn four crashes across the two days, the Yorkshireman was confident of the work completed with the Puccetti Kawasaki team in preparation for his first race back on the world stage.
“We’ve collected a huge amount of data during the course of these sessions,” Sykes said of the two days in Australia. “We didn’t attempt a flying lap but focused on some important aspects of our bike.
“We’re still lacking a little speed and need to improve in certain areas, but we know what direction to take.
“Unfortunately, I lost the front through a corner and crashed at one point,” he admitted of his Miller corner off. “I want to apologise to the guys as they had a lot of work to do to repair the bike.
“In the final session we tested the bike we’ll use in the race and I have to say that it made a great impression. We now have two more days to analyse the data and I think by Friday afternoon we’ll be clear as to where we are and can start focusing on results. I want to thank the entire Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team for their great work – I feel optimistic as we head into the season.”