Tom Sykes is delighted with the progress being made by the Kawasaki Racing Team after an encouraging weekend at Miller Motorsports Park.
The Yorkshireman had failed to break into the top ten since the opening weekend in Australia but put that right with two determined rides in Utah.
Despite a poor start, Sykes battled his way through the field to finish sixth in race one, his best result of the season so far and he followed that up with tenth in race two. That race was highlighted by a thrilling battle with Castrol Honda's Jonathan Rea which went down to the very last corner.
Sykes believes this weekend's display bodes well for the rest of the season and feels the team may have turned the corner with the new ZX-10R machine.
“Sixth in race one was a positive result and a real improvement on last year’s efforts here. We were strong at the end of the race and set my best lap time three laps from the end. In the second race we did not make any real set-up changes and I had a lot better launch in race two but unfortunately I got boxed in on turn one. The whole race was faster than race one but I ended up in a bit of a dice with Jonathan Rea and that allowed Ayrton Badovini to catch and pass me. I am confident we can go away and make more progress and I really want to thank all the team and Kawasaki. We worked together even tighter as a team and that showed through the weekend.”
Teammate Joan Lascorz was forced to make up for lost ground after failing to qualify for the Superpole session. The Spaniard was 17th in Saturday's first qualifying session and heavy rain on Sunday prevented him from improving his time.
Despite losing grip in the latter stages, Lascorz brought the ZX-10R home in 14th place in race one before coming 12th in race two, earning more valuable points for the Paul Bird Motorsport-run team.
Like his British teammate, Lascorz was encouraged by the pace of the Kawasaki machine and believed he could have done better had he not been compromised on the grid.
“I think I just need to keep understanding the bike a bit better to make the most of its potential. The second race set-up was better. I used the same rear tyre in each race but different front tyres to make different settings and race two was much better. I think if I had had a better grid position and made good starts we could have been inside the middle of the top ten, maybe.”