Tom Sykes is trying not to think about the mathematical permutations involved in this weekend’s World Superbike Championship decider at Jerez. The championship leader arrives in Spain with a 37 point lead and a podium finish would see him crowned champion in race one on Sunday.
Whatever rivals Eugene Laverty and Sylvain Guintoli do, Sykes requires fourteen points to take the title and is trying to treat the weekend as normally as possible.
“Jerez is a very exciting circuit and it is one which we have tested at in the winter. We had a couple of tests there and luckily we have some good track information. Everything is in place for us to go there and start racing again. I hear people saying I need ‘X’ amount of points or I need to finish in this-or-that position in this race, and so on, but we just need go there and work on our own thing and see what happens after two races. I am expecting some of our competition to be strong but we have made improvements on our bike and we will start on Friday morning and see where we are. Jerez is a good circuit to work on to find bike set-up improvements. I am quite relaxed. This will be the last round and it all boils down to the last round – again. Last year we were 30.5 points behind at this stage and now we are 37 points in front. We are in a much better position and that is the way I am looking at it. I just want to go and enjoy the weekend like always. Hopefully come Sunday afternoon, if all things go well, then we can really enjoy the weekend.”
Kawasaki will also be boosted by the return of Loris Baz with the Frenchman returning after missing the last eight races with a back injury. Bas is confident of passing the necessary fitness tests in Spain and is targeting a top six finish in the championship.
“I went to have a scan earlier today and everything was fine. The specialist was really happy because the vertebra is healing really well and really fast, so that is good. We are just waiting for the approval from the medical staff at the races now but all the medical people from Barcelona and Geneva say I will be OK to ride. I will try my best this weekend and I am pretty sure I should not have any pain on the bike. I will make the first session on Friday and see how it is. I would like to finish the season strongly but you never know how you feel after you come back from an injury. I am sure I will be able to fight near the front and I will do my best to take back the sixth place I lost in the championship standing after Magny Cours.”