Tom Sykes was delighted with his preparation for this weekend’s opening round of the World Superbike Championship after finishing fourth quickest on Friday at Phillip Island. The Kawasaki rider has never won a WorldSBK race in Australia but has high hopes of ending his drought after a promising run on used tyres today.
Rain is currently forecast for Saturday’s opening race and the Yorkshireman is praying it stays away after proving so competitive in the dry.
“I am very happy with today’s results. We have just done a long run on the tyres. In that last FP3 session we used the tyre from the previous session, so it has 28 laps on it now. My fastest lap today was on lap 16 on that same tyre, so I am happy. We were going to use a new set of tyres later today but we tried a couple of new things on the bike and it is working flawlessly at the moment. I am really enjoying riding it and I’m looking forward to the race. If it is dry then we are very well prepared.”
Team-mate Jonathan Rea was one place further back in fifth and, much like Sykes, feels confident that he has the pace to fight for victory in the dry.
“We put everything together and tried something we were thinking about from the test, to put together for the weekend. Unfortunately we missed the first session due to rain and in the second session the change we tried was not exactly right. We tried something a little bit different for the last session to try and give me a bit of front end confidence, and I got it. Not many people improved their lap time in the last session but I was constantly on a really good pace in those conditions and I feel good for tomorrow. I was on course to be fastest but I had a huge moment in T11. I just got a little bit too excited because I knew it was a good lap time!”