Sykes relishing title conclusion under floodlights

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Tom Sykes is relishing the opportunity to lift his second World Superbike title this weekend under the floodlights at Qatar, with the reigning champion saying he can’t wait to return to a track he loves.

Twelve points clear of Aprilia rider Sylvain Guintoli in second after a rain hit race last time out in France, Sykes knows what he has to do with fifty points left up for grabs.

“I’m really looking forward to racing at Losail because its a track I have competed at before, as well as being here for the ZX-10R launch. I rode under the floodlights during the launch and it is a completely different experience – and one that I am really looking forward to again. The layout at Losail is fantastic as you can open up the full potential of a Superbike and you feel that there is a good element of safety, so I cannot wait to get going on Friday evening.

“It has come down to crunch time and there is a lot at stake at this meeting – but I am just looking to go out and do what we normally do. There has been some input from the weather in the championship recently, which obviously made it closer than it perhaps would have been, but the long and short of it is that we are the ones with the advantage, so we need to make the most of that. I am in the very fortunate position that this is the third year on the bounce that we have been battling for the world championship so we just need to see what we can make of it on raceday.”

With team orders coming into play last time out in France, Sykes will also have the support of teammate Loris Baz, who despite being a newcomer to the Losail track is an old hand at racing in the dark, as a former Le Mans 24hr winner.

“It will be my first time ever to race at Qatar this weekend and it looks like a good circuit. I am happy to finish the season at a track like that because I am sure I can have a good result, if I can get some good luck on my side a little bit. I have studied the track so much I feel like I have already been there, by watching previous the races that have taken place there and learning the layout. It is quite flat so I hope it will be relatively easy to learn. From what I hear it is not really like riding at night under the floodlights though; more like riding during the day!”

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer