Sykes surprised with practice pace

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Tom Sykes was left surprised to be fastest on the opening day at Donington Park after opting to work on race set-up instead of searching for a single fast lap.

The 2013 World Champion has won the last six races at the Leicestershire circuit but wasn’t looking to top the table on the opening day as he focused on consistency.

However, it was close between him and team-mate Jonathan Rea with the pair separated by just 0.039sec after FP2.

“I’m a little bit surprised to be fastest as we haven’t really stretched ourselves for that lap time, we’ve been working hard on distance so it’s nice to be on top,” Sykes told MCN after the session. “Friday has been good, the sun has been out, we’ve been able to work on set-up and I’m happy, confident and relaxed.

“We need to make some small modifications for tomorrow but in this moment we are happy enough. Our hard work is coming to the forefront now and hopefully we can start to turn things around and show more of my potential.

“There are still areas I need to improve my feeling and if we can do so I’ll be a bit happier but at the moment we have good consistency. A couple of guys are very strong and always will be, it’s a World Championship but we’ll work hard at it and see what we can do.”

Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing