Tom Sykes admits to having a few sleepless nights during the past couple of weeks, but that is all down to the excitement of enjoying a maiden Bennetts British Superbike winning double, and then making his debut onto the World Superbike stage.

The Rizla Suzuki rider has put all of that behind him and is now concentrating hard on racking up more points in this weekend's eighth round at the short, but demanding Knockhill circuit.

"Winning at Oulton Park was fantastic, but now I have to keep that going and I look forward to more of those results, starting with these races," said the 22 year old Huddersfield rider. "The victories gave the team a big boost and after the excitement of riding at Brands Hatch and gaining experience in the World Superbikes, I have to take up where I left off in the British Championship.

"Those wins were so good for everyone - they really pumped me up and I was struggling to sleep as my mind was so active thinking about how I could get more.

"We had a bad start to the season and were very unlucky on several occasions but now is the time to begin pulling back serious points and making amends."

Sykes goes into these Scottish races in third place in the title stakes with the immediate goal of reeling in HM Plant Honda rider Cal Crutchlow, whom he trails by 37 points - the Coventry rider, who took sixth place in the recent Suzuka Eight Hours race, has scored points consistently but has not won since the Brands Hatch round back in May.

That is something that he is eager to put right at a circuit where Hondas dominated last term, but for him, and Sykes, the major problem is heading off the confident series leading Shane Byrne who has chalked up eight victories in a dominant campaign that has seen him open up a 99 point lead in the title stakes.

The Airwaves Ducati rider will be in action ahead of the meeting, along with his rivals, as he takes part in the 'Superbikes in the Square' event in George Square, Glasgow on Wednesday evening.

"I've got some really good memories of that event from last year, the crowds in Glasgow were fantastic so I can't wait to do it all again," reflected Byrne who is well on course to regain the crown he last held in 2003. "Taking the bikes into the city is a great way for us to open up our sport to new audiences and I hope everyone there will continue to follow the championship for the rest of the season."

Byrne's team-mate Leon Camier will be in action in that event, and then make a racing return, having missed the previous round in Cheshire through injury, while local hero, former Supersport champion Stuart Easton, is back aboard the MSS Discovery Kawasaki, having recovered from the wrist injuries sustained at Snetterton.

Leon Haslam, riding the second HM Plant Honda, is keen to better his third and second places of last year, to maintain his outside hopes of taking the crown as he comes under pressure from Hydrex Bike Animal Honda rider James Ellison in the rankings.

Michael Rutter, a winner at Mallory Park for the North West 200 Ducati team, and Michael Laverty aboard the Relentless Suzuki should also be at the sharp end of the action.

In the battle for the Daily Star Cup John Laverty riding the Buildbase NW200 Ducati expects to extend his advantage though under fire from Quay Garage Honda rider Gary Mason and Martin Jessop on the Riders Honda.


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