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Sykes in contention, Watanabe improving.

Tom Sykes has pronounced himself happy with his qualifying performance ahead of the British Superbike season finale at Brands Hatch.

Squeezing onto the front row of the grid in fourth place, the Rizla Suzuki rider bumped James Ellison down to fifth with his final effort to put him on a par with runners-up rivals Leon Haslam and Cal Crutchlow.

Although he admits there is still some speed to find before he can call himself confident of a victory fight, Sykes is nonetheless adamant he will be well prepared come race day.

“I am happy with the front row,” he said. “If you get a good start you can force your way uphill and make a place or two and that's my plan. All weekend I have been searching for a balance with my Rizla Suzuki and we have made improvements.

“We are good for the race and we will try another little change for warm-up to see if we can gain a bit more speed, I hope the weather stays dry it'll make for great races.”

Team-mate Atsushi Watanabe, meanwhile, showed a significant improvement over his pace in free practice but he still missed the Q3 cut to emerge 12th.

“My Rizla Suzuki is getting better and I am OK with 12th place and third row. My feeling for the bike is now good and I think top 10 is possible in races.”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sykes, BSB Silverstone. Race 1.
Bradley Ray, Buildbase Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Sylvain Guintoli, Bennetts Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Michael Dunlop, Bennetts Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Bradley Ray, Buildbase Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Taylor Mackenzie, Bennetts Suzuki, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Sylvain Guintoli, Bennetts Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
John Hopkins, British Moto Rapido [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Brookes, Anvil Hire Yamaha, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Michael Laverty, McAMS Yamaha, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Glenn Irwin, Be Wiser Ducati [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Bridewell, Team WD-40 Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Jakub Smrz, Lloyd & Jones/PR Racing BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Jakub Smrz, Lloyd & Jones/PR Racing BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Peter Hickman, Smiths BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Bradley Ray, Buildbase Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
John Hopkins, British Moto Rapido [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Luke Mossey, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]

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