Rizla Suzuki team manager Jack Valentine has set his sights high ahead of Tom Sykes' World Superbike debut at Brands Hatch this weekend.
One of two British Superbike wild-card riders to appear in front of the home crowds this weekend, Sykes comes to Brands Hatch on a considerable high after breaking his BSB race win duck last time out at Oulton Park.
Keen to emulate the success of BSB rival Shane Byrne, who won as a wild-card at Brands Hatch back in 2003, Sykes' boss Valentine is hoping he can reach Superpole and qualify on the front row around the Kent circuit to give him a shot at a strong result in accomplished company.
“We are all really up for this World Superbike weekend and believe that Tom is capable of two impressive results. Our main focus initially will be to get into the top 16 to ensure he goes forward to Superpole. Ideally we would like a front row start to give him the best chance to get away with the lead group.”
Still, Valentine is expecting to be a tough one for Sykes, particularly as the championship enters a very crucial stage for the regular competitors.
“It will be a tough race as the World Superbike guys take no prisoners and they are on it right from the moment the lights go out. It will be one of the hardest races of his life but I'm sure Tom and his Rizla Suzuki squad are capable of rising to the challenge.”