Sykes pleased with improvements.

Tom Sykes ended his first World Superbike test of the season on a high note as he came away from Portugal clutching the fourth quickest time of the weekend.

Sykes' arrival at Yamaha Italia has been fraught with problems following an illness during testing at Kyalami, while an accident in the same week left him with a broken foot too. Furthermore, with fellow rookie team-mate Ben Spies making headlines at the top of the timesheets, Sykes was under pressure to perform well in Portugal.

Nonetheless, despite an indifferent start to the test that left him outside the top ten initially, big gains over the course of the weekend would see him claim the fourth quickest time, just a tenth slower than the American.

A big confidence boost for the Brit, Sykes is now concentrating on making his World Superbike debut as a full-time rider in Australia next month.

“When we had a bit more stable weather I had two hours good track time. We used the time wisely and chipped away every time went out, a bit of improvement with everything and I got a nice feeling with the bike and got fast consistent laps so was more than happy.

“I'm very satisfied with how the test has gone, we've made up for lost time in South Africa, I was a little behind before but have caught up! I'm looking forward to getting to Australia. A couple more questions we need to answer with the bike then we're ready for the race!”

Related Pictures

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Tom Sykes in action at the first World Superbike test of the 2009 season at Portimao.
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Marc - Unregistered

January 30, 2009 8:13 PM

Hopefully this 66 can kick his butt. Mladin should have beat Spies but I think mentally he defeated himself by crashing when he shouldn't have in the past two years. Don't know much about Sykes but hope he has better luck. At the start of this season my guess would be that Ducati has an advantage but it would be nice to see several marks battling at each race for the win. This will help me get over the Motogp mess.

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