Tom Sykes is confident he has the pace to keep up with the leaders during the two World Superbike Championship races at Assen after qualifying eighth.

A big improvement for Sykes, who was eliminated from Q1 last time out at Valencia, the British rider chose not to risk his chances again, using the qualification rubber to reach Q2 and then again to make the shootout.

Resorting to the remaining race tyre for the shootout, although Sykes finished at the bottom end of the top eight, he echoed team-mate Ben Spies in being encouraged by the consistent pace he has been enjoying over longer runs

"There's maybe one or two more things I want to do in the same direction and hopefully make this a good race setting for tomorrow. Already I think we've got a decent set-up and after ten laps we were in the low 1min 39s.

"Superpole was good for me. I did the first round on qualifiers just to make sure and get through to session two. Then we had to use the second qualifiers to get into the top eight.

"In the final session we were reduced to race tyres, but I still did two 1min 38secs laps, which was good. Hopefully we have a very good race pace now so tomorrow is looking promising."


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