Tom Sykes was happy with his race performance in the latest round of the World Superbike Championship at Monza, but admits qualifying tenth ruined his chances of a better result.
The British rider was on fine form in the run up to Superpole, qualifying a provisional second, but being left a disappointing tenth when it mattered.
Good efforts in both races lifted him up the order, but while Sykes displayed confident pace, the funnel at the start meant he lost touch with the lead group and was forced to play catch up for its remainder.
Nonetheless, a pair of sixth place finishes maintains Sykes' impressively consistent start to the year, moving him up to fifth in the overall standings, while Noriyuki Haga's retirement means the Briton is now the only rider to have finished the first ten races inside the top ten.
"In race one I got away ok, but the problem was getting stuck in that first chicane as I was starting from row three. As soon as it bottled up everything got spread out and unfortunately the lead group spread a long way and was hard to catch.
“I got past a couple of people and to be honest I thought I was going to catch them but halfway through the race I suffered from some brake fading. It was very unfortunate.
“In race two I got off the line fairly decently and had good race pace, I was looking quite strong but not able to get that last little bit. I guess it was one of those weekends, I've been fairly fast and consistent but spoilt it a bit with the qualifying.
Looking ahead to the immediate next round in South Africa, Sykes is confident he will fare better at Kyalami than he did in testing when he injured himself in an accident.
“I'm very confident in the bike and the team, especially for Kyalami and hope to have better memories after the race than when I tested there! All in all good weekend, two more scores on the board and moving up to fifth in the championship is great."