Tom Sykes says he isn't feeling the pressure ahead of his home World Superbike Championship event at Donington Park, despite 'letting himself down' in qualifying.
Less than a year on from when he made an impression on the WSBK paddock by claiming a wild-card podium with Rizla Suzuki, a performance that led to his ride with Yamaha, Sykes was confident of challenging for honours around a circuit he is familiar with.
However, while the Yamaha rider showed good form during the shootout, a tactical error in Q2, when he decided not to attempt a final flying lap, proved his undoing as he was bumped down from fifth to tenth in the final minute.
Indeed, Sykes was bitterly disappointed to miss out on reaching the shootout, but remains confident he still has strong race pace.
“There is no pressure,” he told Crash.net Radio
. “We have very strong race pace and I think Ben is the only person who is really in front of me at the moment.
“We've ended up on row three, which I'm mad about - I could do with a bit of sparring to ease the tension! It has been a disappointing day and I am beating myself up about it.
“I want to be on the front row and I feel I have let myself down a bit because a good front row would have seen me take the fight to Ben. I'd love to race him for a change. We'll make the most of tomorrow.”
Sykes has begun race day in fine style by going second fastest during warm-up.