Tom Sykes has expressed his desire to remain with the Yamaha WSB team for the 2010 World Superbike Championship, despite admitting his maiden season in the series hasn't gone entirely to plan.
Sykes has shown flashes of speed throughout the year around circuits he hasn't visited before, but while he is currently in the hunt for a spot inside the top five in the overall standings, he is yet to stand on the podium.
For the former British Superbike race winner, the failure to get on the podium thus far disappoints him, not least because he managed it on his World Superbike wild-card appearance at Donington Park in 2008.
Even so, having finished all but one race inside the points this season – including three top five results -, Sykes is confident he can achieve his aim by the year's conclusion.
“I approached this season as I would any other,” he told Crash.net Radio
. “I want to achieve the best that I can. It hasn't gone to plan, if I'm honest, because I wanted to be on the podium and tasting champagne by now. I feel that we are capable of doing that, but it's no secret I haven't found the right setting.
“Overall I'm happy with the team and the bike, but I am kicking myself because I know I can run at the front with these guys.”
Indeed, speculation about Sykes' future in the team, particularly alongside team-mate Ben Spies, has been raised, with fellow Yamaha riders Cal Crutchlow and Leon Camier, who are currently dominating the World Supersport and British Superbike Championships respectively, being mooted for a possible graduation.
Nonetheless, Sykes is shrugging off the rumours, emphasising that it is up to him to ensure that he maintains his progress to the end of the season.
“That is up to Yamaha,” he added. “I am happy here and it is a fantastic team. It has been difficult in the first year because of the level of competition, so the punishment doesn't really fit the crime. I know there are people gunning for my ride, but I can only express how happy I am here.
“I know there are a few young riders doing well, although I think they could have their eyes open in the same situation.”