Tom Sykes feels he has a good base from which to progress despite enduring a troublesome debut for Kawasaki at the 2010 World Superbike Championship season opener in Australia.

The former Yamaha rider had set his sights on a top ten challenge at Phillip Island, but problems with set-up left him struggling for rear grip during race one before a mechanical issue ruled him out of race two contention early on.

Nonetheless, Sykes, who would leave the opening round with a sole 13th place finish in his pocket, was satisfied with his lap times over the course of the weekend.

"I was happy enough with our qualifying result and felt we had a good setting coming into the race," Sykes, who out-qualified Chris Vermeulen, said. "The morning warm-up started well and we changed a few settings which seemed to work well but didn't pay off in race one. I struggled with rear grip towards the end of the race and had to push hard to maintain a position in the points.

"In race two I was amongst a lot of traffic and was forced out to 16th position and also suffered a problem with the bike which forced me to enter the pits. I rejoined the race and was happy with my lap times considering but came across the problem again.

"Overall we are making good steady progress with the bike and I'm really happy with the effort the team and Kawasaki are putting in. I am confident and am looking forward to Portimao and hopefully being able to close the gap with the guys in front."