Tom Sykes says he is happy to come away from his first race meeting aboard the new Kawasaki ZX-10R in eighth position overall, even if he had hoped to have been more competitive at Phillip Island.
There had been much buzz about the hotly-anticipated bike ahead of the weekend, but while Sykes showed flashes of pace during free practice, particularly his run to third in Q2, it was a fairly low profile bow for the bike in the races.
Even so, a pair of top ten results – eighth in race one and ninth in race two – is only the fourth time Sykes has achieved a double top ten feat on a Kawasaki, while he insists eighth in the overall standings after one round is something to be pleased about.
"I'm happy to be eighth in the championship after the first round as you only have to look at the timing sheets to realise there is a real quality field out there” he said. “Less than a second covers something like the first 20 riders in qualifying, so it is quite pleasing in many ways to have been in there.
Touching on the development of the new bike, Sykes maintains it will take time to get on terms with his rivals, but he is 'sure' it will happen.
“I am a racer and I want to progress quickly but this is the first year with the new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R and I am sure we can make even more progress very soon. Everybody in my garage is keen to win, that is what this whole project is about, but it is early days."