Fresh from his victory at the Nurburgring, Tom Sykes was once again in podium contention at Imola, even if Carlos Checa would deny him third place finish on the final lap.
Keen to show the progress Kawasaki has made in dry conditions, Sykes got away well from fourth on the grid to lead over the opening five laps, but while he would be passed by Jonathan Rea and Noriyuki Haga, the Briton held down third for much of the race.
However, despite repelling repeated attacks from series leader Checa over the second-half of the race, the Spaniard eventually found his way through mid-way around the final lap, leaving Sykes fourth.
Heading into the second race, Sykes was confident of making amends, but brake problems would consign him to the sidelines after a short distance.
“We got a fourth position in dry weather and just missed the podium. I feel we would have been able to take a podium in race two as well. We are building on our positives and looking forward to France. I had an unfortunate brake problem; a little bit of a negative feeling with the brake so I could not go on with the race.
“It was a massive call to pull out but apart from that we have found some speed in the dry and been riding well. We are still working very well as a team and been consistently in the top five all weekend, which is very positive.”
Sykes currently sits 12th in the overall standings, 14 points off the top ten.