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Sykes staying cool after red-hot lap
21 February 2012
Kawasaki's Tom Sykes maintained his impressive form by toppling Phillip Island hotpot Carlos Checa from the top of the time sheets on the final day of the official World Superbike test.
Sykes' fastest lap of 1m 31.648s was a fraction of a second quicker than the Spaniard and bodes well the Briton, who admits that the Aussie circuit is not one of his favourites.
“We were fast this morning and also this afternoon in hot conditions and we even improved our time compared to yesterday's hot track conditions. Overall we did quite a bit more testing today and certainly stumbled across a couple of good things,” he said.
“At the end of the sessions we did 14 laps on race tyres and it was very consistent, with the times coming easier than they were doing with previous settings. Honestly speaking, this is not one of my favourite circuits; in fact it is one of my least favourite ones, so I am happy that we are towards the front at this track because I know that the performance should increase at the other circuits.
“I do not want to get too carried away because I like to keep my feet on the ground, so we'll keep working and see what happens on race weekend.”
Sykes built on his development work from last weekend's test at Phillip Island and has remained consistently fast as he sets out his stall ahead of the opening round of the championship this weekend.
His team-mate, Joan Lascorz, was 11th fastest overall with a personal best time of 1m 31.540s.
“We have a good rhythm but to do faster single laps is a little more difficult. I can put in a new tyre but lap times are the same. I think it is a lot of things together, but every time we try anything else we come back to the same kind of settings,” said the Spaniard.
“The bike works best in small, slower corners, in the fast corners and over the bumps it feels very hard. It turns very well in the slower corners but the line in the fast corners is critical.
"The plan for the first practice in Friday is more gas! But seriously, we will make a plan to find out the best settings for race weekend.”
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