Tom Sykes says he is feeling 'a lot more confident' heading into the World Superbike races at Miller Motorsports Park after turning around an indifferent weekend to qualify in third position.
Maintaining his unbroken run of front row starts, Sykes shrugged off a frustrating opening half to the weekend to come out in contention for a fifth Superpole of the season.
Though he would eventually fall short of Jakub Smrz and Carlos Checa
in his quest to improve his almost faultless qualifying record, Sykes admits he was nonetheless surprised to find himself towards the head of the field having been unable to show front running pace through free practice.
“I'm pleasantly surprised to be on the front row because we have been struggling for a time here at Miller. Once again the guys have done a great job because we changed something for Superpole, to try and make something happen, and fair play to the Kawasaki Racing Team technical staff because even on the first lap on a race tyre I knew we had a lot better package.
“About 15 or 20 minutes before Superpole we made quite a step with spring balance and that has put us very close to where we wanted to be. The lads have never stopped working. I have been a little bit difficult to deal with because I want to stay at the front, so I was getting frustrated. That makes it nice for me to see how well they all worked to make improvements.
“I feel a lot more confident going into tomorrow's races now. We have kept up our good record from qualifying this year. Starting races from the front row is quite crucial so I am very happy to be here and hope to have two good races.”
Currently five points behind Max Biaggi
in the overall standings, the Kawasaki rider's key title rival will start behind him in seventh position.