Tom Sykes insists he can be satisfied with his results at the 'difficult' Miller Motorsports Park circuit, but maintains his new found 'taste for champagne' means he won't be content with finishing off the podium on too many occasions this season.
The Kawasaki rider began the weekend just five points adrift of leader Max Biaggi in the overall standings, but while he was able to pull out another strong Superpole performance to qualify in third position, Sykes conceded the ZX-10R was not so well suited to the Utah venue.
Indeed, though Sykes came out fighting at the start of both races as he forged early leads, he was unable to maintain his pace as the laps counted down and he slipped away from the front group.
With front-end traction woes consigning him to eighth in race one, Sykes fared better in race two to finish in fifth place, but with Biaggi finishing ahead of him on each occasion, he finds himself 18 points behind the Italian overall now.
“We were much better in race two,” he said. “We made a bit of a change in set-up, three changes really, and I was able to be a bit more competitive. In the early laps I got behind Melandri and felt really good but unfortunately Davies came past and really upset my rhythm. It made it difficult for me to do what I needed to do, so my pace slowed. I just missed that slipstream from Melandri.
“In race one I was missing some front traction so I was not able to get the bike into the corners very well and obviously that affected my mid-corner and exit speed. You cannot give anything away to these boys but unfortunately this weekend it looks like we did for a while.”
Despite a frustrating race day, Sykes is refusing to dwell on the negatives, suggesting the unfavourable circuit was the determining factor in his struggle to get on terms with his fellow title contenders.
“We cannot get carried away with any thoughts like that because we are still second equal on points in the championship despite having a disappointing weekend by recent standards. We have got some better tracks coming up and I am looking forward to getting there.
“It is just hard for me to sit in my chair and debrief when some of the others are on the podium spraying champagne. I have got the taste for it now! On balance the guys in our team have done a great job again at this difficult track and in race two we were able to make changes that worked out quite well.”