Tom Sykes says he knows where Kawasaki must improve if he is to make the most of his superb qualifying efforts after another solid, but somewhat unfulfilling race day at Misano.
Though Sykes and Kawasaki have been revelations this season following many years at the tail end of the manufacturer order, the British rider's outstanding five pole positions in seven races has served to highlight bigger struggles over a race distance.
Indeed, though Sykes's fourth in race one and seventh in race two would have been celebrated twelve months ago, it is a measure of how far Kawasaki have come that he feels Misano represented 'a bit of a hard weekend'.
Nonetheless, despite missing the podium, Sykes was content to leave Italy having retained third in the standings, pointing out many of his main rivals made bigger errors. Even so, he insists Kawasaki must continue developing if he to maintain his strong start to the year.
“To be honest race one was not too bad after we have had a difficult weekend trying to find traction with the bike in hot conditions. We have done a great job in the first part of the year and we know where we can improve. In race one, we did what we needed to do to finish top four. I'm satisfied with race one best four and eight seconds off. It was certainly good compared to last year.
“Track temperatures went up considerably for race two and unfortunately because we have been struggling with bike setting we had to concentrate on this. We were very limited on track time for tyres and the main focus for us was to improve the bike to get the result.
“In race two we made the wrong tyre selection. We did not have the tyre experience to gamble on another tyre choice. Rea chose a different tyre and look what happened to him. If we had done the same we would still be in the same ballpark. Others made bigger mistakes today. So, we lost a few points but I'm still third in the championship after a bit of a hard weekend.”