Tom Sykes says the high winds during Sunday's Motorland Aragon races were instrumental in his failure to live up to his scintillating qualifying pace after demonstrating considerably better tyre longevity during the post-event test.
Though the test was billed as an opportunity for the teams to sample the 17” Pirelli tyres that will be used in 2013 (an increase on the current 16.5” tyres), Sykes spent the morning doing long runs in an attempt to better understand why he was unable to sustain his pace over a long distance during the Aragon race day.
Indeed, having suggested the high winds had posed an unanticipated factor post-race, Sykes feels he confirmed as much by setting a lap time of 1min 58.8 on his 17th lap using race rubber. For comparison that was just six tenths down on Marco Melandri's race record, set on lap six of a 20 lap race.
“We've worked hard again after a difficult day race day, when unfortunately I believe that the wind affected us more than our competitors,” the Kawasaki rider said. “We did a run this morning to confirm our race pace and I did a 58.8 on lap 17 so it's a completely different story with no wind.
Reflecting on the 17” tyre, which Sykes went quickest overall on with a time of 1min 57.254secs, the British rider was 'pleasantly surprised' with the package.
“The plan was to test the 17” tyre in the morning but we wanted to confirm what happened yesterday, then this afternoon we kept the same settings and tested the new size wheel and tyres which I was pleasantly surprised with.”