Sykes looks ahead after

Less than two weeks after falling just 0.5 points short of the 2012 World Superbike Championship, Tom Sykes is already looking ahead to 2013 as he put a revised version of the Kawasaki ZX-10R through its paces in testing at Motorland Aragon.

Concluding a successful campaign that yielded nine pole positions and five wins, Kawasaki travelled to Spain with an upgraded ZX-10R using new parts from Japan, as well as sampling the 17-inch Pirelli tyres that will be introduced from 2013.

Indeed, team manager Guim Roda even went as far to explain the adoption of a 'black livery' is a sign that Kawasaki will not dwell on 2012 and is now '100 per cent' focused on 2013

Picking up where he left off, Sykes ended the three-day test with the fastest lap overall of 1min 57.6secs, though the British rider insists times aren't important at this moment.

"Fastest again and that is all well and good but that is not the aim at the moment," he said. "Our aim is to improve on what we have done with the bike this year, and we have done that here, so overall I am happy. The 17 inch tyres seem to work well for me and the Ninja ZX-10R, so that is positive. We have a lot of information and we have more tests planned, to we will keep working in a good direction.

"We used race tyres to set our fastest times and we tried both the SC1 and SC2 compounds, on the front and the rear. The track was a bit greasy in the afternoon but we were still able to do nice lap times with the softer tyres. It looks like Pirelli have done a good job with the 17-inch tyres so we are definitely at a good starting point."

Still feeling the after-effects of his accident at Magny-Cours, Loris Baz was happy to complete a large number of laps, even if he wasn't so satisfied to be almost a second slower than Sykes.

"In the end it was a good test and I set a 1'58.5 lap. I could not improve on that because this afternoon the track was slower, and the winds had picked up, and I was also very tired. When I came here I was still not 100% after my big crash at Magny-Cours, but I was OK.

"We did a lot of laps, something like 60 on the first day, 70 on the second day and 70 today. We tried a lot of things and I really like the 17-inch tyres, which is the most important thing we tried out for our preparation for next year. I am really happy after this test."