Tom Sykes says he is focused on the positive of an extended lead in the World Superbike Championship standings with two rounds remaining, despite a late crumble in race two that prevented him from securing a potentially lucrative double at Laguna Seca.
Having multiplied his overall advantage with victory in the first race of the weekend, Sykes looked capable of doing the double as he grabbed the lead of race two after just four laps.
However, once there the Kawasaki rider would struggle for grip and though his inch-perfect lines would prevent the close-following pack from overtaking initially, Eugene Laverty's pass for the win with just over a lap to go would signal the unravelling of Sykes's hard work.
Indeed, both Davide Giugliano and Marco Melandri would proceed to find a way past the waning Sykes before the chequered flag, demoting last year's runner-up to a somewhat unsatisfied fourth position.
Even so, the Briton still finished just ahead of erstwhile closest challenger Sylvain Guintoli, ensuring his lead remains at a healthy 23 points, albeit now over Laverty.
“It was great to win in the first race and I led for a long time in race two but that was the first time we have struggled with grip all weekend. We were six or seven tenths off our best times in the same track conditions and we have to think about why that was. We know what our potential was here again today. Overall, we have extended our championship lead but it would have been nice to taken that second podium!
“We can keep improving and we have a couple of good circuits coming up so we will move on with confidence. In less than a week's time we will be in France and doing it all over again. We have worked hard and well all race weekend and took a win on Saturday.”