World Superbike champion Tom Sykes headed the times at Jerez to enter the winter break on top for Kawasaki.

Sykes set a best lap of 1m 39.6s to lead the way from team-mate Loris Baz at the three-day shakedown - the final test prior to the winter ban, which comes into effect on Sunday.

The British rider focused on race set-up with the ZX-10R as preparations continued for the opening round of the new World Superbike campaign, which gets underway in Australia at the end of February.

"We did a bit of everything at this test and it has been very good for us. I did a lot of laps again so my crew chief Marcel [Duinker] is working me well," said Sykes.

"We tested many different components, which you do not always get the chance to do in the middle of the season. Our testing schedule during the season was quite minimal compared to what we used to do, so this test has been a good experience overall.

"We retried certain things to understand if they are definitely better, especially over race distance, and I am happy with how it has gone," he added.

"The Ninja ZX-10R is working well even though Jerez is not one of my strong points. That shows we have improved our package, which is the main thing."

Sykes, meanwhile, has opted to run the number 1 plate in 2014 as opposed to his favourite number 66.

The Kawasaki team will next be in action in mid-January at Almeria in Spain for the first test of 2014 after the winter ban.


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