Tom Sykes has pronounced himself happy with his return to World Superbike action as the reigning champion notched up significant test mileage over two days at Almeria.

The first outing for the Kawasaki Racing team since the end of the winter testing ban, Sykes and team-mate Loris Baz travelled to the circuit in southern Spain to give the 2014-specification ZX-10R its first run ahead of the new season.

Shrugging off a head cold to post 116 laps over the course of two days, Sykes managed a best lap time of 1min 34.0secs on race tyres. By comparison, Baz set an identical time with a qualifying rear tyre.

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With another outing scheduled for Jerez prior to the opening round of the season at Phillip Island, Sykes is looking forward to getting his title defence underway.

"The test went well and the schedule of work we had to get through was completed. We have evaluated everything and it has all been positive. We did over 80 laps on the final day and I feel we made a step forward. I have a bit of a cold so I personally have not been feeling 100 per cent but having said that the Ninja ZX-10R was working well.

"We were able to make some good lap times and evaluate a few things so we are one step closer in our preparations for Phillip Island. We understand things a bit more clearly and now I am looking forward to the next test at Jerez."

Managing a best time of 1min 34.5secs on race tyres, a fully fit Baz was also pleased to be back in action on the ZX-10R

"A good test at Almeria. We just wanted to try a lot of things that we had already tried in Jerez last time out. We wanted to confirm them, and the overall feeling with the bike, and it was very good. I am really happy with the test especially at this track, which is one of the most difficult ones for me.

"It is very small and slow and I improved more than three seconds a lap compared to when I was here last year. The good things we found with the set-up at the Jerez test last time out also worked for us at this different style of track in Almeria. Now we have the official team launch, then another test at Jerez, and then we go to Australia."