Tom Sykes says his seventh place on the grid for his home World Superbike Championship event at Donington Park isn't 'as bad as it looks' after a necessary set-up change lost him the chance to improve.

The defending champion had been the pace setter in the dry during Friday's free practice sessions, but looked less comfortable on the Kawasaki in the rain on Saturday.

Indeed, Sykes was forced to make a set-up change mid-way through the Superpole session, losing him time in the pit-lane, enough to prevent him from getting up to temperature again when he did return.

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As a result, the British rider will start in eighth place, alongside team-mate Loris Baz, but while Sykes was disappointed with the result, he is positive about his chances on race day, which is forecast to be dry.

"We just ran out of time in Superpole 2. In wet conditions the Donington Park track surface holds a lot of water. I am on the third row but our situation is not as bad as it looks. I was at least a couple of laps behind my competitors in Superpole because I had to come in and make a change to the set-up. We made it and improved the bike but because we came into the pits the tyres got very cold.

"I just needed on more lap in Superpole 2 to make more progress on the times. I only did five laps but some riders made eight. Track time is all we needed and the setting on the bike was a little bit closer to where I needed to be for these conditions. I am disappointed to be on the third row but I know there is more in the package."