World Superbike Championship leader Tom Sykes will look to continue ramping up the pressure on his title rivals as a career 22nd Superpole position at Portimao puts him in a prime position to extend his 39 point advantage.
Following his dominant turn on the Kawasaki ZX-10R last time out at Misano, Sykes comes into the Portimao weekend with points in hand but showed no sign of relenting his momentum as he put four tenths between himself and his rivals when it mattered in Superpole.
A third pole position of the season, Sykes was pleased to have broken clear of an otherwise tightly-matched pack after making changes to his bike in practice, but is predicting a tough pair of races nonetheless.
“The Ninja ZX-10R is working well after we started quite steadily this weekend. We made some small changes to the bike every session and now I feel more comfortable on it. On the race tyre I was able to feel more comfortable and in Superpole, with the qualifying tyre, I just made it to the apexes a little bit easier.
“The circuit is missing a little bit of grip and of course the high winds are not helping, especially on the final section, but it is costing everybody some time. I am happy, especially after the changes we made today.
“I feel more comfortable and confident for the races tomorrow but I expect two difficult races. There are a lot of riders who are capable of running at the front but we will do the best we can.”