Tom Sykes says he is ready for the final portion of the 2014 World Superbike Championship season, claiming to have an even faster bike beneath him as he looks to consolidate a lead that will see him defend his title.
A win at Laguna Seca has seen Sykes take a 44 point lead into the summer break, the Englishman comfortably ahead of Sylvain Guintoli, while Jonathan Rea and Loris Baz are increasingly looking like outside contenders with just four rounds and eight races remaining.
Returning to Portimao for a two-day mid-season test, Sykes set the fastest time of 1min 42.719secs to lead the way over Aprilia and Ducati, the reigning champion sending out an ominous warning to his rivals, claiming Kawasaki has improved the bike further once more.
“On day one we put in 70 laps and we started some good work on some things. We have played with the geometry of the bike, and other things you cannot really do on a race weekend.
“The plan on day two was to go more in depth with some items but we had some issues and were not able to fully complete our test schedule. I only used one tyre on the final day and when we got back out on the track later in the day we still did competitive times on it at the end.
“So we have improved the bike again on used tyres. We still had some things to test, and it is not a big issue, but it would have been nice to have fine-tuned the bike even more. We ended up with a good lap time on day two. The bigger picture is that we can still go racing competitively and we feel we have improved the bike again during this test.”