Tom Sykes says he cannot wait to get back to World Superbike Championship action at Jerez, the venue where he sealed an emotional maiden WSBK title victory for Kawasaki in 2014.
The Kawasaki Racing rider, who recently re-signed with the manufacturer for the next two seasons
, sealed last year's WSBK title in Spain when it hosted the season finale, but while this year's event won't give him the same satisfaction, it remains potentially critical to his title defence.
Returning from the long summer break in the knowledge that just three of the originally proposed five post-summer events (Russia and South Africa) will take place, Sykes's 44 point lead in the standings looks increasingly comfortable.
Indeed, if Sykes scores more than six points than main rival Sylvain Guintoli this weekend, he could potentially wrap up the WSBK title a round early at Magny-Cours.
In the meantime, Sykes is looking forward to unleashing his pace at Jerez – the home round for his Provec team – having adopted a tentative approach in last year's event.
“The emotions involved in going back to Jerez are massive. I had never won a championship before last year and then I dived in at the deep and with the Superbike World Championship title! It was even completed at Jerez, a home round for my Spanish team.
“I have spent a lot of time there in winter testing as well so it has a truly special feeling for me and there are so many magical memories from there. It is a really nice racetrack, really enjoyable and I cannot wait to get back there on my Ninja ZX-10R.
“We have improved the bike a little bit during a test at Portimao, after America, so I am looking forward to putting those changes into practice in Jerez. The Spanish fans were great there last year, very enthusiastic, so I am really looking forward to going back there.”