Tom Sykes quickly put a subdued race one performance behind him to return to the podium in the second World Superbike race at Jerez.

Leading the championship by a sizeable 44 points coming into the tenth round, Sykes admitted that he held something in reserve during qualifying for the two 20 lap races.

His chances in race one weren't helped by his start, where he caught his gear lever on the run to turn one, which forced him back to sixth on the first lap. With the Aprilias forging a lead at the front Sykes continued to slip further down the order to eighth.

Related Articles

However, incidents ahead for Loris Baz, Davide Giugliano and Alex Lowes would at least elevate him to fifth at the finish, his 11 points blunting the gains made by main title rival Sylvain Guintoli in second place

"Basically we had some confusion from the start," Sykes told Crash.net. "We had a good start and then I caught the gear lever. After that there were some riders fighting for position. Unfortunately that made me drop down the order and I wasn't able to improve too much."

The reigning world champion quickly set about restoring order in the second outing by slotting into an early second place. It wasn't until mid-distance that he began to lose notable ground to the Aprilias of Guintoli and Marco Melandri in front.

"We made some changes to the bike," Sykes said, refusing to be too downcast by the day's events. "Ok, it was better. It still wasn't perfect but it was better and we tried our hardest. We still give away some things to the Aprilias but overall we weren't too bad. Sometimes you have to accept these things and we'll try to recover in France.

"We recovered in race two and I think we can be satisfied with the weekend. Of course it could have been a little better but it for sure could have been worse."

As was the case in Sepang when Melandri and Guintoli scored a double one-two finish, Sykes was pragmatic in realising the Kawasaki can't compete with the RSV4s at certain circuits. Considering Aprilia won both races at Jerez in 2013 Sykes was content with a damage limitation weekend.

"I just looked at what he [Melandri] was doing with his bike and I tried to take some things on board to learn. Different bikes work differently though and I just tried to do the best I could. He had great pace in race one and race two. It is what it is, today we had no answer but I'm sure we can come back stronger in the next races. We had some good results in Magny-Cours so we hope to keep that success going."