Tom Sykes is confident he has defined the direction in which he needs to work after scoring a pair of fifth places at the Dutch World Superbike round at Assen.

The Englishman rode to his 25th career pole position on Saturday afternoon but his fears over race pace were founded as he was dropped by the leading group in the second half of both races.

"We had a better performance in qualifying at this round and at the beginning of the races I feel comfortable," said the 2013 world champion. "I think that has shown in the last couple of rounds. We are definitely starting to make progress and we have had various changes in rear set-up this weekend with very similar outcomes."

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Sykes was still riding in some discomfort after his spectacular high-side in the second race at Aragon, just a week before the fourth round in the Netherlands.

His tactics for race one and two were clear, as he either led or sat close behind team-mate Jonathan Rea's Kawasaki. Yet, much like Aragon, he was powerless to prevent the quartet of Rea, Chaz Davies, Michael van der Mark and Leon Haslam from pulling clear.

"I definitely feel that I have a clearer understanding of where we are, and my crew chief feels the same. I know I can run with the guys but at the last third or half of the race we cannot stick with the guys in some aspects. We know what we need to do and I am confident in where we can improve. We will move on to the next race in Imola but before then we will pinpoint a few things."