Tom Sykes insists he is 'knocking on the door' of getting back to his best World Superbike form, but says he needs a bike that will allow him to challenge at the end of races.

The 2013 WSBK champion has endured a lacklustre start to the 2015 season, notching up just two podiums from the opening eight races. More strikingly though, Sykes has been comprehensively overshadowed by new Kawasaki team-mate Jonathan Rea, who is already 102 points clear of the Englishman.

Indeed, Sykes showed flashes of his former form last time out at Assen with his first pole position of the 2015 season, but would slip back in both races as he struggled to maintain his pace to the chequered flag.

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With this in mind, Sykes is heading to the fifth round at Imola - where he was a double winner in 2013 - keen to get back to his winning ways, but says he needs a bike that offers better race-long pace.

"I have two main limitations on the bike right now but when we cross those bridges I feel confident that I will be back to myself. And back to where we have been in the past three years, which is challenging and at the sharp end of the timing sheets.

"I am going to Imola like always, expecting to be fighting. I just want a package that lets me challenge the other guys at the end of the race. We have not had that yet but it is something we have had in the past and I do believe we are knocking on the door now, gradually getting that balance right for me now.

"I am hoping that this weekend, in front of a really fantastic and enthusiastic Italian crowd, we can hit the nail on the head. That is what I am gunning for."

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I really cannot see that Tom can claim to be compromised by his bike set up . It should be Jonny Rea that has any grounds for complaint or excuses .The truth of the matter is that Tom was losing his grip last season and has simply carried on in the same vein really . Fair play though ! When he got the chance with a very competitive Kawasaki he took it . Now everyone has caught up and are passing him .
Jonny Rea would of done the same thing if he had got on the Kawasaki last year . I say well done Jonny Rea for not hanging around any longer for Honda to properly reward his loyalty . Apart from Marquez i dont think there is anyone in Moto GP riding a Honda that is better than Rea . Honda just used him to keep them alive in Superbikes . Anyway this is about Sykes so i will clear off now .