Tom Sykes was extremely confident he is able to maintain a strong pace over race distance after he set the fastest World Superbike time at a four-day test in Jerez.
The Englishman reeled off a frightening pace on Thursday and Friday with his final time of 1m 39.319s, set on qualifying rubber on the final day, a full nine tenths of a second faster than his pole position lap from September.
More than just speed over a single lap, Sykes felt his crew had made changes to the new ZX-10R that allowed him to maintain his pace after 20 laps of frantic riding, a factor that was often his undoing in races throughout 2015.
“It's been very positive,” commented the 2013 world champion. “Overall we've had a great pace. We were the fastest on race tyres and also on qualifying tyres. I'm definitely happy. We found improvements all the time with the bike and we took a couple of steps forward.
“We also took a couple of steps back to understand some things but overall we had great speed and even in the final couple of hours we seemed to improve our package, which gave me a better lap time after 20 laps.
“It was something [consistency over race distance] that needed some work last year and we've been working on it. I'm much happier because there is no question that we're faster at the end of the race.”
Coming from a positive shakedown at Aragon, Sykes suffered several falls at the start of the week but soon dusted himself down to test different chassis, suspension and electronics parts and settings.
“I had a couple of crashes at the start of the week but they were nothing stupid. We were trying some things and I was trying to ride around some problems that I couldn't do so we ended up being able to fix those.
“Over the course of this week we've tested many chassis components, suspension and electronics parts. There have been many, many things so it's been a great test. I'm very positive and it's given us a lot of positive information going forward into 2016.”
Such is the level of Kawasaki's new ZX-10R, the Yorkshire rider, who finished third overall in the 2015 season, believes the bike is functioning well overall and only minor modifications in different areas are needed before the start of the season in February, 2016.
“To be honest the new ZX-10R is working well as a whole, which is no surprise because finally it's a bike that we've developed over previous seasons of racing. It fits the bill and certainly seems to be a lot better package than what we had last year. Certainly for myself so we'll keep working on all the areas come January.”