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Phillip Island: Sykes: We’re ready to go racing with this setting

After completing the first day of testing at Phillip Island Tom Sykes feels he is ready to race, labels Jonathan Rea's preseason thoughts as “a cheap comment”.
Tom Sykes believes he is ready to race with his current set up after lapping faster than everyone on the first day of World Superbike testing in Australia, and then restated that he felt team-mate Jonathan Rea's preseason assessment of the 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R was “a cheap comment”.

The Englishman continued his run of preseason form at Phillip Island by lapping the seaside circuit 0.19s faster than Rea, and was also pleased with performance over distance. His fastest lap came on his tenth lap with the same tyres, which Sykes felt bore testament to his pace and he is already confident on his choice of Pirelli rubber for race distance.

The Australian track hasn't always been kind to the 2013 world champion, with Sykes going as far to say both it and Jerez were among two of his weakest circuits. Thus his performances on the '16 machine to date have left him feeling more than confident.

“Overall I'm fairly happy,” said Sykes. “For the nature of Phillip Island and our history here we've definitely got a good pace. I'm happy with our one lap performance and also our performance over distance.

“In this moment I'm happy. We've done some function performance today to give us an idea for tomorrow. I'm going to sit down shortly to make a clear plan for tomorrow to use the day wisely. I have to say at this moment we're all set up and I'm happy to go racing with this setting.

“Jerez and Phillip Island are probably two of my weakest circuits. That lap time came on the tenth lap. That for me is very promising. We still have a lot of time to improve our bike so that for me is a good starting point.”

At his KRT Kawasaki team's launch in Barcelona Sykes told Crash.net that he felt Rea's comments after a Spanish test that the new ZX-10R was suited more to his style we wide of the mark.

On Monday evening Sykes again spoke of how he felt these comments were unjustified and went as far to say the current bike is very similar to the model they raced in 2015, making Rea's “comment really not relevant”.

“For me that was quite a cheap comment and one that I didn't really expect,” continued Sykes. “At the end of the day it's a very similar bike that gave him his world championship last year. Obviously it struggled before on the Honda and he jumped on a well developed bike and was able to go racing.

“He has to be grateful and this new model is very similar. It has the same characteristics and it's not massive, massive changes. I was surprised at this comment but that's the game of racing for you. I think the development has been very good. I think the Kawasaki has been the most consistent bike on the grid for the past four years. That makes that comment really not relevant.”

While Rea has been using this test to tweak the machine's electronics in order to make it more user-friendly, Sykes feels his side of the garage has had to make less adjustments to find a good feeling.

When asked if he had been sampling engine configurations, he continued, “I think that's coming from the other side of the garage, who I think are a little bit more undecided and less clear on development if I'm honest. I'm very clear that the finished version of the ZX-10R is the best one.

“The other side of the garage are playing more and very undecided. For me it's a bike we've developed over the past few seasons and Kawasaki have done a great job with the bike. We'll continue to use this and focus on other things.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sykes, Australian WSBK 2016
Shaina Salvia, Jonathan Rea [Credit: Imre Paulovits]
Shaina Salvia, Jonathan Rea [Credit: Imre Paulovits]
Gino Rea, WSS Race, German WSBK 2016
Jonathan Rea, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016
Jonathan Rea, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016
Jonathan Rea, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016
Sykes, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016
Sykes, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016
Sykes, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016
Sykes and Jonathan Rea, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016
Sykes, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016
Jonathan Rea, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016
Jonathan Rea, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016
Sykes, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016
De Angelis, Jonathan Rea and Fores, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016
Jonathan Rea, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016
Jonathan Rea, WSBK Race2, German WSBK 2016

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Smack86

February 22, 2016 12:09 PM

The season hasn't even started yet and Tom is already making trouble with his teammate, why? Who cares if Rea thinks the new ZX-10R is designed for a more point and shoot style? It probably was. Sykes has been with KRT and contributing to the development of the ZX-10R for years. It only makes sense that the new ZX-10R, the first new iteration of the ZX-10R since Sykes joined KRT, would compliment his style. Clearly the new bike is excellent. He should take it as a compliment that the new bike reflects a lot of his input. Clearly getting beaten so badly by a teammate in his first year on a bike that Tom has been riding for years has gotten under his skin. Tom is all smiles when things are going his way but he gets real dark, real fast when they're not.

MathersCross

February 22, 2016 10:49 AM

Only one way toms mind games are going to turn out. And that won't be good for Tom over the whole season. Tom seems easily rattled and gets involved in stuff he should just let go over his head. Looks like JR is getting to tom unintentionally before the season even gets under way.



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