Tom Sykes says after a tricky season opener in Australia he's pleased with how he's started the 2016 World Superbike championship and is looking to continue his rostrum run at Assen.
Despite claiming pole position at Phillip Island the 2013 World Superbike champion trailed to underwhelming results at the season opener but has since regained his consistency with four rostrums from the last four races including a win in race two in Thailand.
Comparing it to his 2015 start – when he claimed two podiums in the first six races – Sykes feels in a much stronger position and is looking to maintain his rostrum run while finding gains with the new Kawasaki ZX-10R at Assen.
“Assen is a track where we have had success in the past and had good speed and consistency,” Sykes said. “We know after Motorland Aragon we have some work to do. My crew chief Marcel [Duinker] and I have had some quite lengthy conversations, and we will see how it goes this weekend, but all-in-all I have certainly had a stronger start to the championship than I had last year. Everything feels quite positive.
“There are a couple of things on the set-up that we need to improve but these are things we can work on in the near future.”
Sykes has some happy memories at Assen having claimed two pole positions in recent seasons plus three rostrum results, including one victory in 2013 which sparked his championship charge. The Yorkshire rider says he loves competing at the Dutch track and is confident for a successful race weekend.
“Assen is a track that, as a rider, is always a great pleasure to ride around,” he said. “It is quite special because you have banked corners with positive camber, so it is always that little bit extra special. We have good points of reference from previous visits and I think the whole Kawasaki Racing Team can have a potentially good race weekend.”