Tom Sykes says he was surprised by the smoother transition to the Lausitzring on his race-specification Kawasaki ZX-10R with different set-up changes after finishing Friday free practice third overall.

With the sole goal of eating into team-mate Jonathan Rea's World Superbike championship lead Sykes is satisfied with the progress made on Friday at the German circuit from his familiarisation run during a road-spec Kawasaki from an in-season test at the track.

"We have made so many changes today," Sykes said. "We had a test here on a standard Ninja ZX-10R, which was useful in a way, but as soon as I jumped on the racebike this morning the circuit was so much different.

"That said, in some ways it was easier than I expected on the racebike. I struggled at times to find speed this morning but in the end we found something and we have to be happy with the set-up we have."

Looking to put riders between himself and Rea, with the Northern Irish rider finishing 11th overall on Friday, Sykes is relishing the battle this weekend but is fearful of the heavy rain forecast.

"It is great how close and competitive the field is today," he said. "I feel we are quite fast and quite consistent, and I am looking forward to tomorrow.

"Unfortunately, it looks like we have some bad weather approaching. If that is the case we will start again with set-up tomorrow in the wet. We already have good feeling in the dry, so we will be ready for the races."