Tom Sykes says he's aware how vital the Jerez race weekend will be to keep his World Superbike title ambitions alive as he looks to eat into the 48-point deficit to Jonathan Rea.
The Kawasaki rider has seen his title charge stall over the past two rounds due to struggles in wet races at Lausitzring and Magny-Cours as he has left both the German and French rounds conceding an extra point in the riders' standings to Rea.
With two rounds remaining and a 48-point deficit, if Sykes loses a further two points by the end of the Jerez round Rea will wrap up the championship with two races to spare, something Sykes is keen to deny to ramp up the pressure ahead of the final round in Qatar.
“I am looking forward to getting back out on the bike and it is a bit of a pivotal weekend coming up,” Sykes said. “I am just hoping that we can make something happen. That is all we need and then we are back into it.”
Having been satisfied with rediscovering his pace in the wet at Magny-Cours, Sykes is confident he's in a position to be fast and competitive in any conditions which he feels puts him in a good place for 2017.
“We definitely found some good speed in France and got back some form in wet conditions,” he said. “Ultimately, the few wet races we have had this year cost me, as you have only got to look at the points difference in wet conditions. Everything is teeing up nicely in preparation for the following season. Where we are at now means we are definitely able to fight in the dry, and we are looking forward to this weekend.
“We have also tested at Jerez this year and we have information from those tests. We have changed the bike set-up quite a bit since then but hopefully we can be in the ballpark when we get to Jerez.”