Tom Sykes says he can be reasonably pleased heading the World Superbike pack at Jerez but with such a tight and competitive field he will shift focus to qualifying.

The Kawasaki rider held less than a one-tenth lead at the chequered flag to top the times in Spain ahead of Aruba.it Racing Ducati's Chaz Davies but also ran an impressive race simulation to place him in good stead ahead of the penultimate round of races.

With less than a second covering the top 15 riders at Jerez in FP2, Sykes is keen to find gains with his single hot lap pace in order to maximise his FP2 advantage with a strong qualifying performance.

"I am quite happy to be fastest here at Jerez, on a circuit I would not consider to be my strongest one," Sykes said. "This is positive for us and we are trying out hardest to improve the set-up again to get a little bit more feedback from the Ninja ZX-10R.

"In general, I have had some limitations this year and I have not found a cure for them yet which can be frustrating. We are still looking at working on set-up, evaluating some other parameters and possibilities.

"I feel well prepared even on used tyres, but we need to make sure we are strong in qualifying to set ourselves up for the races."

Sykes trails Kawasaki team-mate Jonathan Rea by 48 points heading into the penultimate World Superbike round at Jerez as he looks to apply the pressure on the defending champion to keep his title hopes alive at Qatar.