Tom Sykes has described new Superbike regulations that require engines to possess a generator, rather than a battery, as a “kick in the b***ocks”, as it will call for a different riding style for 2017.
The new rules, which also state that engines in the World Superbike class must carry a balancing shaft if the road going equivalent does so, mean Kawasaki's new ZX-10R engine possesses different characteristics.
For Sykes' point-and-squirt style, he feels these changes could put him at an early disadvantage for the months ahead.
“For me it's just pure riding style,” said Sykes on Tuesday at Jerez. “I'd say my style is more of a racing style. I always like to get into the corner hard and out of the corner even harder. With all the changes to the rules, I'm having to adapt a lot and that's something I tried to do in Aragon.
“I feel we made some small steps there. So we'll keep working on that but one thing is for sure. The rules are changing every minute of the frigging day. I think when people say it'd be nice to keep the championship cheap and then the rules are changed every year, it doesn't keep it cheap as you have to look for alternatives.
“I'm disappointed in the way the rules have gone, in having to take out batteries and replace them with generators. It does affect what I want to do on the bike. I'll just try as hard as I can to be competitive. We already started that in Aragon.
“Basically it is another kick in the bollocks, another kick in the teeth. It's a little bit disappointing and upsetting because it takes away performance from me.
“People can say what they want but for the way that I ride the bike I'm a long way away from that now. What can I say? I can go on about it all day but it is what it is and we'll try and do our best with it.”
On how the mainly wet test has gone so far, he added, “[It's been] Relatively OK to be honest. Today was fairly steady. From pure performance point of view it was no good but we had some little function tests that we wanted to do so we took this opportunity in poor track conditions to get some mileage on those little changes.
“If the sun is shining any other day this week we don't need to waste any time on that. So from our point of view, good. Also getting a feeling for the bike and some of the changes we've made, overall no real meaning today. But we still managed to get some things done.
“Basically we're very close to [using the 2017 bike]. We're working and testing as much as we can with the 2017 rules. We are running added extra bits that we don't want to run but we are doing it, yeah. Basically we're working on 2017 rules. Chassis is very much similar but engine parts are coming in heavier.”