Tom Sykes is aiming to deliver himself a birthday present at Lausitzring this weekend as the 2017 World Superbike championship kick-starts in Germany.

The Kawasaki Racing Team rider turns 32 this Saturday and will have the opportunity to take a special birthday gift with a potential race win with World Superbike’s schedule switch putting race one on Saturday.

After the recent in-season test at the German circuit, Sykes feels his pace is ‘in the ballpark’ but will require fine-tuning in the hunt for race wins to close up on Jonathan Rea in the riders’ championship.

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Sykes went into the summer break on a strong run of results by reaching the podium in the past seven consecutive races, including two victories, as he moves to 59 points off of leader Rea.

“We had good test in Germany and gained some valuable information,” Sykes said. “We were on the back foot a little at this circuit last year so it is good to feel a lot more prepared going into the Lausitz race weekend this time. I feel my pace in our recent test there was in the ballpark. Now we just need focus our attention and fine-tune things a little.

“The summer break has not felt like a very long one, because of the travel back from Laguna, then the test at Lausitz and then the race weekend itself in a few days time. It does not feel like it was a massive break and it feels strange to be racing in August - and on my birthday weekend too.”

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Leo Season Grinner

Need a win 66

Happy Birthday!