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Tom Sykes says his 32nd birthday ended on a low note by finishing third in the Lausitzring opener having started from pole position as he conceded more ground in the World Superbike championship to Jonathan Rea.

Despite starting strongly and leading the opening lap Sykes was shuffled back to third as Chaz Davies and Rea charged past him on the following two laps. Sykes, racing on his 32nd birthday, was able to keep pace with the front two over the opening laps before eventually fading to a lonely third.

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Sykes concedes his soft tyre choice may have held him back compared to his rivals but having topped all the free practice sessions plus qualifying the Yorkshire rider was left hoping for more.

“I got a strong start and the lap times were good but our main rival had something extra compared to all the practice, so we just missed out,” Sykes said. “Whether it was a tyre choice, as we went for the softer option, but the only thing I was struggling with in the race is that I was not able to get of the corners as strongly as I wanted to.

“We will have to look at this for tomorrow but overall I am just disappointed not to convert the pole position into a win today. But Chaz and Jonathan were riding strongly and compared to last year the lap times were much faster.”

Sykes now trails Rea by 63 points at the top of the World Superbike championship with nine races remaining in the 2017 campaign.

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your main rival was on the same tyres.He outrode you .

Now we're is that cocky smug grin wen Davies took rea out and he was gifted a win,why is he shocked to lose ground,he hasn't got a sniff at rea all ur bar someone else causing rea dnf's 

Tom will always struggle to beat Jonathan Rea! It's only when Jonathan has a problem or makes a mistake that Tom stands a chance as Jonathan is just a much better rider than Tom will ever be!