Tom Sykes says he’s content with his race pace heading into the Jerez round while managing his injured wrist and finger as he aims to lockdown the runner-up spot in the World Superbike championship.

The Kawasaki Racing Team rider saw team-mate Jonathan Rea seal the 2017 riders’ title last time out in Magny-Cours and is now focused on strong results at the final two rounds to keep hold of second place in the championship which he currently holds by nine points from Chaz Davies.

A former race-winner at Jerez, Sykes ended Friday practice second fastest at the Spanish circuit but just 0.008s split him from sixth place Eugene Laverty and the Kawasaki rider is bracing for a hotly-contested race weekend as he managed his fractured wrist and finger suffered at Portimao last month.

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“We are just fine-tuning the bike set-up and getting things sorted, so we improved our pace towards the end of the second session,” Sykes said. “I can go to bed tonight fairly satisfied with the work we have done. Our improvements today were a bit of a setting thing, a bit of a rider thing, and we did a lot of laps to understand things.

“I still cannot force the bike in some areas like I would like to, but even with this injury I feel I am still able to do the job. In the end we put in the tyres we normally use for a race and tried something closer to our race set-up. The lap times are pretty close behind me and a lot of riders set similar pace.”