Tom Sykes rode to the second fastest time on Friday afternoon as the World Superbikes visit Aragon and later admitted a stomach virus had not helped his position.

The 29-year old's best time was only bettered by team-mate Jonathan Rea but that performance was in spite of spending the morning nursing far-from-ideal physical conditions.

"Speaking with some of the mechanics it looks like there's been a virus in Spain and, unfortunately, I picked it up," Sykes said on Friday evening. "I woke up very early this morning with some sickness problems. That's part of life and I hope tomorrow we're better. I've not been very comfortable on the bike but the team has done a great job and the bike is working acceptable for now."

Stomach issues aside, the 2013 world champion was content to see his name inside the top three on a circuit at which he claimed a commanding double victory a year ago.

"So far so good," he said. "Basically I have a lot of history with the ZX-10R. This year we have a change of rules and like always in the beginning we have a lot of input. I spoke a lot with my crew chief after the previous round. We decided we have enough information to work like we have done in the past few years. We've started reasonably well and we're heading in the right direction. Hopefully tomorrow I'll feel a lot better physically.
From our experience and looking at other riders it looks like Pirelli have brought a good selection of tyres. I don't expect big problems with the rear.

Sykes went on to reveal his slightly underwhelming performances in 2015 that have left him trailing team-mate Jonathan Rea by 29 points after four races, is partly down to his experimenting with the ZX-10R.

"I was very disappointed with the way the first two rounds have gone. For me I was exploring - maybe too much - the parameters of the ZX-10R to understand a lot of things. I prefer to try and find information at the beginning.

Ducati were very strong immediately. We had to play catch up and we had some limitations with our testing programme just from the weather. In Phillip Island I tried a lot, like I would do in a test. Maybe [it's] not the perfect way to go racing. So far today I'm relatively happy. I can't ride it to its full potential. I'm looking forward to my bed tonight and hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow."



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