Tom Sykes says he struggled to produce consistently quick race pace following his team-mate Jonathan Rea which disrupted his rhythm at Imola.

The 2013 World Superbike champion notched up two third place finishes behind double winner Chaz Davies and Sykes' Kawasaki team-mate Rea.

Sykes rarely drifted outside of touching distance to Rea in both races at the Italian track - finishing less than half a second behind his Kawasaki team-mate in each race - but the Yorkshire rider felt his rhythm was hampered running closely behind Rea and had to drop back to produce lap times to match the runaway leader Davies.

Despite his frustrations Sykes is remaining positive with a useful helping of points and a double podium appearance.

"There are positives to be taken from this weekend," Sykes said. "You are never happy with third but you also have to be realistic and sometimes be happy with that. Even when we are struggling we are on the podium.

"We made some improvements from race one but we suffered after losing almost one hour on Friday in practice. Considering the race yesterday I felt a little bit more comfortable with the bike today but when there was a bike in front I was not able to do a good lap time.

"I was dropping back into the 1'48s and on a clear track I could bring it into the 1'47s. Even on the last lap there was a 1'47.7 and that was with making a mistake out of the final double lefts."

Sykes has conceded ground the World Superbike riders' championship and trails leader Rea by 67 points while slipping 32 points behind Davies due to his second double victory weekend of the year.



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