Tom Sykes says after a season of altering his riding style to suit the Kawasaki ZX-10RR in the current regulations he hopes key setting switches provide him with the tools to secure the runner-up spot in the 2017 World Superbike riders’ championship.

Despite being level with Chaz Daves on 363 points going into the season finale in Qatar, Sykes has slipped to third in the riders’ standings on wins countback and needs to outscore his Racing Ducati rider to take the runner-up spot in the championship behind Kawasaki team-mate Jonathan Rea.

Sykes, who has never won at the Qatar circuit, hopes a combination of set-up changes with his altered riding style can provide him with the edge to beat Davies at Losail.

“In the final round we will try to get the bike settings to suit my riding style in the best way possible,” Sykes said. “I have gone quite a way to try and change my riding style to suit the changes that came in this year.

“In Qatar we will see if we can get the bike set-up to do the rest. Right now we’re working toward making sure we take the runner-up slot in the final championship standings.

“This is the final round of the year and the season has passed by almost without realising it in some ways. My hand is feeling better than it did in Jerez where all those many changes of direction meant things were not ideal. I was still not fully myself at Jerez but I am looking forward to the last races.”


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