Tom Sykes feels a drop in rear traction with his Kawasaki was the cause behind his late race fade at Donington Park but was content to take third place to continue his mid-season resurgence.

The Kawasaki rider led the early stages while battling teammate Jonathan Rea but by half-distance his race pace began to dip which enabled both Rea and Michael van der Mark to get past. Sykes has blamed a lack of rear Pirelli tyre traction for his fade and is keen to address the issue ahead of race two at his home round.

Sykes used the same rear Pirelli tyre as teammate Rea who also suffered with tyre performance in the race while race winner Michael van der Mark opted for the different specification of SC0 development rear.

“It is a shame we couldn’t find that rear traction which I didn’t expect to happen,” Sykes said. “I thought we had a good and strong race set-up but unfortunately it ran out.

“In the race I just wanted to get into the lead and I had a lot better pace at the beginning. But for some reason in the middle of the race I started suffering with spinning the rear tyre. I think I managed that and I think we did the best we could.

“Michael had incredible grip and when he came through, away he went. So for tomorrow we have a little bit of work to do but a podium is nothing too shabby. Tomorrow I feel we can improve the bike and give it a better shot.”

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After suffering a run of six races without a podium Sykes has now secured four consecutive podium results including his race two win at Assen last month. As a result, the Kawasaki rider has cut the points deficit to Chaz Davies to 17 points in the hunt for second place in the riders’ championship.

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