Tom Sykes says he’s optimistic heading to Misano thanks to strong reference points to work from with the Kawasaki ZX-10RR from previous success at the Italian circuit.

Sykes has the chance to make World Superbike history this weekend as he could become the first rider to claim seven pole positions at the same circuit.

With four race wins also to his name at the Rimini circuit, including last year’s race one albeit following the scary crash between Chaz Davies and Jonathan Rea, Sykes is relishing the Misano round after a frustrating outing at Laguna Seca which resulted in a seventh and a eighth place finish.

“I head there in the knowledge that we have good information to work with,” Sykes said. “The corners give it an interesting layout with a fast section that is unbelievable.

“A flat-out right kink, with quite a dip in the middle. You have to get the front settled on the way in. The lap times are always close at Misano so you have to get technical and find the small differences that way.”

Rea, Sykes on MotoGP pace at Jerez

While profiting from the Rea-Davies crash last year, Misano turned out to be one of the best rounds for Sykes in 2017 following up his race one win with third place in race two.

The 2013 World Superbike champion currently sits fourth in the riders’ championship, just 13 points ahead of Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes, but has struggled to match the unrelenting consistency of his teammate Rea so far this season with the Northern Irish rider taking eight wins and five additional podiums compared to Sykes’s one win and five podiums.