Tom Sykes goes into his 13th full season in the World Superbike championship this season and third with the Motorrad BMW Team. 

Sykes will line up on the brand new M 1000 RR package along with team-mate Michael Van Der Mark, Jonas Folger and former team-mate Eugene Laverty, as the German manufacturer looks to close the gap at the front. 

The 2013 world champion currently has 34 wins in the class - which puts him in the all-time top ten winners list, but the British rider is far and away the leading rider when it comes to pole positions. 

Sykes has 50 pole positions to his name, which is a record that can’t be matched by any current rider in 2021, as Jonathan Rea is next on that list with 27. 

In a recent World Superbike organised video series, WorldSSP rider Federico Caricasulo asked Sykes how he prepares for a fast lap.

Sykes alluded to everything happening ‘in slow motion’, and that the performance he is able to extract is all based on the ‘grip’ available. 

"For me, everything goes in slow motion, I have a lot of time to think and react. On my starting lap, I just feel the grip that I can have," added Sykes. 

"As soon as I cross the line to do my Superpole lap, for me everything is a reference: the initial acceleration, the identification of my braking points, the way I release the front brake in the corner and face it directly... everything revolves around the grip you have. 

"Of course, this is all changing because now you have a lot more grip. I feel very fortunate to be able to react to this very quickly and understand the full potential in such a short time."

Most of the Superpole success for Sykes came during his extensive time with Kawasaki, however, the Huddersfield born rider has also claimed a pole position in each of the last two seasons on the unfavoured BMW S 1000 RR. 

"I feel safer on a Superpole lap than on a race lap, I feel much more natural on the bike," added the 35 year-old. 

"In the past, when I was looking for crazy records on the circuits, especially with qualifying tires, I was always aiming to open up the throttle and balance the bike as much as possible and using that rear grip as much as possible. 

"For me, it is a very easy and comfortable way to harmonize with my riding style."

 

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