Sykes upbeat despite missed podium

He may not have finished on the podium in the first World Superbike race of the season on Saturday, but Tom Sykes is choosing to focus on the positives.

Sykes had the benefit of starting from pole in race one at Phillip Island, but was powerless to prevent the likes of Davide Giugliano, Chaz Davies, Michael van der Mark and Nicky Hayden from passing him during the race – while his team-mate Rea had enough pace to secure the victory.

In the end he rallied to at least secure fifth and 11 championship points.

“I think no-one wanted to lead but Jonathan and I had good pace initially but unfortunately I lost a little bit of track position to some other riders,” said Sykes. “That disturbed my rhythm a bit but we had good pace in the middle and at three quarters distance.”

After the race, Sykes said in the post-race paddock show that he couldn’t have beaten his partner, even if Rea “was in a wheelbarrow”.

Sykes has tended to struggle at Phillip Island, and so didn’t see finishing 3.4 seconds behind the race winner as the worst result.

“Really, it was just on two corners on the track where we struggled and I was able to take an advantage in many areas but I lost it all in two vital areas of the racetrack,” he said.

“I had to ride around this but on the plus side the gap to the front was smaller than we have had in the past here and we are improving the feeling all the time. I am not downbeat and it is a long season. Now we have another race tomorrow.”

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