Sykes: Longest five laps of my career

Tom Sykes was left to rue a missed opportunity at Sepang this weekend after his decision to push hard in the early stages backfired with his tyres losing grip.

Having claimed Superpole on the Saturday, Sykes was upbeat ahead of Race 1 and he made a flying start as he built a lead of more than three seconds over the chasing pack.

However, his tyres were worn out by the time they reached the halfway stage of the race and his lead disappeared in the space of a couple of laps, forcing him to settle for fifth place in the end.

The Kawasaki rider admits he didn't expect things to go pear-shaped with the tyres.

"I certainly didn’t feel like I was over-stressing the tyres," he told "The last five laps were the longest five laps of my career. I really struggled and couldn’t get any lean angle. It was a big, big shame.

"I wasn’t expecting the tyres to drop off. We used an old rear tyre in warm-up; on the 12th lap it was still working very well.

"Nobody was expecting this amount of drop-off. I like to get on the bike and push hard. It would have been nice to do that for 16 laps but it wasn’t the case – the track conditions didn’t accept my riding style."