Sykes hoping for Donington breakthrough

Author: Oli Rushby Posted: 23 May 2015

Sykes says he's looking for a breakthrough at Donington

Tom Sykes has said he is hoping to be able to fight closer to the front at Donington Park this weekend after what he describes as a ‘difficult’ start to the season.

Sykes sits third in the championship standings after five rounds having taken just four podiums so far this year. The 2013 World Champion trails championship leader and teammate Jonathan Rea by some 112 points.

“It’s been a little bit difficult,” the Yorkshireman said talking to Bike Social. “We were slow to start with various things after winter testing but the good thing is we are now finding our direction and I’m feeling a lot happier on the bike so hopefully now we can continue in a good way.

“We came a lot closer in Imola, we improved our lap times from last year so that’s a step in the right direction.”

The factory Kawasaki-man came within points of taking a second World Championship last year, but says his feeling on the bike this season is completely different and he’s struggling to ride through those limitations.

“The bike has changed quite fundamentally compared to last year but my feeling is quite simple, I have had limitations. We are currently getting over those limitations, or finding a way around them and that’s the beauty of it. I’m having to really look at how to ride the bike in the best way but we’ll see what we can do.”

Sykes has won at Donington in the last two years

An added thorn in Sykes’ side is that teammate Jonathan Rea has beaten him in every race so far this year to dominate the championship standings. They say the first person a rider wants to beat is their teammate, but what does the Yorkshire Grinner make of that?

“It depends what your outlook on life is and your outlook on racing”, he explained. “My perception is a little bit different to other peoples and all I can do is focus on my problems. That’s all we’ve done in the last three or four years, we’ve got a proven package, it’s a race winning bike and for that I’m happy. Jonathan has been doing a great job for Kawasaki in the opening races so it’s good for the brand. I’m a bit behind him at the moment but it’s something that we’re working on. For me it has been difficult riding with these limitations but we’ll keep working as it would be nice to join the other guys and battle for race wins every weekend.

“Racing is racing. When you look at the points available and the points Jonathan has, sure he’s a long way in front but things do go wrong. In Aragon I had a technical problem and whether it be technical problems or other riders mistakes there are so many variables in racing.”

For the last two years, Sykes has dominated the British round of the World Championship at Donington, taking two commanding double victories on his ZX10-R. After the improvements seen in Imola he’s hoping to make the final breakthrough in front of his home fans this weekend.

“Donington is special for me. I’ve had great memories here and it’s my home race but I can only do the best I can and hopefully we are the fastest. Whether the competition is from my teammate or some of our opposition then it is what it is but the target is to try and keep improving my feeling with the bike.”