Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes was put to work at yesterday’s World Superbike test at Motorland Aragon, completing the equivalent of more than four race distances in a successful attempt to find the tyre life he had been lacking so far this season.
Sykes has been able to use the Pirelli qualifying tyre to great effect, taking five pole positions this year but come race time, his early speed has tailed off at mid-race distance and he hasn’t been able to challenge for as many podiums as he wants. Crucially, he says he hasn’t sacrificed outright lap speed with the new setup either.
“We have done some amount of testing today! My crew chief has worked me hard, the equivalent of over four races. I am very happy with today’s progress, generally speaking. We have found some tyre life and looking at a comparison with last year’s lap times, I am happy. We also tried a couple of things in the wet on day one to improve our settings in those conditions and it seemed to pay off," said Sykes, who married Amy last Friday.
"There were a few of our rivals and some other bikes here for this test and I am glad there were some other bikes out there because the track was not in great condition yesterday. In the wet, on an already greasy track, it was not the best. Today all the bikes going round got rid of the car tyre rubber and the track is cleaning up nicely. It has been a productive day.
"We tried a long list of things on the bike and we got through everything just as the circuit closed. That was down to good organisation from my guys and we managed to make it count. We did a lot of testing but that’s what we are here for.”