The second best finish in a full distance race in 2019 for Tom Sykes saw him repeat his Superpole qualifying position to take sixth place, only three seconds from what was the eventual podium pace, after Rea’s demotion to fourth.
The shenanigans up front between Rea and Lowes were irrelevant to Sykes and his works BMW, but he showed enough to beat Davies, Cortese and Haslam, on a bike which is plainly a little slower than most of the other factory machines.
“I am relatively happy to be honest,” said 2013 champion Sykes, now six races into his new BMW gig. “I got settled into the race and again just faced some small issues we have faced in other races where I have been able to do some pretty nice things in the middle of a corner.
“I could get on the back of the other guys, but when I did that I found some limitations. It is a shame because I feel when we get on a clear track we have a better rhythm.”
The only thing missing right now is engine power, which means Sykes can set a fast pace but cannot pass others. “The moment we start to increase the horsepower I will be able to change the style back to what we need to do in race conditions.
I am still enjoying riding but the result… I would like a little bit extra. I feel at round six we are not doing a bad job. I am upbeat and my target is to keep working forwards, especially considering what should be coming in terms of development.”
It was put to Sykes that it had been confirmed to one journalist that he would the bike would have a new engine spec, with maybe five, or six or eight horsepower more for the next race in Misano, to which Sykes said, “That is fantastic news, beautiful…” before he was then asked if that was enough to sort out all his problems.
“If that is the figures they are talking it won’t sort all our problems but again, it is a very new project and it will put us closer to the money. Ducati has obviously been on track behind closed doors for a while, the Kawasaki is a polished machine, but in BWM it is the first day at school in terms of where we are in set-up. We just need time and everybody in the project understands that.
“We are all enjoying ourselves and working to the same target and I believe we will arrive there. Just for now we cannot do magical things, but I still believe the whole team have done an exceptional job considering the limitations that we have faced. So we will keep pushing.”