Sykes back on form as 2013 countdown begins
Tom Sykes and Loris Baz make a start on their preparations for the 2013 World Superbike Championship with a test at Almeria in Spain.
Tom Sykes says he is pleased with the progress made during his and Kawasaki's first outing of the 2013 World Superbike Championship season, despite having to curtail his Almeria test due to weather.
Just as it did ahead of a hugely successful 2012 season, Kawasaki is embarking on a strict testing schedule for 2013, with Sykes and team-mate Loris Baz sharing the Spanish circuit with FIXI Crescent Suzuki and Althea Aprilia before heading to Jerez for a more comprehensive test next week.
Despite windy conditions limiting action on the second day of the test, Sykes was happy to complete a total of 82 laps, the 2012 runner-up concluding with a best lap time of 1min 34.9secs set during the opening stages. For reference, Sykes lapped the circuit in 1min 34.6secs at the same test last year, though conditions were notably warmer.
"The good news after day one was that we were straight on the pace after the winter break and got up to speed quickly. It proved a very useful day and I did 82 laps. There was a strong wind on day two, which is a shame because we did not venture out on the track.
"Even when I woke up this morning I could hear the wind really howling around the hotel. For us it all worked out nicely anyway because we worked on suspension, and other things to keep us moving forward. Now we go to Jerez for two days and I am looking forward to continuing our good work there."
Baz, meanwhile, spent the initial portion of the test getting to grips with the twisty Almeria circuit having not experienced it before on a Superbike. Coupled to the early finish of the test, Baz is now looking forward to getting more miles under his belt at Jerez.
"I did not have a full first day because of some issues but we got back into riding the race machine and it was really good to get used to the bike again. For me, we tried to find some better things under braking. I think we did that so I am looking forward to do more work in that area at the next test in Jerez.
"The last time I rode at Almeria in the dry was on an 80cc bike in 2005, so I had to learn the track a little. It is quite different on a Superbike! We know what we need to try and confirm when we get to Jerez, so I just want some good weather then so I can ride for two full days.