Sykes On Row Three For Kyalami Races

May 17, 2010

WSBK, Kyalami, South Africa, 15 May 2010
Tom Sykes put up a good fight in qualifying and Superpole on his Kawasaki Racing Team Ninja ZX-10R, finally reaching Superpole 2 and going 12th on the grid for Sunday's two 24-lap races.

His team-mate Chris Vermeulen was still working around the limitations of his injured right knee, but made improvements all through practice to make it into Superpole 1, but he could not progress any further. He is 19th on the grid, and hopes to be in the points on raceday, despite losing some track time in practice.

The 4.246km racetrack near Johannesburg has remained free of rain so far, and in consistently dry conditions Sykes found real improvements in his overall machine set-up again, and hopes for even more set-up advances in warm-up on Sunday morning.

Sykes was third fastest in the first Superpole sector when using fresh tyres, setting his best time of the weekend in the process, 1'38.206.

Tom Sykes: "We went fast in the first Superpole session because we used a new front and new rear tyre and when the bike has grip I can make it work. We have proved that time and time again. So now I am happy to be on the third row, and I know we can improve slightly. We found a lot of time, around 1.4 seconds, using the qualifying tyre. It is a fine balance but we are keeping our heads together working well. Our race pace is not too shabby and we can manage the tyres quite well. So tonight we will have a think about a final plan for race day and come back tomorrow with a few new ideas."

Chris Vermeulen: "There was not so much time between Monza and this race and I spent three days in Belgium after doing physio on my injured knee. The plane flight over to South Africa caused my knee to swell but I am doing as much as I can. On the bike side, I lost quite a bit of track time today because of a couple of small problems but we have found out what the issues were and improved them. I just wanted more time on the bike to re-learn the circuit, but we improved our best time in Superpole anyway, which was good. Quite a step, in fact. We have to compromise the set-up because of my injury but we are now getting good information from the bike and it is starting to get better all the time. We are now a lot closer."