Fourth Row For Sykes
April 26, 2010
WSBK, Assen, Netherlands, 24 April 2010
Both Kawasaki Racing Team riders, Chris Vermeulen and Tom Sykes, made it into Superpole qualifying, with Vermeulen finishing 19th and Sykes 14th before the start of Sunday's 22-lap races.
Sykes worked his way through practice to find a good raceday set-up on his Ninja ZX-10R, finishing 18th in combined qualifying, but improving four places on this when the real grid positions were up for grabs.
Vermeulen, despite suffering pain and lack of strength due to his recent right knee injury, made it into Superpole by qualifying 19th. A crash in the first Superpole session left him on the same position on the grid, but luckily uninjured after a high-speed highside.
Tom Sykes: "We came here with open minds and with machine settings and lessons we learned from the previous round. It has been hard work around Assen so far and I have had to focus and concentrate to do the best lap times. But we are making progress and altering the bike to get the best from the whole package. We made changes to the front and rear, just to get a good balance on the bike. We also have some new ideas for tomorrow. We need to get away cleanly and I think we can set consistent lap times in the races."
Chris Vermeulen: "I am really happy to be back racing but I am struggling a bit more than I expected in terms of just riding the bike the way I want. But it is good to be back on the bike and it should make the Monza race next time out that much better. I was trying a bit too hard when I crashed, but I wanted to get into Superpole 2. I am annoyed at the crash and part of the reason was the fact that we have lengthened the gap between the footpeg and the seat to help my knee bend enough, but that also makes it more difficult for riding technique. Because my leg does not have the power it did before, it gets tired very quickly. That means I have had to muscle the bike around with my arms. I am not injured after my fall, which is good. The tyres are pretty much chosen for tomorrow, but I will confirm that in warm-up."