Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes pulled no punches after the opening WorldSBK race in which he felt he could have been a podium finisher.

“That was a little bit of a disaster, let’s be fair, because all weekend, in free practice and qualifying the lap times have been exactly where they needed to be,” said Sykes.

“In the first race it looks like we had a big issue with the front tyre and there was no riding around it. I had a decent start, dropped into third and then on the first two laps I knew something was not right. By the time I got onto lap four that was the end of my race.

I am very disappointed and I was struggling to stay on the bike. In the end I had to reduce the corner speed. I then had to reduce my corner speed so much just to finish the race. Massive disappointment, which is the understatement of the day. I am just gutted because we were more than capable of a top three today, and when it rains it pours. We have to take it on the chin.”

Sykes said there was no way to fend off riders coming from behind as they caught and passed him quickly.
“It was impossible to defend,” said Sykes. “I was just watching my pitboard, saw it coming down from a five second gap, and then a couple of laps later they were on my tail. When they passed me it was like, ‘OK, after you.’ I could not do anything. I was just like a sitting duck and I was so disappointed that I just had to finish a race and try to keep a few points in the bag at least.”

Sykes is convinced his general race one set-up was good, so much so that he said, “I do not think we need to make any changes for tomorrow, it just looks like we got dealt a bad front tyre, and that is all I can say. Apart from that the set-up is good to go. Just put in some new tyres and go racing.”

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