It’s been a tough season for Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) for many different reasons, but on Friday at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours the 2013 World Champion showed once more why he is one of the most revered riders on the paddock, topping FP2 and finishing second position in the combined Free Practice standings.
With the 33-year-old’s future still unclear, the rider from Yorkshire shot out like a lightning bolt on the opening day in France, ending the practice sessions just two tenths of a second behind teammate Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and putting in consistent lap times around the 4.4 kilometre track.
Sykes, who currently sits fourth in the championship standings, was calm and composed from the get-go, something that the KRT rider believes helped him on Friday: “I just felt a little clearer today, things were coming much easier. The bike was working well, very consistent, I’m really happy with the feedback. The third session was a little less consistent just because we had three items to get through, and now I feel we’re ready for the racing tomorrow”.
Coming off of two fifth positions at the previous round, Sykes believes that he can make a step forward now that his injury concerns are behind: “It’s a massive difference. The change of direction is so much easier now. The ankle and ultimately the leg were weak in Portugal, it was a bit difficult getting out of the sequence of hills and changes of direction. It’s a night and day difference, and I think we’ll only get better and feeling better on the bike”.
Can the Yorkshireman grab his second win of 2018 at the Acerbis French Round? Find out LIVE thanks to WorldSBK VideoPass.