|Sykes isn’t thinking of the championship just yet
Photo: Kawasaki Racing Team
Kawaskai Racing team riders Tom Sykes and Loris Baz are heading to Monza feeling positive, after securing podiums last time out in Assen.
British rider Sykes is feeling motivated ahead of the visit to the Italian circuit, where he won the only race last year. He now lies in joint second position in the championship with Eugene Laverty and Chaz Davies after almost ‘doing the double’ in Assen two weeks ago, the 27 year old will hope to continue this winning run of form.
Sykes said “I am obviously very motivated off the back of the Assen weekend. It was so enjoyable there because I went there thinking it was not going to be our strongest point in the season but I almost had the full set of two wins and Superpole. Our bike is working great and the changes made to the bike this year look like they are having the desired effect across the board. The wet session in Assen was nice because it ticked off a box that used to have a question mark in it. Moving to Monza now, I am looking forward to it because I won the only race there last year. It is a circuit I enjoy because of some good past results and it is nice to ride as well because it has a great history. The Ninja ZX-10R is a very well balanced package and we are going there to do a job now. The championship position is very unusual with three riders on the same points in second place, although I am not too concerned with the championship placings at this stage. I’m just looking forward to keeping up momentum and improving things again in a couple of areas.”
French team-mate Loris Baz has a similar feeling of confidence after securing his first podium of 2013 at Assen two weeks ago.
Just one week after winning the Bol d’Or 24- Hour race, Baz secured a solid third position finish in race two at Assen. The young 20 year old now lies in 6th position in the championship standings, 5 points behind Jonathan Rea in 5th.
Baz explained “After the last round I needed some time to relax after doing the Bol d’Or 24-Hour race the weekend before, then going straight to Assen to race in SBK. I was not tired even after the races in the Netherlands but when I got back home I was getting more tired and more tired all the time. Last Wednesday I was destroyed! I trained just a little bit that week but now I have started training hard again. I was really happy with the podium at Assen and it has come along early in the season, earlier than we expected. We knew we were faster than last year in the dry but it is clear everybody has done a good job and we will continue to work in the same positive way. I am confident for this weekend. I know the track at Monza is totally different from Assen and in some ways it looks like it may not be the best track for us. But I am confident because we have made a good improvement in this kind of track, after our performances at Aragon, even in the parts with slower corners. I won a Superstock 600 race at Monza in 2008 and I like the circuit. It has a really fast straight and although we know some other bikes are going to be fast there, we also have a good engine. I feel we can be maybe top five or top six, and that is always the same target.”