HARD WORK AT KYALAMI FOR SYKES AND VERMEULEN After the encouraging results at Monza a week previously, Kawasaki Racing Team riders Tom Sykes and Chris Vermeulen were brought back down to earth with a bump following round six of the 2010...
HARD WORK AT KYALAMI FOR SYKES AND VERMEULEN
After the encouraging results at Monza a week previously, Kawasaki Racing Team riders Tom Sykes and Chris Vermeulen were brought back down to earth with a bump following round six of the 2010 Hannspree World Superbike Championship which took place at Kyalami in South Africa.
Riding the factory Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R, Yorkshireman Sykes qualified on the third row of the grid with Australian Vermeulen still struggling with injury back on row five. In the opening 24-lap race, Sykes got a poor start and faded back as the race went on due to lack of grip and just missed out on the final World Championship point as he finished 16th whereas Vermeulen, in his first race at the track in a decade, maintained his fifth row position in the early stages before consolidating 18th place at the flag.
Race two saw both riders again struggle around the tricky track but Sykes gamely battled to 14th place at the flag, his tenth finish of the year and eighth inside the points, with the former World Supersport Champion Vermeulen claiming 16th place just outside the points for the Penrith-based Paul Bird Motorsport team.
Going into the next round at Miller Motorsport Park in the USA in two weeks time, Sykes holds 15th place in the World Championship with Vermeulen in 19th place.
Tom Sykes: "We started on middle ground here in Kyalami and we put in some decent qualifying performances as when I had the grip in the bike I could make it work really well. We struggled to be consistent in race one which was disappointing for me and the team and like most of the guys, we had grip issues here and it was difficult to hang on. I had a bad start in race one and couldn't make up any ground, and race two we just had to hang in there to try and grab some points. We definitely have work to do but I'm confident we can improve and get back to the consistency we have shown in previous races."
Chris Vermeulen: "We made some changes in the morning warm up which helped the performance of the bike but I found this to be quite aggressive on the tyre over the race distance and our lap times suffered. In race two, I managed to get a decent start but was beat up on a couple of the first corners and lost some places but my pace was consistent and I felt more confident on the bike. I'm looking forward to racing at Salt Lake City as it's a new circuit for me. The team had a decent result there last year so I'm confident that we can keep making progress."
Paul Risbridger, Team Manager: "The team had a promising start to the weekend during qualifying and certainly in the morning warm-up but for some reason the race results did not eventuate to our expectations. The positives however were that we maintained our performance in qualifying from Monza with Tom putting in a good performance in SP1 and the race pace shown by Chris in race two shows signs that he is beginning to get back to potential fitness. We feel the bike set-up is still improving at each race and the team looks forward to matching the performance we had in Miller last year."