Tom Sykes on form with blistering pace in first German qualifying Yamaha World Superbike rider Tom Sykes looked immediately at home in familiar weather conditions on the Nurburgring circuit today. Although an issue in the first free practice ...
Tom Sykes on form with blistering pace in first German qualifying
Yamaha World Superbike rider Tom Sykes looked immediately at home in familiar weather conditions on the Nurburgring circuit today. Although an issue in the first free practice session meant missing out on some lap time, the British rider made up for it in the afternoon, and despite a small crash he moved quickly up the ranks to finish the first qualifying session in second place, half a second off provisional pole man Jonathan Rea.
Team-mate Ben Spies worked to find the right set up today, taking his time to understand how his bike performed in the wet conditions and hunting the perfect combination of bike set up and tyre choice. By the end of qualifying he was confident that the right combination had been found and was looking forward to bringing his lap times down in tomorrow's second qualifying session and following Superpole.
Tom Sykes, Yamaha World Superbike Team (2nd, 2'11.781)
"We started off steady this morning, we knew we had a couple of issues to sort out which took some time. We were also struggling for grip to start with but we made changes which worked. I went back out on a new tyre with all the changes in place and unfortunately the tyre wasn't up to temperature so I lost the back end. I managed to low side it gently and had no damage so got back on and carried on. We had a good gap in the weather so I chipped away at the time. I think maybe we can improve a bit more but I was really impressed with how much grip we were finding."
Ben Spies, Yamaha World Superbike Team (13th, 2'13.898)
"Today went ok, we weren't as high up in the time sheets as we wanted to be but it's always hard coming to a track and learning it in the wet when you don't know how the tarmac works in the rain. We worked on some set up stuff and towards the end of the session we started to get down to some better times than what we had been doing before. By the time we got to a really good set up we realized we had the wrong tyres on at the end of the session, there's pretty much one set of tyres that are working well in the rain and we weren't on them. We learnt a lot about the bike in the rain, we've found something pretty good so we just need to try some different rubber tomorrow and I'm sure the lap times will start to tumble."
Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager
"for sure the conditions we had today are the worst for learning a track. We have to wait for tomorrow's weather and hope it is better, but still we remain confident. Tom achieved some great results, I think the typical English weather helped him! He's showed us that he's always focusing on improving so we're happy."