Sykes: "I should have chosen the softer tyre"

Sunday, 1 October 2017 14:49 GMT

British rider explains last minute decision cost him podium fighting potential

Just two weeks after breaking and dislocating his little finger on his right hand, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) was able to secure a podium and a top seven finish in tricky conditions at the Pirelli French Round.

Following a wet Saturday in Magny-Cours, Sykes was able to secure a podium finish but the rain clouds kept away on Sunday morning and race two was declared dry. However as clouds began to roll in and temperatures dropped, there were spots of rain around the circuit and Sykes decided to run the harder compound Pirelli tyre for the race.

Getting a decent start from the third row, the 31 year old got a steady start but was unable to get up and fight for the podium positions. However as the rain continued to fall, and the British rider was disappointed to cross the line in seventh position, following his podium finish yesterday. Sykes now looks ahead to Jerez, where he is happy to have the two week break, in order to allow his finger to recover.

“Top seven is nothing to write home about,” begins Sykes “I’m disappointed because I’ve taken a lot of sacrifices over the last few weeks, and a lot of air miles to get myself sorted. To be honest I didn’t really expect to be able to ride. It’s strange, I don’t have the confidence to put soap in my hand but the boys have done a great job, we were able to put a lot of confidence in that handlebar, and we were able to race. We made a last minute decision on the grid, after we suffered with the soft compound tyre in warm up, and at the start of the race it was cold so we decided to run the harder compound. With the hard compound we knew it would last the full race, whereas the softer one could have been a disaster in the last few laps. I should have gone for the softer compound but everything is easier in hindsight, I think the softer option with my bike and myself could have had podium potential. But now we have a few weeks break before Jerez which is great and we will look ahead to there.”

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