HUDDERSFIELD superbikes star Tom Sykes made the most of a three-day test at new SBK venue Jerez before the winter test ban kicks in.
Sykes, runner up by just half a point to Max Biaggi in the 2012 World Superbikes championship, again set impressive times with Kawasaki Racing Team colleague Loris Baz also making good progress in southern Spain.
Three days of good weather helped the team to develop the new Ninja ZX-10R bike, with evaluation of many components starting early and continuing from the beginning to the end of the test sessions.
The dry track conditions allowed Sykes to make his first real test at the track, having only done a few laps of Jerez earlier in his career in wet conditions.
Despite his initial lack of circuit experience Sykes scorched around the circuit in the south of Spain in his usual fast and consistent style, producing good single lap times and a strong race pace as well.
He set a best lap of 1 minute 40.4 seconds on a race tyre during the final morning.
Sykes said: “The last day was very productive and I did 89 laps, which is about four race distances.
“I am happy because we know what we need to do and we have taken a lot of information from this test.
“Monday was my first dry day here at Jerez because I had only been able to do ten wet laps before.
“I am still finding out a few little secrets, so I am happy because many other riders have been here many times, especially the ex-GP riders.
“Our times were pretty good. I did a 1.40.4 on an SC1 tyre and although we went to try an SC0 tyre at the end if the day, with the low sun and so on, I thought we would give it a miss.
“At the end of the day this is testing and it has been a good experience. We have done some good laps, fast and consistently and we have worked on various settings on the bike.”
The upward development path of 19-year-old Baz also continued once more with the French rider showing good pace and an ability to learn as he pushed his way to a best lap of 1.41.4.
The winter testing ban, which applies to all SBK teams, will lift in mid-January with more tests in Spain coming along for the Kawasaki Racing Team before they head off to the first round in Australia in late February.