HUDDERSFIELD’S Tom Sykes admitted he was left feeling sick during World Superbike round 12 at Imola – after a crash in practice limited his chances on race day.
The 24-year-old was on the Italian circuit for less than five minutes during the opening practice session before his Yamaha bike lost grip and sent him hurtling off.
Sykes’ accident promptly brought the first session to a close with riders including fellow Brit Leon Haslam declaring the surface too slippery to ride on.
The Yamaha WSB rider suffered minor foot damage following the crash but was back out for the remaining practices and qualifying 24 hours later.
Sykes battled valiantly to qualify 16th before impressing in race one and taking the chequered flag in ninth but slipping to 12th in race two.
Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio both picked up race wins and Sykes admitted his practice crash knocked the wind out of him from the word go.
“Imola is one of the few tracks this season that I have had a chance to test at before actually competing and it was strange what happened during practice,” said Sykes, who still sits eighth with 176 points.
“We were at a test there earlier in the year and I was fifth fastest which was great for me and gave me real confidence that I would be on it straight out of the box.
“But it was a big crash for me and it’s the first time I can remember most of the day being cancelled. I thought I was feeling good after it but I soon felt a bit sick and the knock appeared to be more than I first thought.
“I tried to come out swinging because I was a bit disappointed with the times I posted and I was a bit far off.
“We had different settings on the bike and we tried to get back to basics, but it was hard out there.”
Elsewhere in the MCE Insurance British Superbikes, Sheffield’s Karl Harris’ topsy-turvy season continued with the 29-year-old picking up just two points.
Harris failed to make the starting grid for race one after suffering bike problems before finishing 14th in race two for his new SMT Honda team.
And in the Mirror.co.uk Cup Denby Dale’s Tom Tunstall failed to finish race one in the but recovered well to claim third in race two.
British Eurosport 2 has live coverage from every round of the Superbike World Championship. See the action on Sky channel 411 or Virgin Media channel 525.
The next race is at Magny Cours, France on Sunday, October 4 and for SBK updates visit uk.eurosport.yahoo.com