HUDDERSFIELD racer Tom Sykes was in reflective mood after bringing the curtain down on the 2011 World Superbike campaign in unspectacular style in Portugal.

The Kawasaki Racing Team rider was hoping to go out on a high and emulate some of his earlier season heroics that saw the 26-year-old claim a maiden World Superbike win in Germany.

But there was to be no fairytale as Sykes (pictured right) finished eighth in race one before a technical problem cut his second outing in Portimao short.

And while 13th overall with 141 points is by no means a disaster, Sykes is determined to improve in the 2012 campaign and challenge the paddock’s leading riders.

“I never really got the bike the way I wanted over the weekend, however there have been real highpoints in this season,” said Sykes, who finished a massive 364 points behind champion Carlos Checa.

“None more so than the win on the new Ninja ZX-10R in Germany and taking pole at Misano. At the back of my mind I know we can finally make this work if we carry it on for next year.”

Sykes produced a gutsy effort in race one, holding off the challenge of fellow Brit Leon Haslam to claim eighth and some valuable championship points.

But things ended with a whimper as what first appeared to be a minor technical hitch soon become terminal and he was forced out of race two.

“Race one was a big learning session and we struggled a bit all weekend with front-end feel. We are definitely not where I need to be with the feeling of the bike,” he added. “I got passed in turn one and that put me wide and onto the dirty bit of the track, so I lost places. It was unfortunate but we had a great start and got up to fifth position at one time.

“I was consistent at the end of the race and every lap gives us information. We all know where we need to be and the team has a very good understanding of what I need from the bike.

“I finished eighth when I was back in 11th and it is quite promising. Race two was unlucky for us but that’s racing sometimes.”

WSB races will be shown on British Eurosport, with all European rounds in HD. British Eurosport – Sky channel 410 & Virgin Media 521. Eurosport HD is on Sky 412 & Virgin Media 522. Watch races live online at