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Motorsport | Superbikes

Sykes hopes for an Italian Job

The 2010 World Superbike Championship returns after a short break when round eight of the thirteen-round series heads for the Misano circuit on the Italian Riviera this weekend.

Returning to Italy for the second time out of three visits this year, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) is hoping for a repeat of the performance last time he was in the country. Then, back at Monza three rounds ago, the Huddersfield rider scored his best performances in both qualifying and racing aboard the Paul Bird Motorsport team's factory Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R whilst Aussie Chris Vermeulen also got his campaign back on track following injury.

Sykes posted an eighth place during qualifying and backed that up with a ninth in the opening race, but better was to come when he moved up to fifth place in race two to score his best finish of the season to date for the Penrith-based team.

For his part, former MotoGP race winner Vermeulen, despite still struggling with a knee injury sustained in the first race of the season, battled at Monza and recorded his best results of the season also at the time.

However since then, it's been hard going for both Sykes and Vermeulen with minimal points during the last two rounds at Kyalami and Salt Lake City so both riders are hoping that a return to Europe will help elevate themselves from their respective 15th and 19th places in the series standings.

"Coming away from the Miller race wasn't so good for us as the results were not what we were expecting but we are continuing to make progress with the ZX-10R machine and learning all the time," said Tom Sykes. "I'm happy with the team and the way we work together as we know that when we find a good direction, we make the most of it. I'm looking forward to Misano, it's a really nice track and I enjoy racing here. I will start fresh after the recent break and will look forward to seeing what we can achieve. I have high expectations of myself and the team so it's just about finding the combination to make the package strong and seeing what we can get out of the bike. Hopefully we can make another step forward."

"I've had some decent results at the Misano circuit over the years with a mix of podiums in WSB, WSS and MotoGP but never the top step," said Chris Vermeulen. "Unfortunately I don't think this year we'll have the package to reach the top step of the podium but I do hope that I will be able to make a significant leap up as the four-week break has done me good. My injured knee is coming along and I've been working hard on my training and physio treatments in Australia since Miller so I'm looking forward to seeing what Misano brings us. The Misano event is always a favourite amongst fans with the sunshine and Italian passion for racing so I hope we can put on a good show and improve on our current form."



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