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It’s no secret we were underpowered last year’

Works BMW WorldSBK star Tom Sykes is looking forward to the 2021 season and having a bike that is capable of competing with the pack in terms of power and top speed.

The former champion has revealed that he was wrecking tyres trying to keep up with the rocketship Ducatis and Hondas but with more guts, more aero and added setup options, Sykes believes he can pester the podium regularly.

“It was difficult last year. It was no secret that we were definitely underpowered, and this meant I was having to ask a lot more of the tyres in the middle of the corner which is not really what you need to do on a Superbike,” said Sykes.

“It’s all about getting the bike upright and using the power of the engine to do the talking. Power was certainly an issue. We still had some limitations on where we needed the chassis set up to be. But this is just time, this is development and certainly now with extra power, this is the biggest thing we’ll notice inside the team.

‘But then on top of that, we’ve had small changes to where we needed to on the chassis/swingarm. We’ve learnt a lot about many other small things, electronics, suspension and these little key ingredients, when you put them all together, they make a big difference on the track. I’m excited to pick up with testing.

“I believe there has been quite some upgrade with the M1000RR. I’ve heard a lot of great reports. It looks like I’m going to have to see for myself next week when we finally get to put it all on track in the south of Spain at Jerez.

‘Looking forward to it all, blow out the cobwebs and see what we have got. We all share this target to become World Champion again and I just believe with the new upgrades, with the new M1000RR, this will put us back into the playing field and ballpark of where we need to be.”

“Winglets have been a discussion inside the racing activity and, of course, like everything for me, I always feel whenever you do something in racing there’s always a positive and a negative. Doesn’t matter what you do, even if there’s one change there could be five positives but there’s always that negative.

“For me, with the winglets, I was pleasantly surprised at certain areas on the track which gives quite a big step in rider confidence and also in performance. There are still one or two areas where I need convincing, but I’ve got some great engineers around me to do that convincing. It’s only going to add to the package and, given that with more power, I’m hoping all these little steps help bring us closer.”

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