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Sykes rolls to fourth place for Rizla Suzuki

RIZLA SUZUKI'S Tom Sykes finished in fourth place today at Oulton Park during free practice for round three of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship, lapping the challenging Cheshire track in 1min 37.344secs.

Sykes and his crew worked steadily through a number of chassis changes to dial his Rizla Suzuki into the undulating 2.69 mile circuit and set his fastest lap right at the end of the session.

Atsushi Watanabe rode to 16th place during the dry 50-minute sessions putting his new found circuit knowledge to use, having completed a track day with John Reynolds at Oulton Park ahead of the race weekend. He gradually improved his lap times and moved up the ranks to achieve a top 16 placing.

The fastest rider during the session was Honda's Cal Crutchlow. Qualifying takes place tomorrow 4th May at 1505 - 1555, the racing starts in anger on Bank Holiday Monday 5th May with race one at 1300 and race two at 1530. British Eurosport will broadcast live on race day at 1230-1630.

Tom Sykes:

"We are getting there, I could have got a better run on my fast lap but I made a little mistake, otherwise I would have been lapping in the 1min 36s which is where we need to be. We are definitely going in the right direction and I love this circuit. We are working on the chassis and have plenty more changes to try; I know what direction I want to go in. I hope we get more dry track time but if we don't then it is the same for everyone and we can gamble on the settings."

Atsushi Watanabe:
"Still learning the track but my feeling for here is better than my feeling for Thruxton.  Some corners are very challenging and some very technical but there are lots of places to overtake. The bumps on the circuit are difficult but it is good circuit."

Free Practice Results:

1: Cal Crutchlow (Honda) 1:36.596
2: Leon Haslam (Honda)  +0.151
3: Shane Byrne (Ducati)  +0.448
5: Michael Rutter (Ducati) +1.022
6: Leon Camier (Ducati)  +1.197
7: Karl Harris (Yamaha)  +1.245
8: Simon Andrews (Yamaha) +1.782
9: Stuart Easton (Kawasaki) +2.001
10:  James Ellison (Honda) +2.170