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Sykes superb second in free practice

RIZLA SUZUKI'S Tom Sykes set the second fastest lap time during free practice for round five of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship, at the high-speed Snetterton circuit in Norfolk.

Sykes ran at the front during both the 50-minute free practice sessions putting in consistent laps as he got dialled into the fast 1.952 mile circuit. His powerful Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 is perfectly matched to the historic airfield track that boasts two long straights and top speeds of around 200mph. Combined with an agile chassis, Sykes feels he has a winning package.

Rizla Suzuki's Atsushi Watanabe, who has just returned from podium success at the Suzuka 300Km race in Japan, also had a productive day on track. This is the first time that he has ridden at Snetterton so he spent his first session familiarising himself with the track before setting about dropping his lap times. He completed second free practice in 15th place but intends to improve on that tomorrow. Honda's Leon Haslam set the quickest time today.

Qualifying takes place on Saturday, 14th June at 1500, with race one kicking off at 1315 on Sunday, 15th June and race two at 1630. British Eurosport will broadcast live between 1300-1400 and 1530-1745.

Tom: "It's been a decent day. Right from the off my Rizla Suzuki has felt good and I've been comfortable. My Crew Chief, Pete Jennings, had a list of small changes for us to work through during second free practice and that took up the bulk of the session. We now have a superb set-up and I'm putting in consistent times on race tyres. We have a perfect direction for my GSX-
R1000 tomorrow for qualifying."

Atsu: "This is my second visit to Snetterton but this is the first time that I get to ride. We had a little problem this morning but this afternoon free practice went well and I made a big improvement of 2secs. My third place finish at the Suzuka 300Km race in Japan has given me a good feeling and my Rizla Suzuki has a strong engine which is ideal for Snetterton. I believe it will be a good weekend."

Free Practice Results:

1: Leon Haslam (Honda) 1:05.448
3: Leon Camier (Ducati) 1:05.847
4: Karl Harris (Yamaha) 1:05.923
5: Michael Rutter (Ducati) 1:05.974
6: Cal Crutchlow (Honda) 1:06.121
7: Simon Andrews (Yamaha) 1:06.146
8: Michael Laverty (Suzuki) 1:06.485
9: Billy McConnell (Kawasaki) 1:06.495
10: Stuart Easton (Kawasaki) 1:06.579