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Sykes has got plenty to smile about.

Byline: Nate Saunders

AS IS becoming a welcome habit Tom 'the Grinner' Sykes was smiling from ear to ear after World Superbike round five - but the Leamington rider admitted he rode his luck at Donington Park.

After a few tough years as a WSB also-ran Sykes has been nothing short of a revelation in 2012 - pole position at Donington his fourth from five attempts this season.

The Leamington ace looked well placed to turn that pole into his second win of the year in race one but having led early on, was forced to settle for third.

But if the Kawasaki Racing Team rider needed a little bit of luck to hold off Jonathan Rea to take third in the opener the Northern Irishmen was no doubt the toast of the Sykes motorhome after the second.

In barging his way through to take the second race win Rea had a hand in both Leon Haslam and Marco Melandri - the previous 1-2 - taking a tumble.

Their loss was Sykes' gain as he was bumped up from fifth to third - cue the smiles.

"Without sounding funny I like to be at the front of a race, when I'm there I feel really comfortable," said Sykes. "This week has been difficult, we haven't had the best set up but to come away with two podiums, obviously it was thanks to the two BMW guys, but we'll take them all day long.

"I'll happily get used to the podium.

One small mistake and you pay the price, I got swamped by riders and tried to make the best of a situation and it turned out even better. "I was a little too far back to see what happened at the end but when I saw two bikes go down, I might not be the sharpest tool in the shed but five minus two equals podium! Like I said, I'll take it week in week out."

Sykes' double podium appearance takes him to six already in the 2012 season. But with Italian Max Biaggi claiming second in race two it is the former champion who tops the podium heading into round six in America.

Sykes sits second, five points adrift on 123.5 points but the Leamington ace only had eyes for the positives after his weekend to remember on home soil.

"I'm happy for the Kawasaki squad to have pole and two thirds," he added.

"It's a really consistent package which is good and we'll keep on pushing forward.

"It's great to get that duck off my back, that makes it six podiums already this year. I've really got to thank the team for giving me the package to do it. It's all happy days at the moment, so roll on America." * British Eurosport is the Home of Bikes, showing all MotoGP, World Superbike and British Superbike races on Sky channels 410 and 411 and Virgin Media channels 521 and 525 as well as eurosportplayer.co.uk
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:May 16, 2012
Words:493
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