His team-mate Loris Baz was on course for a first race podium until he collided with another rider, while David Salom in the SBK Evo class, had a mixed day, but still enjoys a significant Evo championship lead.
In the first 20-lap WSBK race Sykes moved up and down the order after missing a gear near the start, and had to work hard to overcome a less than ideal race set-up in cool conditions to finish fifth.
A strong recovery from Tom in race two, in which he finished third, saw him defend his championship leading status in determined fashion, with his 14th podium finish of the year leaving him now 31 points in the championship lead over Jerez double second place man, Sylvain Guintoli.
Baz, starting from pole in convincing fashion, was always a factor in race one until he fell shortly after double race winner Marco Melandri passed him into a hairpin and they touched at the apex. Loris went out for race two with high hopes again but despite a full effort he had to work hard to finish seventh. He battled strongly and won a three-rider battle over the line. Loris is now fifth in the rankings, five points from fourth place.
In the SBK Evo class David Salom won the first race-within-a-race on his Ninja ZX-10R, but was unfortunate to fall in race two, on the second lap. He is now 41 points ahead in the Evo class and ranked 12th overall in the SBK table.
The FIM Superbike World Championship will now head to Magny Cours in France for the penultimate round, between 3 and 5 October.
TOM SYKES (Rider Kawasaki Racing Team): “A lot of hard riding got me the podium in race two because physically it was really difficult. I had to use a lot of rider input. We made some changes in race two and came close to the front in third place. There was nothing more I could do and tried my hardest. I always thought this weekend could be a little bit uphill. Overall, I have to say I am satisfied, particularly as we had some misfortunes in race one. We did a decent job and we have not lost too much ground. I am very motivated and we have tried a lot of things this weekend. We will continue with our racing season and the guys have worked super hard to cater to my requests and needs here, so it was nice to repay them with a podium finish in race two.”
LORIS BAZ (Rider Kawasaki Racing Team): “In race one I touched with Melandri on my handlebar - and that is racing sometimes. Maybe I did not give him enough space when I saw him. I thought he was going to take the corner straight away but instead he pulled the bike straight - maybe he lost the front or something - and then he touched my handlebar. It was a shame because I could have won that one. We did not change anything for race two but the bike did not feel the same and I am not sure what happened. We could have done something really good here and taken some good big but I lost some instead.”
DAVID SALOM (Rider Kawasaki Racing Team): “Maybe with six or seven laps to go in race one I had no force left in my hand but I pushed to pass Barrier. The bike was sliding a lot but I did not use the throttle too hard and tried to ride smoothly. When Barrier ran wide on the final corner I could pass him back inside and take the Evo win. I was happy for the whole team, Kawasaki and everybody after race one, so it was a shame to fall in race two. Even with that, we took a bigger points lead in the Evo championship.”