Sykes and Vermeulen Out to Turn the Utah Desert Green

Tom Sykes and Chris Vermeulen have a shared aim as they head to the high desert of Utah for round seven of the Superbike World Championship - score strongly in each 21-lap race.

Of the two official Kawasaki Racing Team riders only Tom has competed at Miller Motorsport Park before, but for everyone involved in the Superbike circus this meeting will be a new experience in one regard at least. The two 21-lap races are to be held on a Monday for the very first time, an initiative designed to increase the numbers of spectators at trackside. Monday 31st May is Memorial Day in the US, when those who have fallen for their country are remembered during what is a federal holiday.

The 4.907km circuit Tom and Chris are about to face in first practice on Saturday 29th is a very different one from they left behind at Kyalami in round six. Only their relatively high elevations above sea level are shared between Kyalami and Miller. The circuit close to Salt Lake City is modern, fast, wide and for the most part flat, although the circuit designers took steps to create some elevated corners, simply to make the challenge of the venue all the more intense.

Sykes has posted a season high-point of fifth so far and another result in that ballpark will be the aim of all in the team.

The midpoint of the 13-round/26-race season will be met in race one then passed through in race two at Miller.

After Kyalami, Vermeulen has had another few days in which to get his injured right leg close to normal operation for the first time since his big crash at round one. Chris hopes that he will be able to ride at his normal high level without any compromise in machine set-up or rider endurance to allow for his painful knee injury.

Tom Sykes: "We've had some ups and downs this past month but I'm looking forward to racing again at Miller. Last year this was the track where the Kawasaki put in one of its best performances of the year. Both bikes managed to qualify on the second row. I have every confidence in my team and I know that we can continue along those lines and put in a consistent, solid performance at Salt Lake City. I feel that our overall package is getting stronger and stronger and if we can keep up this momentum then both the team and I will be happy. I'm really looking forward to what the weekend brings."

Chris Vermeulen: "I am looking forward to going to Miller, a new circuit for me, but with the position we are in with the bike we should go well there. I feel better all the time and getting stronger so I am looking forward to going to America. Last year's results were good here for the team so this gives me confidence that we can take another step forward and make up some ground during qualifying, and then for the races. We also have some valuable data from last year, which will help us with our initial set-up. I'm gradually getting back to full fitness so my targets are set high for this weekend, for both myself and the team."

Sykes and Vermeulen Out to Turn the Utah Desert Green