World Superbikes: Cautious opening session for Tom Sykes
Last Updated: 18/10/13 5:50pm
Tom Sykes: On the brink of capturing the World Superbike title in Spain on Sunday
Tom Sykes took the cautious approach during the opening qualifying session ahead of Sunday's World Superbike Championship round at Jerez, where the Briton is the clear favourite to clinch the title.
The Kawasaki rider arrives at the final weekend of the season 37 points ahead of his nearest rival - Eugene Laverty.
With two races remaining, and a total of 50 points at stake, the 28-year-old Huddersfield man requires 14 more points to lift the world crown for the first time.
But on Friday Sykes, normally a dominant force in practice, could only post the seventh fastest time in Spain.
Davide Giugliano, who is currently sixth in the championship standings, was quickest on his Aprilia, ahead of fellow Italian Marco Melandri's BMW.
Irishman Laverty was third while the only other racer who can overtake Sykes - Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli - was fifth.
Laverty is one point ahead of his Aprilia teammate Guintoli with two more races to come on Sunday.