Tom Sykes may be having a tough time of things on the track in Moscow this weekend with WSBK, but off the track with Kawasaki Racing, the Brit has some good news. Signing up for another year with Team Green, Tom Sykes has his 2014 racing plans sorted out, and can get back to overcoming his 0.5 point let-down on last year’s World Superbike Championship.
Soon to make it five years in a row with Kawasaki Racing, Sykes currently leads the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship by six points, though he will start Sunday’s races in the 9th grid position, after falling during the third round of the Superpole qualifying event.
Kawasaki says that with the rule changes coming down from Dorna, it was important for the team to shore up its lead rider. We think they made a fine choice, though the move may mean the offer is off the table for Nicky Hayden, as the American looks for a home outside of Ducati Corse’s MotoGP campaign. There has been no word on a contract for Loris Baz though.
“For me this is an awesome place to be,” said Sykes. “I have made my feelings quite clear to Kawasaki and all the individual team members and sponsors. I am really happy in my working environment and very relaxed. I am probably at my best in this kind of scenario so the natural thing is to continue for at least another year in SBK.
“It is a great championship and when you have all the ingredients in place to be fighting at the front every weekend, even at different circuits, it is what you aim for,” he continued. “We have proved that we can do it and had a couple of double wins already. I have a great feeling riding with Kawasaki, so why change that? I am over the moon to stay in the team and the continuity is great. I could not be happier with the people around me. The deal has been done so early in the season, which is an absolute first.”
“I feel Tom looks like he is going to be ‘Mr Kawasaki’, because after we had great success with American rider Scott Russell we found it difficult to find a new ‘Mr Kawasaki.’ Now it looks like Tom can be this person. We also want to push him to grow up in racing terms even more than he has already and he now realises himself how he can do this job,” said Ichiro Yoda, KHI Race Planning Manager.
“After his Imola double race win we feel he has understood his real potential and now it looks like he can develop even more quickly. The bike, the rider and the team have all made great progress together and because of this we are very happy.”
Source: Kawasaki Racing