WSBK: Kawasaki Retains Tom Sykes for 2013 Season

08/28/2012 @ 11:36 am, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

We are a bit late to this news, in internet terms at least (we’re WAAAY ahead in print terms, for whatever that is worth), but Kawasaki announced at the Moscow round that it has re-signed factory rider Tom Sykes to its 2013 World Superbike team. Eight podiums so far this season, including one race win and seven of pole-position starts, Tom Sykes has been delivering solids for Team Green this season.

So, it should come as no surprise then that Kawasaki wanted to lock-down the Brit for another season, with the Japanese manufacturer holding an option for two more years on top of next season’s contract. His third year with the Kawasaki squad, Sykes is also third in the Championship standings, just 41 points behind series leader Marco Melandri.

“It has been fantastic to make a commitment quite early in the season,” commented Sykes. “It’s great to be on the good end of the silly season because that is a weight off my shoulders and I think I have proved my worth this year. Last year did not reflect my potential, I do not feel, but this year I was able to demonstrate what I believe I can do. Obviously Kawasaki has done an absolutely fantastic job, an outstanding amount of work and put in so much effort. Everybody can see what we have done this year. I have a fantastic bunch of guys working with me, all my guys in the garage.”

“It is a good team effort, well managed, very professional and I could not ask for any more. That is another reason why I really pushed to stay with Kawasaki. It is a factory team with direct input from KHI, so there are lots of pros for me deciding to stay. This is my third year with Kawasaki and we have had so much bad luck that, despite still being third in the points, we could even have been a couple of places higher at this stage.”

“It is my goal to be World Superbike Champion and I feel we can achieve that sooner or later,” continued Sykes. “We have done so much hard work this year I would not want to miss out on the benefits of all that next year. For sure we can be stronger and we are learning all the time, so we have not seen the full potential of the bike and myself yet.”

“Working directly with the factory I have 100% faith in the technicians back in Japan. When I have been there a couple of times they have been very welcoming and supportive. They fully trust my feedback and the direction I want to go in. For me, that is priceless and makes me feel even more comfortable. To continue that relationship is a key in being able to fight for the championship.”

Source: Kawasaki

  • Dan

    This is great news, Tom definitely deserves this opportunity the 2012 Championship is still up for grabs !

  • John

    I agree that the 2012 Championship is still open. Unfortunately I do not see Tom winning it all this year as the championship might possibly go to Melandri who has been more consistent. I think Kawasaki needs to get another world class rider from MotoGP (125, 250). I wonder if Josh Hayes would even pursue a World Superbike career even if it’s only for a few years. I would think he’ll have an opportunity to become a champion.

  • David

    Now that’s a good idea, bring Josh Hayes to world super bike, he is dominating AMA. We need some American riders in World Super Bike.

  • kevin hayes

    TSmart move to keep Sykes, he deserves a couple more years to get the Kawi. sorted out. It took BMW a few years to get their bike in winning form….. looking for Kawasaki to do the same. Would love Hayes in SBK but do not think it will happen. He did pretty well riding the Tech 3 bike last year. Anyone think Spies will return to SBK? Heard he is on Gresini’s radar in moto gp. We do need a couple solid American riders, Hopkins needs to see the writing on the wall and retire!

  • Westward

    I will bet Haga could win the title on that Kawasaki, given the results Sykes has been showing…

  • philly Phil

    that kawasaki must be amazing. now. Even the first ride of bike last season, i think he was on pole…but the issue is that he can’t stay up front…somewhat like haga and checa (at times). the place high, and then fall back. I’m not a kawa/sykes fan, but it’s nice to see him doing well with such an underdog ride…He’s killing it with all the pole positions

  • Grant Madden

    Sykes has done an excellent job of getting the Kawasaki to the point where it can get the rear tyre to last a whole race.If it had been that way at the beginning of the season it would have been a different matter.He obviously has the pace to run at the front.With the bike entering next season with a years worth of develpment by both rider and machine I think you can expect big things next year but also the arrival of the new Ducati will make it real important to be on your A game right from the word go.How can I recognize that bike with out faux headlights?Huh?oh right,its green.

  • Gutterslob

    The bike’s getting better too. They had the all-out (one lap) pace since the beginning, but watching the races, you kind of got the impression that it ate its tyres a bit too much early on, leaving too little grip for Skyes towards the end of the races. It could’ve been his riding style playing a part as well. Whatever it was, they seem to behandling things better than earlier in the season. He’s a bit of an outsider, but still has a decent chance for the title. Best of luck to the lad.