WSBK: Sykes also extends two years at Kawasaki
Like his teammate Jonathan Rea, Tom Sykes has decided to stay with Kawasaki for the next two World Superbike seasons. The Ninja n ° 66 will be able to expand its collections of Superpole, podiums, victories…
One month after the 2015 Superbike World Champion – and 2016 ?! – Jonathan Rea, Tom Sykes has also decided to extend his contract with the competitive Kawasaki Racing Team by two years. After all, you don’t change a team that wins … Superpoles, piles up podiums and plays for the title every year. !
"Continuing to work with my dedicated team, Marcel, Danilo, Mattia, Raul, Tambu and Ruben, as well as all my valuable colleagues and friends in the team, is priceless as they are widely recognized in the WorldSBK paddock.", estimates the 2013 world champion.
"There was a longer negotiation with Tom as he’s been with Kawasaki for seven years, two with PBM and five with the KRT", justifies his side Guim Roda, team manager of KRT."There are always private and personal points to respect when it comes to making such an important decision.".
According to the Spanish boss however, the suspense was low: "Tom has always said from the start that his wish is to continue with the Kawasaki family. So we’re glad he can believe in the new ZX-10R as well as the KRT team to get what he expects. I am personally convinced that the best of Tom Sykes is yet to come"…
"I have been involved in racing for many years, since 1980, and I know how difficult it is to benefit from a motivated driver and convince him to stay for nine years with the same brand.", observes for his part Ichori Yoda," Senior "engineer at KRT.
"We gave Tom the opportunity to think calmly and we are very happy that he has decided to continue with Kawasaki and KRT.", exposes the venerable Japanese, convinced of the value of Tom:"he has been in the Top 2 or 3 worldwide for five years. It’s not easy to do".
"His experience and sensitive riding will give us a good direction for improving the Ninja ZX-10R in the next two years.". And although Sykes and Rea don’t have the same riding style – which complicates development -,"I am personally delighted that we have two great pilots again at KRT", concludes Yoda San.
The Green Dream Team renewed for two seasons
"I would like to thank KHI for showing me their interest as a pilot", replies the venerable" Sykes San "."In addition to the bike and track performance, I have been part of the Kawasaki family for seven years, so it is natural to keep this relationship.".
Arrived at Kawasaki in 2010 after a first year raced in World Superbike at Yamaha alongside shooting star Ben Spies – and brilliant freelancing in 2008, including a podium in the company of Bayliss and Biaggi – "Major Tom" is the rider who managed to put into orbit a ZX-10R that did not previously take off from places of horror of honor…
Although not dazzling, the progress of Ninja n ° 66 has been constant: author of his first pole in 2010, he finished this first year with the Greens in 14th place in the world championship. Winner of his first race – in the wet – the following year, he won a small place in the 2011 final classification.
Then everything accelerated in 2012, when Sykes managed to finish his races as quickly as he started them! That year, the Yorkshire driver collected nine Superpoles, which earned him our nickname "Super Sykes" but did not earn him any points in the championship….
More importantly, the Kawasaki rider wins four victories and climbs on nine additional podiums. However, during the memorable final played at Magny-Cours, Tom Sykes misses the world title for only half a point, against the double champion Max Biaggi (Aprilia) !
In 2013, on the strength of his 18 podiums – including nine victories – in 27 races, the English n ° 66 won his first "Number One" plaque. The following season, still on Kawa, Tom adds eight wins and eight podiums to his collection … but loses his crown for six small points in favor of an extraordinarily consistent Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia).
In 2015, Tom Sykes may well climb on 15 podiums, his new teammate Jonathan Rea is far too often ahead of him. Chaz Davies (Ducati) also frequently beats him from mid-season onwards, so the No.66 has to settle for the bronze in the 2014 WSBK.
Working in the shadows for a couple of years with Japanese engineers from Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Tom relied on the new version of the ZX-10R modeled after his feedback and wishes to regain the ascendancy … Alas , the ruthless "JR" adapted perfectly to the Ninja 2016.
Ranked second in the championship the day after the eighth WSBK 2016 event in Misano – and the 200th race of his career in this category! -, Tom Sykes remains dominated by his teammate, but does not surrender so far, whether it is this year’s world title or the next two.
Like Rea, Sykes is convinced that the official Kawasaki team is currently the best team on the WorldSBK field. A personal point of view confirmed by the seven doubles (1st and 2nd place in the race) provided by the two teammates during the first eight rounds of the championship !
"I’m really excited to get even more involved with KRT and KHI", said Tom upon signing his new two-year contract."It’s a great feeling to stay on this excellent team for two more seasons. We’ve already shown the potential of the latest Ninja ZX-10R this season and there’s still a lot to be learned from the bike., he warns…
Where will he take him the next two seasons? To find out, you will need to stay connected to Site. To date, in 170 starts on the ZX-10R (all generations combined), Tom Sykes has signed 36 Superpole (second behind Corser and his 43 poles), achieved 29 race lap records, climbed 75 podiums, won 30 victories and won a world title.
"Another important point is to continue the development program for the road bike and the competition bike, because I feel like I am an integral part of it.", concludes Mister Sykes."Working technically with the team and KHI is deeply satisfying for me, it is not just limited to success on the track.".
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