Tom Sykes - Q&A

I think Paul Bird saw something in me which I surely appreciate and allowed me to show my potential. I don't see him often but I see him as a friend and I hope the feeling's mutual. I still speak quite a bit with my old crew chief Johnny who's working for Shane Byrne in the BSB championship
There seemed quite a jump in performance when the team went from being run by PBM to the current Provec team.

Tom Sykes:
The bike was the same, it was the new model of the ZX10R. Obviously it was developed a bit over the year, but it was the same model of bike.

The Provec team is Spanish/Catalan and has a very international feel and has a great mix of nationalities. We've Spanish people, Japanese engineers, my electronics man's Italian, one of my mechanic's Italian and my crew chief's Dutch. Straight away the ingredients are different to the PBM team and the atmosphere is different too but obviously one that's working well.

Now it's the main effort from Kawasaki so it's maybe also a bit more formal so has more focus. It's the same input from Kawasaki but they just have more of a say so. I just turn up and ride the bike though and chill out in my motorhome afterwards.
You seemed to often fade in the race from a fast initial speed?

Tom Sykes:
We've now got a package which allows us to show more of my level and I'm grateful for that. Everybody's seen how fast we can be over one lap and now we're altering the settings to let's say sacrifice the one lap speed to be better over a race distance.

We've improved the settings of the bike, everybody was pointing the finger at myself for tyre management but we're seeing this year how different it is. Our tyre life this year is much stronger. Everybody was saying it's the electronics but that's just someone talking who doesn't know about racing. It's mainly the suspension settings.
Has [crew chief] Marcel Duinker played a big role in the improvement?

Tom Sykes:
I don't know because I've had a good relationship with all my crew chiefs so I've been lucky in that respect.

All I can say is that Marcel's very clever and has his head screwed on and he comes from a very technical background anyway. He's able to change my comments into a better bike. I don't want to compare him with other crew chiefs though, I just want to say how he operates.
Marcel seems to have a very good sense of humour, is that where the connection started?

Tom Sykes:
Not really. It helps that he's got a sense of humour, there's no question about that. But we behave in a professional manner in the garage and we've even started to have a bit of a joke. Outside the garage though we can relax with each other, have a cup of tea and be a bit light hearted. I always need my Yorkshire tea, if there's a Yorkshire tea about there can never be too much trouble, I don't like any of this dishwater stuff.
Do you like to keep the roles in the garage separate?

Tom Sykes:
Yes, exactly. I'm employed by Kawasaki to race motorcycles. I like to get involved, they respect and listen to my opinion but I know where my limit is. At the end of the day I'm employed to ride a motorcycle. Nobody comes stepping on my toes and I don't go stepping on theirs and we get along just fine.
What would you say are you main strengths as a rider?

Tom Sykes:
I think I can understand the limit very well and don't overstep the mark.

I'm very focused, everybody thinks I'm a big joker and I do like to joke but I'm at least as focused as anybody else on the grid. I have my own little mental routines I use to fire the engines up.

Tagged as: Tom Sykes

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sykes, German WSBK 2013
Sykes, Jonathan Rea and Melandri, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Sykes and Melandri over the line, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Melandri and Sykes, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Melandri and Sykes, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Melandri and Sykes, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Jonathan Rea, Melandri and Sykes, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Alex Lowes and Sykes, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Davies and Sykes, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Sykes, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Jonathan Rea and Sykes team celebration, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Melandri and Sykes, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Sykes and Melandri, last lap, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Sykes and Melandri, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Sykes and Melandri last lap, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Sykes and Melandri, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Sykes, Thai WSBK 2017
Sykes, Thai WSBK 2017

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September 09, 2013 8:25 PM

As a Ducati fan I am fairly curious what Cal Crutchlow could do on the bike. I know for a fact that he has a place in the MotoGP paddock but going through the unconventional route of MotoGP stardom via WSBK is quite surprising. I am a firm believer that Tom has a place in MotoGP as well, and will be rooting for him and Kawasaki to win the WSBK this year. Here's hoping a championship for Tom!

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