Sykes: I am proud to be with Kawasaki

The Englishman believes he will get the backing he needs from Kawasaki to flourish in his second season of World Superbike racing
Tom Sykes says he is 'proud' to have been given the chance to join Kawasaki's World Superbike effort for 2010 as both rider and manufacturer look to establish themselves as a competitive force ahead of the new season.

The Yorkshireman has found refuge with the Japanese manufacturer for his second season in the top flight this year after a mixed maiden year with champions Yamaha didn't yield an extended contract.

In doing so, Sykes has been reunited with Paul Bird Motorsport three years after he last competed for them in the British Superbike Championship, the 24-year-old finishing inside the top seven in all but the three races he failed to finish, while his five podiums helped him secure sixth in the overall standings.

Looking ahead to the new World Superbike season, while Sykes admits there is still work to be done to ensure the ZX-10R is competitive, he insists there is more potential in the package than has been indicative in testing.

“I am feeling confident,” he told “We have got lots of work to do and we've started that in the Phillip Island test. We are making a lot progress and overall I am happy with every single team member – the whole team itself is quite advanced and I'm proud to be part of it.

“Birdy, in the past, has run a very tight ship and I had a fantastic season in British Superbikes with them. We just need to keep our heads down and progress. I see more potential in the package than where we are now, so the aim is to achieve the maximum we all can.”

Sykes' switch to Kawasaki comes after he wasn't retained by Yamaha in 2010, despite finishing inside the top ten overall at the end of the year.

Indeed, while he understands why Yamaha took the opportunity to focus on title-winning team-mate Ben Spies, Sykes remains '100 per cent' certain in his ability at world championship level.

“My season should have been better,” he added. “Various scenarios and things that went on stopped me from being where I wanted to be. I still believe that if I had everything in place for myself and the bike, then we could have achieved a lot of podiums together and finished higher up the field.

“I was confident to do more than I did, and my mind hasn't changed. I'm big enough to accept if I was struggling and couldn't do it, but I 100 per cent know if I had received all of the team's backing, I could have achieved more.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sykes, Kawasaki ZX10R, Australian WSBK Test 2010
Sykes, Kawasaki ZX10R, Australian WSBK Test 2010
Sykes, Kawasaki ZX10R, Australian WSBK Test 2010
Sykes, Australian WSBK Test 2010
Sykes, Australian WSBK Test 2010
Sykes, Australian WSBK Test 2010
Villicum Circuit, Argentina, World Superbikes [Credit: WorldSBK]
Yamaha WSS Team, WSS Race, Aragon WSBK 2017
VD Mark and Sykes, Race2, Aragon WSBK 2017
Sykes, Race2, Aragon WSBK 2017
Jonathan Rea, Sykes and Melandri, Race2, Aragon WSBK 2017
Sykes, Race2, Aragon WSBK 2017
Pata Yamaha 1-2 on the grid, Race2, Aragon WSBK 2017
Sykes, Aragon WSBK 2017
Sykes, Aragon WSBK 2017
Sykes, Aragon WSBK 2017
Melandri, Jonathan Rea and Sykes, Race1, Aragon WSBK 2017
Melandri, Jonathan Rea and Sykes, Race1, Aragon WSBK 2017

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wr86 - Unregistered

February 24, 2010 1:36 PM

I think Tom's statement is prob spot on. It was clear to all from the 1st test who Maio thought was his #1 rider. All the coverage I saw showed all the attention on Ben's side of the garage - which given the circumstances was justified. Remember all season long while under tremendous pressure you never heard Tom bad mouth the team or their efforts. He understood that Ben would have to be the focus yet he carried on doing his best keeping his mouth shut like a good soldier. By all accounts the R1 is a difficult bike to ride on the razors edge and with Ben winning from the start they certainly weren't going to make any changes just to suit Tom. He accepted this like a man - Best to him.

stavros - Unregistered

February 24, 2010 10:22 AM

Tom got bloody hammered last year, Spies made him look a bit crap. Which might have been unfair to Tom as JT and CC might not do any better either. But if Yamaha supported Spies a bit more thats understandable, he did win them the title after all and its not like Tom was on a peewee 50, it was still a full blown factory Yamaha superbike. Don't see him beating Vermuelen either TBH.

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