Tom Sykes has confessed he does not know whether his World Superbike future lies with Kawasaki, despite a number of promising turns on the ZX-10R this year.
Sykes joined Kawasaki after being released from his Yamaha contract at the end of 2009, the Briton going on to assume team leader status when Chris Vermeulen injured himself during the opening round at Phillip Island.
A consistent point scorer, Sykes notched up Kawasaki's best WSBK finish for three years with a fifth place result at Monza but confesses that is no guarantee he will be retained by the manufacturer into 2011 when it switches its focus to the new ZX-10R.
Although Kawasaki themselves are adamant that it has not approached Noriyuki Haga for 2011, as rumoured, Sykes himself realises there is competition for his seat from the likes of Joan Lascorz.
“I'm not sure where I fit in, to be honest,” he told Crash.net
. “There is a lot of talk about Chris and I think there is no hiding the fact that Lascorz's name has been mentioned a lot too… So I don't know where Tom Sykes fits in at the moment, but I will keep doing my own thing and pushing for good results. Hopefully something will come of that.”
Indeed, Sykes is hopeful his performances so far this year – and over the remaining three rounds – will convince Kawasaki to retain him next season, particularly as he joined the manufacturer with 2011 in mind.
“We have progressed throughout the year, so hats off to the boys for making small improvements. I think we are limited as to where we can go, but when we came to this project we were all aware of this anyway, so it's all about building Kawasaki for the following year.
“When we came on board we knew where we were at. It was always going to be a difficult year, which it has been. So I have kept my head down and the idea for myself was to continue – that would have been the number one plan. We'll see… We still have three rounds remaining, so we can hopefully prove ourselves.”
Sykes has scored in all but six races this season and is currently just one point shy of surpassing Broc Parkes's tally from 2009.