Tom Sykes has released a statement suggesting that his Kawasaki career is far from over, despite the news that the PBM team has lost its factory contract for 2012.
Just hours after Sykes handed Kawasaki its first WSBK win since Chris Walker in 2006, in a soaking wet second race at the Nurburgring on Sunday, team owner Paul Bird announced the following:
"Having learned this morning [Sunday] that we wouldn't be running the Kawasaki team next year was a massive blow and the team responded magnificently with our strongest performance of the season. As well as us, Tom was told his services would not be required next season so what better way of proving a point than giving the factory its first victory in five years, but you have to say they make some great decisions don't they?"
However, a statement from Sykes released today [Tuesday] makes clear that his negotiations with Kawasaki are continuing and that 'there is a strong desire from both parties for there to be an ongoing relationship'.
The statement read:
"In response to recent events, and as the sole appointed party responsible for negotiating Tom Sykes' ongoing contracts, we can confirm the following:
"Tom remains a fully committed Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM) team rider and will continue to do so for the duration of his current contract. For the remainder of the season Tom's primary focus is to produce the best possible results for PBM and Kawasaki, as his recent win at the Nurburgring would confirm.
"It is clear from Tom and also Kawasaki that there is a strong desire from both parties for there to be an ongoing relationship that can reap the full benefits of the work done to date. Discussions regarding this matter are in progress at this time.
"Once Tom's plans have been finalised, these will be communicated via ourselves in the usual manner. In the meantime Tom will continue his role as a professional WSBK rider, doing his utmost to represent PBM and their associated sponsors, Kawasaki, and his own personal sponsors in the best possible way at all times."
Provec Motocard.com, which runs the Kawasaki team in World Supersport, has been tipped to take over from Paul Bird Motorsport.
Bird signed Sykes on a personal contract for the 2011 season after Kawasaki's decision to retain Chris Vermeulen and honour a long-standing agreement with Joan Lascorz.