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WSBK Rider of the Year vote: 5th

You vote Tom Sykes fifth in Crash.net's WSBK Rider of the Year poll
Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2011:
5. Tom Sykes

Nationality: British
Team: Kawasaki Racing Team
Bike: Kawasaki ZX-10R
Wins: 1
Podiums: 1
Championship points: 141
Championship position: 13th

Having shown flashes of promise during his maiden World Superbike season as a Kawasaki rider, Tom Sykes justly earned a second year with 'Team Green' in 2011 and repaid the faith of those around him with another good effort.

With the much anticipated latest generation Kawasaki ZX-10R arriving in 2011, there were certainly high hopes in the team, but while Sykes hinted at the bike's vast improvement with a front row start at Donington Park, his results fluctuated over the opening-half of the season.

It would take a pole position at Misano to put things back on track for Kawasaki, Sykes scoring his second such result in similarly damp conditions to that of the first at Imola in 2010. Giving way to a run to fourth place, a fifth place would follow at Motorland Aragon, though these were highlights amidst less than celebrated results.

Even so, Sykes's season high-point stands above and beyond anything else he achieved in 2011, the Briton sweeping to Kawasaki's first WSBK victory in five years at a rain-lashed Nurburgring. Proof that Sykes is perhaps the most accomplished wet weather rider on the grid, though the man himself admits the victory was fortuitous given Noriyuki Haga's late tumble from a comfortable lead, it was a fine reminder of what he – and the bike – is capable of in the great leveller that is rain.

However, the win brings sharper focus to Sykes's poorer results elsewhere, not least on the occasions when good qualifying efforts or strong starts would give way to lacklustre race pace. Furthermore, despite the win, Sykes was actually out-scored in 2011 by rookie team-mate Joan Lascorz.

Nonetheless, victories will always be remembered long after the season has concluded and that alone ensures Sykes deserves a third season on a bike that clearly has potential. With Provec on board to develop the machine, replacing Paul Bird Motorsport, Sykes has a renewed chance to find some consistency to go with that promise…

Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2010: 6th
Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2009: 12th
Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2008: N/A

Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2011:

6. Sylvain Guintoli
7. Leon Haslam
8. Ayrton Badovini
9. Max Biaggi
10. Noriyuki Haga

Do you agree the poll results? If not, why not? Leave your comments below...


Tagged as: Tom Sykes

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sykes, Portuguese WSBK 2011
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Sykes, Jonathan Rea and Davies at the FIM awards presentation ,Qatar WSBK 2016
Cluzel, Davies, Rea, Sykes, Krummenacher and Kyle Smith, FIM award winners, Qatar WSBK 2016
Cluzel, Davies, Rea, Sofuoglu, Sykes, Krummenacher and Kyle Smith, FIM award winners, Qatar WSBK 2016
Sykes,  Tissot pole award winner Qatar WSBK 2016
Sykes,  Tissot pole award winner Qatar WSBK 2016
Sykes at the FIM awards, Qatar WSBK 2016
Sykes, WSBK Race2, Qatar 2016
Jonathan Rea and Sykes, WSBK Race2, Qatar WSBK 2016

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jasper - Unregistered

December 09, 2011 12:32 PM

13th in the championship on a full factory bike and beaten by your team mate? I don't think it was the great year everybody else seems to think it was

Fairman - Unregistered

December 09, 2011 12:54 PM

Nick636: why the hell are you surprised everybody is commenting Biaggis 9th place? He had 6 races less than other riders and still finished 3rd! Biaggi had not superior bike only Checa had it! SYKES WAS SLOWER EVEN THAN HIS TEAMMATE, AND YOU ARE IMPRESSED BY HIM? Oh my God..



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