Kawasaki has confirmed it will enter a single factory-supported bike for Tom Sykes during the third round of the World Superbike Championship season at Assen following the serious injuries sustained by his team-mate Joan Lascorz.
The full extent of Lascorz's physical condition remains undetermined following his high-speed accident during testing at Imola, the Spaniard sustaining an injury to his C6 vertebra, one that is believed to have restricted the mobility in his lower limbs.
As such, while doctors are taking time to assess the permanent damage caused by the horrifying accident, Kawasaki will not replace Lascorz for the Dutch event as a mark of respect.
Instead, the team will concentrate on Sykes, who has been the stand out performer so far this year having notched up two pole positions and a results tally of 4-3-2-2, a score sheet that puts him with leaders Carlos Checa and Max Biaggi in the standings.
Following a solid test at Imola and Valencia since then, Sykes is confident he will prove just as competitive around the iconic Assen venue.
“We showed we had some speed at Assen last year, in terms of sheer speed. But, with the new balance we have found on the Ninja ZX-10R, I am confident we can keep things going in an even better direction this year. I got a chance to test after Imola but the track conditions were very poor at Valencia, as bad as I have ever experienced there. Even at the end of two days I was leaving a big dust trail behind me down the straights.
“We tried out some things on the bike and we still found a couple of things on the bike that we can use later in the season, maybe. And of course every bit of information we discover in testing is very useful to us.
“I have some good people working with me and they seem to be able to put all the data together into a race package, which is a great asset to have. They are always thinking ahead.”