WSBK Rider of the Year vote: 1st

That said, even though Sykes has notched up two more wins at Moscow and Portimao, the fairly substantial 30.5 point gap to Biaggi coming into the final round at Magny-Cours meant the advantage remained very much with the Italian rider.

What followed of course was a nail-biting climax to the season, Sykes's late title push almost carrying him all the way to what would have been a shock victory. In the end just half a point would make all the agonising difference…

Indeed, the miniscule margin for error is brought into perspective when you consider Sykes suffered just three DNFs over the course of the season, none of which were self-inflicted (two mechanical problems and being swiped out of a podium finish by Ayrton Badovini at Aragon). Add Sykes's half points at Monza and it's incredible to think how different things could have been…

Nonetheless, there is little denying that Sykes came of age in 2012, the potent combination of his faultless performances and Provec's efforts in turning the ZX-10R into a competitive package deserving considerable praise.

You certainly seem to agree as well, Sykes achieving a remarkable average 9.6 rating out of 10 in this poll – the highest average score we have seen.

Better yet, Sykes didn't even pout about missing the title by such a tiny margin and has instead channelled his emotions into an effort to come back even stronger in 2013.

Then again, there is little chance we will be considering Sykes and Kawasaki underdogs again anytime soon!

Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2011: 5th
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 2012:

2. Max Biaggi
3. Marco Melandri
4. Chaz Davies
5. Sylvain Guintoli

Tagged as: Kawasaki , Tom Sykes

Related Pictures

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Sykes, French WSBK Race 1 2012
Sykes, French WSBK Race 1 2012
Sykes, French WSBK Race 1 2012
Sykes, French WSBK Race 1 2012
Sykes, French WSBK 2012
Sykes, U.S. WSBK 2014.
Sykes, U.S. WSBK 2014.
Tom Sykes - Kawasaki Racing
Sykes, Race 1, U.S. WSBK 2014.
Sykes, Race 1, U.S. WSBK 2014.
Melandri, Sykes, Race 1, U.S. WSBK 2014.
Sykes, Race 2,  U.S. WSBK 2014.
Sykes, Race 2, Start,  U.S. WSBK 2014.
Sykes, Race 2, Start, U.S. WSBK 2014.
Sykes, Race 2, Start, U.S. WSBK 2014.
Sykes, Race 2, Start, U.S. WSBK 2014.
Sykes, Race 2, Podium,  U.S. WSBK 2014.
Sykes, Race 2, Podium,  U.S. WSBK 2014.

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December 30, 2012 3:41 PM

Sykes was fantastic in 2012. It seems though that the Kawa (while super-fast) still struggles a bit with tyre wear, while Sykes has to be so physical & on the limit for the entire race. That effort & commitment along with tyre issues meant Sykes was the hardest working rider - pretty tough to compete over 2 long races with guys with better bikes (over race distance). The bike (& TS) has the speed, but it looks like they still need to find a bit more over full race distance. looking fwd to 2013 WSBK - it could well be the best (and last??) great & competitive WSBK season.


December 30, 2012 9:59 PM

@ Fairplay & RG500. Yes, whether or not his personality and antics are popular outside Italy anyone with a brain (Brit or other) would admit that Max is a Class Act. However - you are overlooking a couple of relevant points, such as.. * the fact that TS made few errors & took a Kawasaki to Poles & Podiums like no-one has managed for a very long time. * Max was on the Aprilia - a fully developed bike originally designed as a MotoGP bike - would he have taken the title if he was on a Kawasaki? * Max dropped the ball and made rider errors that nearly threw away his WC (Melandri managed to it away) - Sykes brought the Kwak home always - it took a machine failure or a Badovini for Tom to DNF. I didn't vote, but I'm happy to see Sykes get the kudos for a phenomenal effort.

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