An emotional Tom Sykes admits he is simply lost for words after sealing an incredible 2013 World Superbike Championship title at Jerez, twelve months after infamously missing out on the 2012 crown by half-a-point.

Coming into the final round with a 37 point advantage over Eugene Laverty, Sykes needed just a single third place finish to secure the crown, an objective he duly fulfilled in the opening race of the day.

A memorable moment for both himself and Kawasaki - which hadn't won a WSBK title for 20 years -, while Sykes admits the comfortable pre-event gap meant he could help but dream about becoming champion, he says it simply doesn't compare to actually experiencing it.

"Words cannot describe how I feel," he beamed. "I am very level-headed but since Magny Cours there are moments where my mind started dreaming. When I was dreaming I had goose bumps and it was magical to even dream I could be world champion. But that was maybe 2 per cent of what I am feeling now after winning the title.

"World Champion, podium in the races and it has been an absolute pleasure to race with these guys this year. It was good for the championship that it got decided at the final round again, especially at this beautiful circuit, with these great fans. My team is mostly Spanish so it is a home round for them. The championship win has not fully sunk in yet but it will do soon, I'm sure."

Sykes's success makes him only the fourth British rider to win the WSBK title, following on from Carl Fogarty, Neil Hodgson and James Toseland, while he is only second in history to have achieved the feat riding a Kawasaki.

Furthermore, Sykes's title win comes 20 years after Scott Russell sealed the 1993 title for the Japanese firm, the American winning five races en route to the overall crown.

By contrast, Sykes ends the 2013 season with at least nine victories, while his eight dominant pole positions this season have helped him rise to fourth on the all-time Superpole list too.

Perhaps the most significant element of Sykes's title win, however, is the fact it comes four years after making his debut with a manufacturer that, at the time, was considered a minnow at WSBK level with just one fortuitous victory to its name in the last nine seasons.

However, having shown flashes of brilliance on the outgoing ZX-10R in 2010, the arrival of the new ZX-10R in 2011 would see Sykes show his potential at times, most notably when he claimed a surprise wet victory at the Nurburgring - Kawasaki's first since 2004.

It wasn't until Spanish-based outfit Provec Racing came on board, however, that Sykes began to flourish in his surroundings, the British rider emerging as a regular front runner - particularly during qualifying - to challenge for victories week-in, week-out.

In all, four wins would come his way and, but for a dose of luck, it could have taken him all the way to the title, the Yorkshireman infamously falling just half-a-point short from Max Biaggi after an incredible final round he had started a seemingly insurmountable 30 points adrift.

Fast-forward to 2013 and Sykes would find himself in a role reversal, with a 37 point advantage over Eugene Laverty. However, unlike the man he succeeds as World Superbike Champion, he would make no mistake this time to claim what will no doubt be a popular title for a popular rider and manufacturer.

Though the introduction of new rules and regulations from next season means the World Superbike Championship could look rather different in 2014, Sykes's decision to re-sign with Kawasaki means the fabled 'No.1' plate will be present once again on a green machine.


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