Kawasaki Racing has announced its defending World Superbike Champion Tom Sykes will remain with the manufacturer in 2015 and 2016.
Having joined the manufacturer in 2010, Sykes has gone on to enjoy phenomenal success with Kawasaki, spearheading the marque's development from a WSBK minnow to a regular front runner and, in 2013, title winners for the first time in two decades.
Currently well placed to defend that title having opened up a 44 point lead with three rounds of the 2014 WSBK season remaining, Sykes has now confirmed he will remain committed to Kawasaki for another two years.
Claiming he weighed up the pros and cons of considering an alternative path, Sykes says it was nonetheless an easy decision to stick with Kawasaki.
“I am very excited to re-sign and the decision was quite easy. I am looking forward to another two years with a great manufacturer. Kawasaki and I already have quite a good history. This is my fifth year as a rider with the brand, my fourth year with the current model of the Ninja ZX-10R, so for me it was an easy decision to continue.
“I have put so much work into the bike I would not want to give my baby to someone else! We have been in discussion for a while but we have had really good success in recent years and continuing our relationship gives us an opportunity to take the story forward again. I sat at home and went through the pros and cons, like you do with a lot of things in life, and the pros for re-signing were almost endless.
“I am very happy because Kawasaki and I have a high level of mutual respect and trust. The team is doing a great job so it is great to have two more years of continuity. I am relaxed now I know that I am moving on again with a great brand and a great team around me. I feel proud to have been involved in helping the development direction of the Ninja, so I am very happy to be staying where I am.”
Sykes made his WSBK debut with Yamaha in 2009, before joining the then-PBM run Kawasaki team in 2010. With the launch of the next generation ZX-10R in 2011, Sykes showed flashes of pace, culminating in an unexpected maiden victory in the wet at the Nurburgring.
However, a switch of factory support to Provec in 2012 would transform Sykes into a regular front runner, the Briton losing the title to Max Biaggi by just half-a-point before making amends in 2013 with a comfortable run to the title.
In total, Sykes has amassed 22 WSBK race wins and is the most successful rider in the modern era of Superpole having qualified on pole position on 23 occasions.