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WSBK Rider of the Year 2015 - 3rd: Tom Sykes

Tom Sykes adds four more wins to his impressive tally, but has no answer to the might of new Kawasaki team-mate Jonathan Rea.
3rd – Tom Sykes
Average poll score out of ten: 7.4
Team: Kawasaki Racing Team
Bike: Kawasaki ZX-10R
Wins: 4
Podiums: 15
Poles: 6
Fastest Laps: 7
Best Finish 1st
Championship points: 399
Championship position: 3rd

Having seen his 2014 World Superbike title bid fall by the wayside after coming off second-best in a tense final round showdown, Tom Sykes came into 2015 under pressure to not only make amends but cling onto his #1 status in the team with the arrival of Jonathan Rea.

Indeed, following his public falling out with erstwhile team-mate Loris Baz, all eyes were on Sykes to see how he would fare up against a more experienced rider on equal machinery, but while pre-season testing suggested he would indeed have his work cut out, in race conditions the reality was somewhat more conclusive.

With Rea winning out of the box, Sykes was limited to just a pair of podiums from the first four rounds of the season, forcing him onto a back foot he would struggle to ever recover from.

According to Sykes, the changes in the regulations were affecting his comfort and confidence on the ZX-10R, a claim arguably given credence by the fact he could only manage a single pole position – a known strength of his - from the opening five rounds.

Though a title challenge was seemingly out of the question as the unflappable Rea forged clear, Sykes mounted a mid-season comeback of sorts as he became happier with the bike, his dominant double wins at Donington Park and another at Misano doing their bit to ensure Kawasaki of its first ever WSBK constructors' crown.

However, the limitations in Sykes' performances would be made all the more apparent when viewed against the achievements of Rea. Fast over a single lap, but comparatively flaccid in bar-to-bar combat, Sykes rarely had an answer to Rea at any point in the season, with the eventual 149 point deficit to his title-winning team-mate very indicative of this.

Race craft aside though, Sykes remains one of World Superbikes' most formidable contenders, while the new ZX-10R's launch gives him a golden opportunity now to claw back some of that ground from Rea in 2016.

Previous WSBK Poll results for Tom Sykes
WSBK Rider of the Year 2014: 3rd
WSBK Rider of the Year 2013: 1st
WSBK Rider of the Year 2012: 1st
WSBK Rider of the Year 2011: 5th
WSBK Rider of the Year 2010: 6th
WSBK Rider of the Year 2009: 12th

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

4. Jordi Torres
5. Michael van der Mark
6. Leon Haslam
7. Alex Lowes
8. Davide Giugliano
9. Davide Giugliano
10.
Sylvain Guintoli

About the vote:
Rather than repeat the Riders' World Championship standings, the WSBK Rider of the Year poll asks viewers to take into account factors such as machinery, performance relative to a team-mate, riding style, experience, injuries, progress and personality just as much as race results.

Over 50,000 votes were cast for the 2015 Crash.net WSBK Rider of the Year poll, where viewers awarded each of the top twenty from this year's WSBK standings with a mark out of ten.


Tagged as: Kawasaki , Tom Sykes

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sykes, Misano WSBK 2015
Sykes, Misano WSBK 2015
Sykes, Jonathan Rea and Melandri, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Sykes and Melandri over the line, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Melandri and Sykes, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Melandri and Sykes, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Melandri and Sykes, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Jonathan Rea, Melandri and Sykes, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Alex Lowes and Sykes, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Davies and Sykes, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Sykes, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Jonathan Rea and Sykes team celebration, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Melandri and Sykes, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Sykes and Melandri, last lap, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Sykes and Melandri, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Sykes and Melandri last lap, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Sykes and Melandri, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Sykes, Thai WSBK 2017

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rdc

December 22, 2015 11:15 AM

cfsteezy: Rea wont be champ next year. I said it here first. Sykes champ 2016. Disagree all you like but a i will say, 'i told you so'... Rea is great, not god. And i stand by the commentators that the 2015 rule changes put sykes and his team on the back foot. Since when has sykes ever had such bad tyre issues? Never. So if thats fixed this season then he is unstopable
How about 2012, where he faded back with tire issues frequently.

AyrtonSenna

December 21, 2015 8:23 PM

cfsteezy: Rea wont be champ next year. I said it here first. Sykes champ 2016. Disagree all you like but a i will say, 'i told you so'... Rea is great, not god. And i stand by the commentators that the 2015 rule changes put sykes and his team on the back foot. Since when has sykes ever had such bad tyre issues? Never. So if thats fixed this season then he is unstopable
Ok I take the bet. What do we win? I know, a big green horsepower machine with 65 on the front...



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