With Tom Sykes yet to confirm his 2022 future, here's a look at why returning to BSB or moving to MotoAmerica could work out better than remaining in WorldSBK. 

The 2013 WorldSBK champion had a solid 2021 campaign before suffering a concussion at round nine in Catalunya which resulted in him missing eight of the last 10 races. The BMW rider was the first man to snap Jonathan Rea’s streak of eight consecutive pole positions at that same Catalunya round, while he also claimed more podiums than team-mate Michael Van Der Mark at the time of his injury. 

However, Sykes hasn’t tasted World Superbike victory since his final year at Kawasaki (2018) when he won just one race at Assen. Prior to 2017 Sykes had won at least four races in five consecutive seasons which then began to reduce itself in said 2017 season when he won just two races.

Since joining BMW in 2019 Sykes has scored just five podiums, which for someone as prolific as he is in Superbike racing is a disappointing return. Of course, a lot of that was down to being on an out-of-favour S 1000 RR, before the German manufacturer brought forward their new M 1000 RR for 2021. While the new machine was an improvement it was still nowhere close to the likes of Yamaha, Kawasaki and Ducati. 

Sykes, who is currently out of a ride in WorldSBK has confirmed he is weighing up options in both BSB and MotoAmerica, while a stay in WorldSBK is also possible. However, should he stay in the world championship then he will be doing so with Pedercini Kawasaki who were consistently at the back of the field in 2021. 

With other Kawasaki teams performing much better, while most of the grid is too, it means Sykes would likely be fighting for lower points scoring positions at best, something he wouldn’t be doing in the two domestic championships mentioned. 

Before joining WorldSBK in 2009 Sykes took five of his seven BSB wins with Suzuki who could provide him with the perfect situation. Currently Buildbase Suzuki are yet to confirm their 2022 rider line-up, while it’s a team that has continuously challenged for wins in recent seasons. Gino Rea who won’t be returning after he signed with Honda in WEC (World Endurance Championship) scored the team’s last two wins which came during the 2021 showdown at Donington Park.

Another team that is yet to confirm their riders and would provide a clear opportunity to win races is Paul Bird’s Visiontrack Ducati team, the same outfit that has won two of the last three championships. 

Buildbase Suzuki and Visiontrack Ducati are the most likely BSB teams that would provide winning opportunities and where claiming the title is a very realistic aim for the 36 year-old. If the Brit moved to MotoAmerica, the same full factory Warhorse Ducati New York Team that Loris Baz competed for are in the market for a rider, which again would leave Sykes with a great opportunity to win. 

Even without winning a race in the 2021 season, Baz was able to perform well enough to first get called-up to the GoEleven Ducati team as a stand-in rider for Chaz Davies, before a double podium in Portimao led to him returning to WorldSBK full-time with Bonovo BMW. 

Whether Sykes just wants to be somewhere he can win races or view it as a season where he can do well for one year and then be back in the mix for a top WorldSBK seat, then both scenarios are likely to work best by taking a year away from the world championship as opposed to fighting for results outside the top ten.