Reigning World Champion Tom Sykes has signed on with the World Superbike Factory Kawasaki team for two more years, in a contract that will bring his tenure with the team through the 2016 racing season. Sykes has been with the team since 2010 and all 22 of his career World Superbike wins and 23 Superpoles have been on the Kawasaki. He also ended the manufacturer’s 20-year championship drought last season and was the first rider to win the World Superbike title on a Kawasaki since Scott Russell. The Yorkshireman has also set himself up for a good bid to defend that title, going into the summer break with a 44-point lead in championship.
For Sykes the decision to stay with the team that he has had so much success with was an easy one.
“I am very excited to re-sign and the decision was quite easy,” Sykes said via a team release. “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.”
Sykes went on to stress the importance of continuity and having a great team environment.
“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.”
With the new technical regulations set for 2015 season and beyond, there will be a new challenge the Kawasaki team, but Sykes and Kawasaki are confident that they are up to the task.
“It is very good that Kawasaki and Tom [Sykes] have signed again for 2015 and 2016 as it is a very good point to work towards the new rules coming in 2015, and make another strong season in 2016,” Team Manager Guim Roda said. “Tom knows the bike and team very well and I can guarantee he has still not arrived at the limit of his full potential. This is a very good opportunity to continue with great stability so we can improve the package and be even stronger next year.”
Image courtesy Gold & Goose/ Kawasaki