News 22 Jun 2016

Kawasaki re-signs Sykes for two more WorldSBK seasons

Former world champion remaining on ZX-10R through 2018.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

Kawasaki Racing Team has re-signed 2016 Superbike World Champion Tom Sykes for the 2017 and 2018 seasons in a two-year contract extension to remain aboard the official Ninja ZX-10R.

Sykes first rode the Kawasaki in 2010 and has been an integral part of development since, making the ZX-10R one of the most desired bikes on the grid and in production globally.

“I am really excited to have made a further commitment with KRT and KHI,” Sykes beamed. “It’s a great feeling to be back with such a great team for another two years. We have already shown the capabilities of the latest model Ninja ZX-10R this season and there is a lot of potential still to come from the bike.

“I think it is safe to say that we have the best all-round package in the FIM Superbike World Championship and I would like to thank KHI for showing their continued commitment to me as a rider. As well as the bike and the on-track performance I have been part of the Kawasaki family for seven years so it was really natural to continue that relationship.

“To carry on working with my dedicated crew – Marcel, Danilo, Mattia, Raul, Tambu and Ruben and all my other valued colleagues and friends in the team – was priceless as they are widely recognised as the pick of the crop in the WorldSBK paddock.

“I get so much support from the brilliant fans and passionate Kawasaki owners that it was also a positive decision to make to remain part of that. Another important thing is to continue the development program for the road bike and the race bike side of things, which is something I feel an integral part of. The technical aspect is deeply satisfying to me.”

Sykes has now taken 30 race wins and all but one of his 76 career podium finishes on ZX-10R machines. He has also set the second highest ever record of Superpoles, which reached 36 at the most recent round in Misano. He has also set 30 fastest laps during WorldSBK races and has been twice a runner-up in the championship, in addition to his headlining success in 2013.

“Tom signing for two more years with Kawasaki is a very nice point to continue our project from, while also developing the latest Ninja ZX-10R until 2018,” said KRT team manager Guim Roda. “This is a part of Kawasaki’s strategy, to have two top riders inside KRT project, and now we can say proudly that we still have the two best riders in the WorldSBK championship.

“It has been a longer negotiation with Tom because he has been with Kawasaki for seven years – two with PBM and five with KRT – and there’s always some private and personal points we have to respect when a rider thinks about taking such a important decision.

“Tom always said from the beginning his first wish was to continue in the Kawasaki family, so we are happy he can trust in the new ZX-10R and KRT staff to get what he expects. I personally think that the best of Tom Sykes is yet to come.”

Sykes will remaining alongside current teammate and reigning world champion Jonathan Rea through the next two WorldSBK campaigns, after he too recently reaffirmed his commitment to the brand in 2017 and 2018.