Sykes has been a Kawasaki rider since 2010 and has enjoyed the part he has played in helping turn the awesome Ninja ZX-10R streetbike into a winner at the highest level of production-derived racing. Before the Moscow Raceway weekend Tom had taken a race win at Monza, eight podiums in total and seven Superpole successes in qualifying.
The deal to retain Tom as a key member of the Kawasaki Racing Team is for one year, with an option of two further years.
Sykes is currently third in the championship and is still well in contention to go for the title itself if results fall in his favour during the rest of the 2012 season, which finishes in October at Magny-Cours in France.
Tom Sykes: “It has been fantastic to make a commitment quite early in the season. It’s great to be on the good end of the silly season because that is a weight off my shoulders and I think I have proved my worth this year. Last year did not reflect my potential, I do not feel, but this year I was able to demonstrate what I believe I can do. Obviously Kawasaki has done an absolutely fantastic job, an outstanding amount of work and put in so much effort. Everybody can see what we have done this year. I have a fantastic bunch of guys working with me, all my guys in the garage. It is a good team effort, well managed, very professional and I could not ask for any more. That is another reason why I really pushed to stay with Kawasaki. It is a factory team with direct input from KHI, so there are lots of pros for me deciding to stay. This is my third year with Kawasaki and we have had so much bad luck that, despite still being third in the points, we could even have been a couple of places higher at this stage.”
Tom continued, “It is my goal to be World Superbike Champion and I feel we can achieve that sooner or later. We have done so much hard work this year I would not want to miss out on the benefits of all that next year. For sure we can be stronger and we are learning all the time, so we have not seen the full potential of the bike and myself yet. Working directly with the factory I have 100% faith in the technicians back in Japan. When I have been there a couple of times they have been very welcoming and supportive. They fully trust my feedback and the direction I want to go in. For me, that is priceless and makes me feel even more comfortable. To continue that relationship is a key in being able to fight for the championship.”
Guim Roda, Team Manager: “This is a normal step for us because Tom has grown up in a very good way since he began this project with Kawasaki. This is his third year and the job he made this season is really good, maybe even better than we expected. So I think the team and him have grown up to a high level together - but we want to continue to grow up to an even higher level. We are happy to have the chance to work with him again in 2013. He is a professional rider; he concentrates a lot on the job and he is open to learning new things – about himself, the team, the bike, everything. This gives us the confidence that he can improve yet again.”
Steve Guttridge, European Race Planning Manager: “Tom was ready to shine this year from round one and ever since then he's done Kawasaki proud with several Superpole wins, a race win and many podium finishes already this season. He's both serious and professional in the box and there's a great mutual respect for his crew and their efforts to always give him the best bike. He's spent three seasons with us now and each year he just gets better, so the decision to renew his contract for 2013 and continue the good relationship was an easy one for Kawasaki."