In what was an expected announcement, Tom Sykes and Kawasaki Racing Team will go separate ways at the end of the 2018 World Superbike season. This will be the end of a relationship that lasted for 9 years.
Sykes arrived at Kawasaki in 2010, and right from the start the British rider made sure to show everyone that the time he spent before with Yamaha, being teammate of Ben Spies, wasn’t the best of him. Three years later, in 2013, Sykes conquered the World Superbike championship and gave the title back to Kawasaki, 20 years after Scott Russell’s winning season with the Japanese brand.
During his nine years as a factory Kawasaki rider, Tom Sykes gained the fame of being one of the fastest riders around in this championship, becoming “Mr. Superpole” by getting so many pole positions. Besides the title in 2013, Sykes also secured a total of 106 podiums and is also the superpole rercord holder with a total of 46.
This isn’t a total surprise though, all because the relationship between Tom Sykes and current teammate and triple Superbike champion Jonathan Rea has never been good, and in the last few months it’s been getting worse each race, especially since the Brno incident, when Rea didn’t finish the race over a contact with Sykes while fighting for a position.
With Rea having renewed recently his contract with Kawasaki until 2020, Tom Sykes was left without an option, and is now being linked to a Yamaha return, while Honda also has their eyes on the former World Superbike champion to ride the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 next season.