Tom Sykes

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Tom Sykes
Tom Sykes, Silverstone 2012.jpg
Sykes at World Superbikes, Silverstone, 2012.
Nationality English
Born (1985-08-19) 19 August 1985 (age 28)
Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Current team Kawasaki Racing Team
Bike number 1
Motorcycle racing career statistics
Superbike World Championship
Active years 2008–Present
Manufacturers Suzuki, Yamaha, KawasakiCurrent
Championships 1 (2013)
2013 Championship position 1st (447Points)
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
116 14 30 36 17 815.5

Tom Sykes is a motorcycle road racer born 19 August 1985 in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England. In 2007 he gained his first ride in British Superbikes, riding a Stobart Vent-Axia Honda; Sykes finished in sixth position in the championship in his rookie year. Following this success he was signed by the Rizla Suzuki team for the 2008 season; he went on to finish 4th in the championship as well as making wildcard World Superbike appearances at Brands Hatch & Donington Park, where he impressed strongly, helping him gain a World Superbike ride at Yamaha Motor Italia for the 2009 season.[1] For 2010 he races a Paul Bird Motorsport Kawasaki in the series. He won his first SBK title in 2013 for Kawasaki.

Early years[edit]

Sykes is the grandson of Peter Brooks, who is involved in the manufacture of Kawasaki bikes. Sykes raced in the British Supersport championship from 2003 to 2006, finishing 8th, 5th, 6th, and as runner-up to Cal Crutchlow in 2006.[2]

British Superbikes 2007–2008[edit]

2007 was his first season in the British Superbike championship, riding for the Stobart Vent-Axia Honda team alongside 2003 series champion Shane Byrne. He finished 18 of the first 20 rounds, including a pair of 4th places at Snetterton.[3] Second on the grid at Oulton Park,[4] and pole at Donington Park.[5] Sykes took his first two podiums at the Croft Circuit, to move up to 6th in the championship, immediately behind Byrne, and immediately ahead of Leon Camier on another Honda.

Shortly after joining the Rizla Suzuki team for 2008, he was seen testing a Suzuki MotoGP bike.[6] Sykes started the 2008 with a 6th and an 8th at Thruxton (The first races were there as the season opener at Brands Hatch was snowed off). He took pole position at Oulton Park, but crashed at the aborted start of race 1, before finishinh 5th on the restart [1]. He led race 2 until being taken out by Leon Haslam, who was excluded for the move. Sykes continued to finish towards the front of the field consistently scoring podiums at Brands Hatch (2nd), Donington Park (3rd) and Snetterton (3rd) all in the first of the 2 races. It was at Oulton Park where he scored his first two victories, taking the lead from James Ellison late in race 1 but leading most of race 2. He followed that up with a third straight win at Knockhill in the first race, and collected podiums for the rest of the championship. Sykes finished 4th in the championship with 316 points, 2 points behind Cal Crutchlow.

World Superbikes 2008–Present[edit]

Sykes made his World Superbike Championship debut at Brands Hatch as a wildcard, impressing by qualifying sixth (ahead of three works Suzukis with more powerful engines, including title contender Max Neukirchner). He retired from a strong position in race 1 due to a hole in the radiator by rocks thrown up by Max Biaggi's Sterilgarda Ducati machine, but came back to finish 6th in race 2. He gained a second wildcard meeting at Donington Park in changeable conditions, where he proved even stronger. He again qualified on the second row, but got a flying start in race one and had a comfortable lead when the race was red-flagged due to oil from Noriyuki Haga's Yamaha. Knowing he had to finish within 4 seconds of Troy Bayliss to win on aggregate, Sykes lead early in race two, before easing off after seeing a white flag with a red cross, which typically means a slippery surface (often with the yellow and red striped oil flag), but racing in British Superbike Championship races, the flag neutralises the race under a full-course caution period with safety car deployment, so Sykes and Leon Haslam both eased up, anticipating neutralisation, but the time lost here proved costly, as Sykes failed to stay close enough to Bayliss, finishing second behind the three-time series champion. He was less competitive in race two, but his reputation had still been boosted.

Tom Sykes at Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, 2012

On 11 September 2008 Sykes signed a contract with the Yamaha Motor Italia World Superbike team for the 2009 season, with an option to extend that contract until 2010 depending on results.[1] Sykes had an average year finishing mostly mid-pack, while his team mate Ben Spies was at the front of the field. This led to Yamaha not offering Sykes a second year, instead hiring fellow Brits James Toseland and Cal Crutchlow.

Sykes signed for the Paul Bird Motorsport Kawasaki team for 2010, as had been rumoured,[7] enabling him to stay in the World Superbike class. Sykes said

“It’s going to be a challenge, but I’m looking forward to it. I believe that from what is in place in the team we’re going to be able to do a good job.”

The Kawasaki was relatively uncompetitive in 2010, but Sykes managed a strong fifth place at Monza. He was the team leader for much of the year, with the more experienced Chris Vermeulen struggling following a knee injury sustained at the first round at Phillip Island. Despite speculation as to his future with the team, Sykes flew to Japan to help test the ZX-10R, the bike the team will use for 2011.[8] He made a wildcard appearance with the team in the British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch.[9]

On the final weekend of the 2010 World Superbike Championship season, Sykes confirmed that he had signed a one year contract with Kawasaki that would see him ride in the 2011 Superbike World Championship season.[10]

Sykes crashed in the chicane at Donington Park shortly after he passed an Aprilia and moved up to 4th place and he was taken out of the race while his teammates managed mid -placings. He finished close to last on race 2, but Lascorz made 6th.

Tom Sykes has been crowned the 2013 World Superbike Champion after securing the third place finish he needed to secure a popular title victory at Jerez, while Eugene Laverty took a dramatic last corner victory over Marco Melandri.

On June 21, 2014, Tom Sykes captured his 21st career Superpole at Italy’s Misano World Circuit for round seven of the series.[11]

Career statistics[edit]

All time
Series Years Active Races Poles Podiums Wins 2nd place 3rd place Fast Laps Titles
British Superbike Championship 2007–08, 2010 53 2 18 5 6 7 0 0
World Superbike Championship 2009– 99 10 11 4 5 4 4 1
Total 152 12 29 9 11 11 4 1

British Supersport Championship[edit]

Races by year[edit]

Yr Class Team SIL
England
BHI
England
SNE
England
OUL
England
MON
Republic of Ireland
SNE
England
BHGP
England
KNO
Scotland
MAL
England
CRO
England
CAD
England
OUL
England
DON
England
Pos Pts Ref
2004 BSS Suzuki 10 Ret 7 14 4 10 Ret 5 9 4 2 2 3 5th 123 [12]
Yr Class Team BHI
England
THR
England
MAL
England
OUL
England
MON
Republic of Ireland
CRO
England
KNO
Scotland
SNE
England
SIL
England
CAD
England
OUL
England
DON
England
BHGP
England
Pos Pts Ref
2005 BSS Suzuki Ret 9 2 1 1 4 3 Ret 4 5th 119 [13]
Yr Class Team BHI
England
DON
England
THR
England
OUL
England
MON
Republic of Ireland
MAL
England
SNE
England
KNO
Scotland
OUL
England
CRO
England
CAD
England
SIL
England
BHGP
England
Pos Pts Ref
2006 BSS Suzuki 9 5 6 3 C 3 3 Ret 2 2 2 2 3 2nd 172 [14]

British Superbike Championship[edit]

Races by year[edit]

Yr Class Team BHGP
England
THR
England
SIL
England
OUL
England
SNE
England
MOP
Republic of Ireland
KNO
Scotland
OUL
England
MAL
England
CRO
England
CAD
England
DON
England
BHI
England
Pos Pts Ref
R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2
2007 BSB Honda 7 5 5 7 7 6 5 6 4 4 Ret 7 6 4 Ret 6 6 4 3 3 3 5 2 2 Ret 7 6th 279
Yr Class Team THR
England
OUL
England
BHGP
England
DON
England
SNE
England
MAL
England
OUL
England
KNO
Scotland
CAD
England
CRO
England
SIL
England
BHI
England
Pos Pts Ref
R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2
2008 BSB Suzuki 6 8 5 Ret 2 Ret 3 6 3 7 4 4 1 1 1 4 2 2 3 2 DSQ 3 6 Ret 4th 316 [15]
Year Bike 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Pos Pts Ref
R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R3 R1 R2 R3 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R3
2010 Kawasaki BHI BHI THR THR OUL OUL CAD CAD MAL MAL KNO KNO SNE SNE SNE BHGP
5
BHGP
1
BHGP
1
CAD CAD CRO CRO SIL SIL OUL OUL OUL 16th 61 [16]

Superbike World Championship[edit]

Races by year[edit]

Year Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Pos Pts
R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2
2008 Suzuki QAT QAT AUS AUS ESP ESP NED NED ITA ITA USA USA GER GER SMR SMR CZE CZE GBR
Ret
GBR
7
EUR
2
EUR
10
ITA ITA FRA FRA POR POR 21st 35
2009 Yamaha AUS
10
AUS
10
QAT
7
QAT
5
SPA
7
SPA
10
NED
4
NED
6
ITA
6
ITA
6
RSA
10
RSA
9
USA
13
USA
9
SMR
8
SMR
7
GBR
Ret
GBR
5
CZE
Ret
CZE
7
GER
9
GER
8
ITA
9
ITA
12
FRA
Ret
FRA
Ret
POR
DNS
POR
DNS
9th 176
2010 Kawasaki AUS
13
AUS
Ret
POR
15
POR
13
SPA
11
SPA
15
NED
12
NED
Ret
ITA
9
ITA
5
RSA
16
RSA
14
USA
13
USA
14
SMR
15
SMR
16
CZE
11
CZE
Ret
GBR
18
GBR
14
GER
5
GER
7
ITA
6
ITA
4
FRA
7
FRA
11
14th 106
2011 Kawasaki AUS
8
AUS
9
EUR
Ret
EUR
12
NED
14
NED
11
ITA
13
ITA
11
USA
6
USA
10
SMR
4
SMR
14
SPA
5
SPA
Ret
CZE
10
CZE
14
GBR
DNS
GBR
DNS
GER
11
GER
1
ITA
4
ITA
Ret
FRA
8
FRA
Ret
POR
10
POR
Ret
13th 141
2012 Kawasaki AUS
4
AUS
3
ITA
2
ITA
2
NED
Ret
NED
6
ITA
C
ITA
1
EUR
3
EUR
3
USA
8
USA
5
SMR
4
SMR
7
SPA
Ret
SPA
8
CZE
2
CZE
2
GBR
8
GBR
12
RUS
1
RUS
2
GER
4
GER
5
POR
1
POR
Ret
FRA
3
FRA
1
2nd 357.5
2013 Kawasaki AUS
5
AUS
5
SPA
Ret
SPA
3
NED
1
NED
2
ITA
2
ITA
3
GBR
1
GBR
1
POR
3
POR
NC
ITA
1
ITA
1
RUS
Ret
RUS
C
GBR
11
GBR
7
GER
1
GER
4
TUR
3
TUR
2
USA
1
USA
4
FRA
1
FRA
1
SPA
3
SPA
2
1st 447
2014 Kawasaki AUS
7
AUS
3
SPA
1
SPA
1
NED
2
NED
4
ITA
3
ITA
5
GBR
1
GBR
1
MAL
Ret
MAL
3
SMR
1
SMR
1
POR POR USA USA SPA SPA RUS RUS FRA FRA RSA RSA QAT QAT 1st* 251*
  • * Season in progress.

References[edit]

External links[edit]