After nine years of success on the Ninja and with the official Kawasaki Racing Team in WorldSBK, Tom Sykes and the Kawasaki Racing Team have mutually agreed to end their sporting relationship at the end of the 2018 season. His merits for revolutionizing the Kawasaki's attitude in dealing with the superbike races and his fundamental role in the development of the Ninja ZX-10R are widely recognized: Tom has put all of himself in these nine years together with Kawasaki in the WorldSBK world. The 2018 season is not over yet, Sykes and the KRT are still pushing hard to make their mark, as was done in the WorldSBK 2013 championship, in which Kawasaki obtained the first title thanks to Tom's talent, twenty years later the success of 1993 with Scott Russell. Tom also won the second place in the championships 2012, 2014 and 2016 - to be emphasized, in 2012 were only 0.5 points to separate him from his second world title. With the rest of the 2018 season yet to be completed, the one who has won the most Superpole in the history of WorldSBK has the chance to win again with the KRT. Motivated and with the full support of the Kawasaki Racing Team and its pit-team, Tom remains a true champion, admired by fans and feared by rivals.
Tom Sykes: "I think it's time to make a change in my career and go in search of new challenges: having the right motivation to push yourself and the bike over the limit is essential to win and I feel I have given everything I could do in the KRT Today I feel I am the best driver I could aspire to and I have the experience to keep winning, so I decided to retire from the KRT project for 2019 and look for new goals and challenges. on these last races of 2018 and I am determined to enjoy this phase in all its aspects and I hope that this announcement will also determine the end of all gossip and speculation.When taking these important professional decisions it is always difficult to find the right timing, especially when personal life also faces various changes, as far as I am concerned, I feel that the pressure has risen from my shoulders and I am sure that 2 019 will see me operating at 100% ".
Guim Roda - KRT Team Manager: "These last weeks have been very intense, we talked and discussed internally, but in the last few rounds Tom did not manage to be 100% focused, he had a very important decision to make, as well as delicate family events, that put it under stress for the last two years, I hope that after clearing things up, we'll be able to master the last four events as we did in Assen, and we have a lot of work to do until the end of the year, and the time has not yet come to say goodbye, the fundamental thing is to stay united and give everything to win in 2018 ".
Ichiro Yoda - KRT Senior Engineer: "We understand Tom's wishes, it is now time to take different directions in WorldSBK.The whole group of engineers and I have great respect for the work done together with the pilot since the start of the WorlSBK 2010 project and of course, for what still needs to be done until the end of the season.Your skills in developing new components and all the feedback received to improve the performance of the bike year after year have been very useful, we will always be grateful for his efforts " .
Steve Guttridge - KME Racing Manager: "Over the years we have written many important pages and traveled thousands of miles in the company of Tom. His constant commitment on the track and during the tests, his wonderful relationship with the fans and the press had a very positive impact on Kawasaki.It is so loved because it always gives 100% in everything it does.It is sad to have to lose a real "brand ambassador" but I am also aware of the fact that it is time for Tom to look for new challenges and new challenges, we will be at his side at the next race in Portimao to make sure that he starts from pole position ".
Sykes career statistics updated to July 2018:
9 with Kawasaki in WorldSBK (8 with KRT and 1 with PBM)
WSBK World Champion 2013 (with Kawasaki)
Competitions in which it took part: 252 (222 for Kawasaki)
Wins: 34 (34 for Kawasaki)
Podiums: 106 (105 for Kawasaki)
Pole Position: 46 (46 for Kawasaki) - SBK Record
Departures from the first row: 76 (76 for Kawasaki)
Fast tours: 38 (38 for Kawasaki)
WorldSBK carrier since 2008 with Wildcard> 2009 full-time.