Read about Tom Sykes, including career highlights, pictures and news of the road racer right here at Motorcycle USA.
Rider: Tom Sykes
Team: Kawasaki Superbike Racing Team
Machine: Kawasaki ZX-10R (#66)
Born: August 19, 1985 in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England
Hailing from England, Tom Sykes first entered the racing scene in 2003 competing within the British Supersport Championship (BSS) aboard the Suzuki GSX-R600. He continued competing in that series until he eventually finished second during the 2006 season. The following year he jumped up to the British Superbike Championship (BSB) with Honda. In 2008, Sykes joined the Rizla Suzuki squad and finished fourth overall in the series—a career best. In 2009 the 24-year-old was famously paired with World Superbike rookie, Ben Spies. In contrast to Spies’ victorious season, Sykes had mediocre results which resulted in his departure at the end of the season.
For 2010, Sykes raced a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R with the Paul Bird Motorsports Kawasaki Racing Team alongside teammate and former MotoGP regular, Chris Vermeulen. After achieving a surprising pole position during the season, Sykes finished 14th in the championship. The following year Sykes snagged the first victory for Kawasaki in nearly five years at the Nurburgring circuit. Out of the 26-race season, he managed a total of four top-five finishes and went on to earn 13th in the championship.
Sykes remained aboard his ZX-10R for the 2012 World Superbike season and had one of the best campaigns of his career. Regularly within the top-five, Sykes amassed 13 total podiums, four of which were wins and earned a remarkable nine pole positions. He struggled to get out from under the stigma of winning only wet races in World Superbike, following his first victory of the season in the soaked, shortened contest at Monza. He wouldn’t nab another win until late in the year at Moscow, which was also declared wet, but that marked the beginning of a charge that put him well within sight of the overall championship until the final round at Magny-Cours.
The British rider had points leader Max Biaggi in his sights and pulled out a 3-1 finish at the French circuit. While it marked Sykes’ first WSBK success in the dry, it wasn’t quite enough. He finished just half a point behind Biaggi in one of the closest championships in the history of the series.
Sykes remained with Kawasaki in 2013 and finished first in the World Superbike championship, giving the marque its first title in the series in 20 years. He earned a total of 18 podiums, nine of which were race wins and eight pole positions. He took double wins at Donington, Imola and Magny-Cours and ended with a 28 point advantage over second-place rider Eugene Laverty.
Sykes signed an extension contract with Kawasaki for 2014 mid-way through the 2013 season. The ’14 campaign will be Sykes’ fifth consecutive year with the brand in World Superbike.
2013: – 1st World Superbike – Kawasaki
2012: 2nd World Superbike – Kawasaki
2011 – 13th World Superbike – Kawasaki
2010 – 14th World Superbike – Kawasaki
2009 – 9th World Superbike – Yamaha
2008 – 4th British Superbike – Suzuki
2008 – 21st World Superbike – Suzuki
2007 – 6th British Superbike – Suzuki
2006 – 2nd British Supersport – Suzuki
2005 – 5th British Supersport – Suzuki
2004 – 5th British Supersport – Suzuki