2013 World Champion closes a nine-year spell with the green machines in Qatar
Nearly nine years and 228 races later, Tom Sykes and the Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK reach their final destination together. The final round of the 2018 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship will also be the last time that the man from Huddersfield jumps onboard the ZX-10RR, as the iconic partnership splits up in 2019.
Sykes joined Kawasaki in 2010 and quickly built a strong bond with the Japanese manufacturer. His first two years were spent learning and helping to develop the bike into the championship winner that it is today, with the big step up arriving in 2012: four wins and another nine podium finishes catapulted the Yorkshireman into second in the championship, missing out on the title by half a point. Their defining moment together would come one season later, as Sykes became the first Kawasaki rider to win the World Championship since Scott Russell in 1993.
Since then, the 33-year-old has picked up another two runner-up spots and a total of 34 race wins, 106 podiums and a record 47 pole positions. One of the few things Sykes has not done with the Provec squad is win a race at Losail International Circuit, which will be the goal in their final meeting together.
The former world champion shares his thoughts ahead of Round 13: “I love racing out there in Qatar. It is such a nice environment. I spend the day resting and then go and race around in circles under the floodlights”.
He adds: “It will certainly be an end of an era and it struck me that Losail would be my last race weekend with Kawasaki when we raced in France recently. We are certainly coming to the end of a very good era and we have had a good run together. We will see how it goes but hopefully I can get two strong results, not just for myself but also for the guys in Kawasaki”.
Catch all the action from Losail International Circuit from 25-27 October, and relive the best moments from Tom Sykes’ Kawasaki career thanks to WorldSBK VideoPass.