Rider of the Month: August - Tom Sykes
So, it seems to be that time of the month again where we talk about our monthly feature; this month is Huddersfield’s own, Tom Sykes!
Tom was born on August 19th of 1985. As a youngster, he didn’t pay much attention to motorbikes. That’s not until his grandfather, Peter Brook decided to loan Tom his first 600cc Ninja. It wasn’t long before he started making a name for himself on the race track.
Tom Sykes in British Superbikes
Tom decided to enter his first race in the Supersport division at the tender age of just 18 in 2003. He didn’t do half bad for his first go! He finished the contest in 8th place. Three years later in 2006, after climbing his way up the previous years, Tom came runner up alongside Cal Crutchlow.
2007 was Sykes’ first season in the British Superbike Championship. He competed with Honda’s Stobart Vent Axia with Shane Byrne. At the end of this season, he came 6th with Byrne coming 5th.
The 2008 season saw his first race win in the championship, with Suzuki. This was for both rounds at Oulton. However, unfortunately, he failed to win any other race and almost scraped 3rd place, coming 4th in the end.
Tom Takes on the World! (WSBK)
Sticking with Suzuki, Tom also took on the Superbike World Championship that year. Although he exceeded all odds in the qualifying rounds, the table placed him in 21st place. He continued to compete the following few years, failing to exceed 9th place.
That was until 2012. 2012 was a ground-breaking year for Tom Sykes. It was his second season with Kawasaki, a team that he would stay with for a further 6 years (8 in total). It was so ground-breaking, in fact, that he finished second in the table behind Max Biaggi.
The Only Way Is Up!
The champagne was no doubt pouring from the skies in 2013 when Tom took the tracks by storm at the WSBK Championship. Tom took home that winning spot for Kawasaki!
The next few years went a little bit like this, at the end of the season:
2018 would see the final season (so far) between Tom Sykes and Kawasaki, after securing 4th place. In an interview with Motorsport, Sykes stressed how he felt the ZX-10RR had left him feeling unhappy. He reflected on the tensions building between KRT following a collision in Brno left him with no other choice than to take his career on a different path.
A new Chapter for Tom Sykes
In 2019, Tom signed a deal with BMW that was to last another 2 years. Here’s what the table looked like for the seasons ahead:
The Future for Sykes
It has recently been announced that BMW is set to replace Sykes with Scott Redding for the 2022 season. On the other side, today's tabloids have reported (3rd September 2021) that Sykes may be joining team Honda for 2022 alongside Chaz Davies! When he’s not on his motorbike, Tom enjoys embracing the nice Yorkshire countryside on his mountain bike. We don’t blame you, Tom!
3 Sept 2021