Rizla Suzuki's Tom Sykes collected the Steve Hislop Memorial Trophy during the Bennetts British Superbike Awards at the International Motorcycle Show in Birmingham today.
The trophy is awarded to the young rider who has improved the most over the season and this year, in his debut British Superbike season, Sykes achieved six front row starts, one pole position and five podium finishes.
His consistency and talent impressed both fans and paddock insiders alike, making sure the 22-year-old from Huddersfield received the much coveted award.
"I feel very privileged," enthused Sykes. "Steve Hislop was a fantastic rider and on his day he was unbeatable. It would have been nice to have received the award from Hislop himself; it is a shame that can't happen."I'm over the moon with the award as you only have one year as a rookie and therefore only one chance to receive it. It was a good season for myself and I couldn't have asked for anything more. I finished very consistently and was running at the sharp end every weekend. It is absolutely brilliant to be rewarded with this trophy."
Rizla Suzuki Team Manager Jack Valentine said: "It is well deserved no question about that and I'm not just saying that because Tom is now with Rizla Suzuki. He has been level-headed and not made many mistakes through his rookie season. He has been very impressive. I hope he continues in the same vein next year with Rizla Suzuki."