Top British Superbike rookie Tom Sykes has joined the ranks of the Rizla Suzuki Superbike team along side his new team-mate, two-time Japanese Champion Atsushi Watanabe.
The 22-year-old from Huddersfield had an impressive rookie season in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship, riding to sixth place overall. He was runner up in 2006 in the British Supersport Championship and graduated to the Superbike class with a calm and calculated approach which saw him make steady progress through the season. In his first year in the premier class, Sykes claimed six front row starts, one pole position and five podium finishes."I am very much looking forward to riding for the factory Suzuki team," smiled Sykes. "The team has a full season of development behind it and the GSX-R 1000 has big potential. I'm hoping for a good season and we should hit the ground running at the first round at Brands Hatch. The winter testing schedule will prepare us nicely for the challenge ahead."
Having competed on a Suzuki back in his Supersport days, Sykes is thrilled to be returning to the fold. He said: "It is great to come back to Suzuki, they are a great manufacturer and will be putting more input into racing which is good news for the championship and for myself."
Looking ahead Sykes has his own personal goal. "My aim is simple - through the 2007 season I was consistent with picking up podium finishes and I want to carry that on," he explained. "I need to win races and finish consistently on the podium."
Team Manager Jack Valentine echoed Sykes sentiments as he welcomed him to the team. "Tom had a fantastic season and I'm very pleased with how it went for him and how he adapted to the Superbike," said Valentine. "He didn't rush into it, he just chipped away at his results and towards the end of the season he was consistently on the podium. He is a thinking rider and has a big future ahead of him with Rizla Suzuki."
Both Rizla Suzuki's racers will be attending the International Motorcycle Show at the NEC when it opens to the public on November 23rd.