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SBK riders under attack from their MotoGP cousins

Sykes speaks to Yamaha, but Aleix Espargarò, Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista are on the hunt

MotoGP: SBK riders under attack from their MotoGP cousins

The MotoGP riders market opened very early this year, but there are still some places to be assigned. And they are significant ones.
Suzuki and Aprilia still have to confirm their second riders, which leaves three strong riders on the waiting list: Aleix Espargarò, Alvaro Bautista e Stefan Bradl.

The first is the most active in seeking a seat. The older brother of Pol, who has recently left Yamaha-Tech 3 to sign up to the KTM project together with Bradley Smith, is looking in two paddocks, in MotoGP (he's talking with Aprilia) and also Superbike.

Aleix himself admitted this during the Barcelona Grand Prix: "I'm talking to three teams. Superbike is a concrete option".
The three teams are Ten Kate Honda, Ducati and Kawasaki.

Theoretically the three manufacturers each already have a strong rider, but they could decide to make a change. Just as the riders might decide to make a move.
With regard to Honda, it's common knowledge that Van Der Mark wants to try to move to MotoGP. In this case, a possible team for him might be Marc VDS, that would do without Tito Rabat. In Ducati it could be Giugliano who makes room/decides to make a change. And it's known that Gigi Dall'Igna likes Aleix, having worked with him during two magnificent seasons with the ART-Aprilia in MotoGP, concluding 12th and 11th in 2012 and 2013.

The third seat that is still not certain is that of Tom Sykes. The former champion has been dethroned by his teammate Jonathan Rea and is looking around.
Should he decide, or should he be obliged, to move, this could be a great place for the 26-year old Spaniard from Granollers.
But is Sykes really looking around?

It would seem so, and Yamaha's Andrea Dosoli has confirmed it.

"He has told us that he thinks our R1 is a bike with great potential. By following the bike on track, he got this impression".
Basically, Tom has made his availability known, though for now Yamaha hasn't responded.

"We have a contract until 2017 with both our riders, with clauses in place for an early separation", added Dosoli, who also wanted to explain the reasons for substituting Guintoli with Canepa.

"Yamaha has decided to offer this possibility to riders who are already in its orbit. It's true that we made contact with Melandri, but Marco would have wanted to do various tests and, honestly, this is very difficult".

But how is the situation in team Pata-Yamaha? There are rumours of a possible change - which would mean a separation from Paul Denning - but this wouldn't be a problem seeing as there is still room.

As for keeping both riders, Dosoli quite rightly keeps this information to himself. The fact that, as well as Sykes, there are still riders on the market such as the oldest Espargarò, but also Bradl or Bautista, is definitely something to keep in mind.
Providing that these riders don't exaggerate when it comes to their salary requests of course.

Superbike is experiencing a difficult moment, but for those who have perhaps tired of playing the part of extras in MotoGP,  perhaps this is the right place, as proved by Nicky Hayden.

Translated by Heather Watson

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