While the market is in full swing in MotoGP, with many contracts already signed and sealed, things are still to get moving in Superbike. Among the many names doing the rounds is Tom Sykes, his future still up in the air.
Kawasaki's priority is to confirm both riders for 2019, but the Brit is considering other possibilities. One thing is certain: the new regulation that Dorna has introduced has really put #66 to the test, his bike very different to that of the previous season. The ZX-10RR used to suit his aggressive style but now that there is an engine rev limitation, Tom has had to take a different approach.
It hasn't been simple to adapt and the Race 2 win at Assen remains his only victory of the season so far. Not an easy situation, as he and the team prepare for Donington in two weeks' time.
For now Sykes isn't giving anything away with regard to 2019, also because, as he himself has said: “It's too early to talk”. But he's not standing still, looking around and checking out the possibility, something that Michael van der Mark confirms: “Tom comes to see us increasingly often - the Dutchman told Speedweek - I don't know what his real intentions are, but he's definitely interested in the R1, because our bike is competitive, so his interest is understandable”.
As for an eventual move to Yamaha in 2019, #66 is keeping the door open: “Never say never. I know the team and have to say they're doing a good job. For now, I can't express the best of myself, I have to ride differently to how I did in the past. If they could give me my old Kawasaki back, you'd see my potential”.
Then there is MotoGP and, who knows, perhaps even an adventure with a satellite team like Yamaha: "I'm keeping an eye on the top calls, signing for a satellite team? For a team like Tech3 you need only look at the results”. Who knows whether Tom might follow in the footsteps of Spies in the future.