The official news that anticipated the fourth round of the Superbike season, which will take place this weekend at the Aragon circuit, was that Tom Sykes will remain in the BMW team, to the detriment of Eugene Laverty who, given the contract that Michael Van der Mark had already signed with the German manufacturer, will be forced to look for a new team. So Sykes will race with BMW again in 2021, for what will be his third year on the S1000 RR.
“I'm very happy with this confirmation. It has finally arrived," Tom told us. "The Covid situation had slowed everything down a bit and also the negotiations on the contract. I married this project last year, and I was very enthusiastic. The collaboration between BMW and SMR seemed very professional to me and so it turned out to be in these two years. I really believe in this team, and I'm working to improve the bike more and get to the positions that really matter, but we need time.”
You joined the team at the beginning of 2019 and, during these 16 rounds, with BMW, you achieved four podiums and two pole positions. How much has the bike improved since your arrival, and what potential is still untapped?
“The package has improved a lot. Everyone is working really hard, and we always have some innovation regarding the geometry of the bike and the electronics. This bike has its limits, we know this, but we're trying to move them higher and get closer to the best.”
Next year you'll again have a different teammate by your side. You started with Markus Reiterberger, then Eugene Laverty arrived, and next season Van der Mark. What could the current Yamaha rider bring to the team?
“In recent years, BMW has always had experienced riders. Michael will certainly bring important knowledge next year, since he's raced for various manufacturers over the years. He's a fast rider, and I believe that together we could do a good job to improve the project.”
This weekend you'll race in Aragon, and it'll be the same next week too. How are you doing with these six consecutive races on the same track?
“I'm approaching this weekend quite relaxed. We didn't have any tests here, so we're starting a little late compared to the others, but I've ridden a lot on this track in my career. I think Aragon can be a good track for our bike, even if the long straight probably penalizes us.”