KAWASAKI have retained Tom Sykes for the 2012 World Superbike championship.
Sykes' future aboard the Kawasaki ZX-10R was placed in doubt when PBM announced that neither of their services were being renewed for next year. However, discussions with the factory have ensured that the Nurburgring race winner will stay with Kawasaki in 2012, partnering Joan Lascorz in a continuation of last season's line-up.
"I'm very happy to be continuing with Kawasaki and the Ninja ZX-10R in 2012," said Sykes. "I believe the bike has good potential and we saw some of that come through in 2011 with a race win in Germany and superpole at Misano.
"These are the kind of results I am looking to achieve in the coming season on a regular basis and I really believe we can do this. I have a lot of confidence in Kawasaki and the team around me, so if we can improve a couple of points with the set-up of the bike on the track which I feel are restricting performance this would be a big step forward for us in the final results. I am looking forward to re-starting our test programme again very soon."
The Japanese manufacturer is taking a more direct role with their factory team after dropping PBM. Their base of operations will run out of Spain with overall control coming from Japan.
Team manager, Guim Roda added: "We are very happy to run with Tom in 2012. Kawasaki always tries to keep the people it has in place and Tom has been making a good job in the last two years with Kawasaki. He has the potential to go fast, as he has shown in 2011, and now we have to repeat that for full race distance at each round.
"He is young and determined, which are good combinations for a fast rider. I'm sure working closer with Marcel, his new crew chief, and taking part in all the tests we have planned means he will take one step more and he will be able to fight for the podium places at every race. Let's see what he can show us all next year."