Tom Sykes on tough BSB return - “Not what we expected, not panicking yet”

Tom Sykes says he is 'not panicking yet' despite a miserable start to his new career chapter back in the British Superbike Championship at Silverstone

Tom Sykes - MCE Ducati

Tom Sykes has reflected on a tough start to proceedings in the 2022 British Superbike Championship as he struggled to a single points’ finish over three races at the Silverstone opener.

The 2013 WorldSBK Champion is making his high-profile BSB comeback this year some 14 years after he last departed the series to chase success on the international stage.

Resembling a tactic forged by Scott Redding - who ironically replaced Sykes in BMW’s 2022 WorldSBK line-up - when his fellow Briton exited MotoGP to join Paul Bird Motorsport in BSB, Sykes is attempting to re-ignite his racing fortunes by mirroring his countryman’s run to the title.

However, his bid got off to an inauspicious start at Silverstone as he laboured to a single top fifteen finish with a run to 12th in Race 1. He then high-sided out of the points at the start of Race 2 and finished 16th in Race 3.

Despite the slim returns from Silverstone on a weekend his MCE Ducati team-mate Josh Brookes and Oxford Racing Ducati rider Tommy Bridewell also struggled, Sykes says he is not panicking just yet.

“The results certainly weren’t what we were expecting but it’s a unique circuit and in a lot of places the bike was working really well so I’m not panicking yet. 

“The first race today was far from ideal and left me a bit battered, but the team made a few changes for the final race which helped. I got held up a by another rider and was losing about 0.4s in one sector so by the time I’d got by, the group ahead had gone. 

“We definitely found something with the bike though so, all things considered, a top ten could have been possible so it’s something to take away. 

“We’re playing catch up, but it gives us something to build on so let’s see what Oulton Park has to offer.”