Tom Sykes pens new BMW deal for 2021 WorldSBK season

Tom Sykes and Michael van der Mark will form BMW Motorrad's rider line-up for the 2021 WorldSBK Championship, it is confirmed

Tom Sykes - BMW Motorrad WorldSBK

BMW Motorrad has confirmed Tom Sykes will remain with the manufacturer for the 2021 WorldSBK Championship alongside new signing Michael van der Mark.

Sykes joined BMW at the start of the 2019 WorldSBK Championship season after bringing his long and successful collaboration with Kawasaki – one that yielded the riders’ title in 2013 – to a conclusion.

His signing coincided with BMW’s fully-fledged return to WorldSBK as a factory entry armed with the new S1000RR, with Sykes proceeding to notch up four podiums and the manufacturer’s first pole position start since 2009.

BMW S1000RR 2019 Onboard

With Sykes adding to that tally with his own 50th career WorldSBK pole position at the top of this season in Australia, BMW Motorsport Director Marc Bongers is delighted to be continuing with the British rider for 2021.

“Tom has been part of our WorldSBK Team from the very start and is an important pillar of this project. We are pleased to be able to continue along the common path in 2021, which we embarked upon with the first tests back in December 2018. 

“This gives us continuity, which is very important for the successful development of a project. We have already achieved a lot together, and the goal is now to definitively close the gap to the front-runners. Tom’s extensive knowledge of the BMW S 1000 RR and his input will play a key role in achieving this.”

While Sykes will be entering his third season with BMW, the team – headed up by Shaun Muir Racing – will sport a revised rider line-up for 2021 with Michael van der Mark already confirmed as joining from rivals Yamaha.

The deal potentially spells bad news for Eugene Laverty, who only joined the team at the start of the season but has struggled to match his team-mate in the opening three rounds of the year.

However, he could potentially earn a reprieve if he is factored into BMW’s plans to launch a sister satellite team. Though the plan isn’t confirmed as yet, it is understood the team has opened discussions with WorldSSP champions BARDAHL Evan Bros. to take up the new project