Tom Sykes talks BSB, MotoAmerica after ‘sour taste’ of WorldSBK exit

Tom Sykes confirms he has possible options in BSB and MotoAmerica for the 2022 season following his exit from BMW and WorldSBK

Tom Sykes - BMW Motorrad WorldSBK

Tom Sykes says ‘no decision has been made’ about his racing future as he looks ahead following his ‘sour’ exit from BMW and the WorldSBK Championship.

The experienced British rider - World Champion in 2013 with Kawasaki - is considering his options for 2022 after losing his seat in the factory BMW Motorrad WorldSBK set up to Scott Redding.

At the time Sykes made it clear he was disappointed at the manner in which he was dropped after finding out he was being replaced shortly before it was made public. Though BMW encouraged Sykes to shift to its satellite Bonovo effort, the 34-time race winner turned it down.

To complicate matters further, Sykes’ hopes of demonstrating his value to potential employers during the second-half of the year was scuppered when he suffered concussion and was knocked unconscious in an accident during the Catalunya WorldSBK round. Forcing him out of the following three events, he only returned in time for his BMW swansong in Indonesia.

“For me the 2021 season was divided into two parts and therefore bittersweet,” Sykes told Speedweek. “We had to develop a motorcycle and we had to race at the same time, that's a tricky task. At this level in racing, you normally have to concentrate on the set-up for the race. "

With no factory opportunities remaining on the WorldSBK grid for 2022, Sykes has been tipped to return to BSB - 14 years after he last raced there on the Rizla Suzuki - with Paul Bird Motorsport’s VisionTrack Ducati.

He’s also been linked with a switch to the MotoAmerica series with HSBK Ducati, though this seat looks set to go the way of Danilo Petrucci. For now Sykes insists he has options and isn’t considering retirement.

"That [dropped by BMW] left a sour taste in my mouth.I had a few lessons to learn in my life, and another one this year. But I understand and will continue."

So far, no decision has been made, I have several options. A lot of people are not aware of the risks my injury posed for me this year. But I came back and qualified for the second row in Mandalika. 

“I know that I still have the level, in an ideal world I would continue to compete in the world championship. Of course, I am considering the two championships mentioned. One could now argue that the stretches there are narrower and so on. 

“But my passion is motorcycle racing. Back in 2013, when I was in Laguna Seca and later became world champion, I thought that I would like to race there for a season. 

“I've already been to BSB, I know that they have a very well organized and strong championship. I'm 36 years old now.”

Sykes ranks among the most successful WorldSBK racers of all time with one WorldSBK title - Kawasaki’s first for 20 years - 34 wins and a record-breaking 51 pole positions.