New team move puts Sykes in driv­ing seat

Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE -

I had some in­ter­est­ing of­fers on the ta­ble, but the one from BMW and Team Mil­wau­kee was the most at­trac­tive.

“Now I know I’ll be able to count on a man­u­fac­turer that wants to fol­low my in­di­ca­tions in de­vel­op­ing the bike.

“The Mil­wau­kee team and BMW will be ded­i­cated to me, I want to try and win races and ti­tles. I be­lieve that the BMW and Shaun Muir Rac­ing part­ner­ship is an out­stand­ing op­por­tu­nity and un­der­stand that we all share the same goals of where we want to be.

“I am look­ing for­ward to the start of the pre-sea­son test­ing where I will get my first taste of the new BMW S1000RR and be­gin my new chal­lenge and ad­ven­ture.”

Sykes fin­ished fourth in the stand­ings hav­ing won once this year, and his place at KRT along­side four-time cham­pion Jonathan Rea will be taken by Bri­tish Su­per­bike ti­tlewin­ner Leon Haslam.

But the move has upset Eu­gene Laverty, who ex­pected to take the place at Shaun Muir.

Said Laverty: “I’m dev­as­tated to hear the news that Tom Sykes will be re­plac­ing me at this late stage as I was ex­cited at the prospect of rid­ing the fac­tory BMW in 2019.

“Tom’s a great rider but in the past two sea­sons he’s only outscored his team-mate in five out of 50 races. I’m a num­bers guy so that’s the def­i­ni­tion of un­der-per­form­ing in my opin­ion.

“Since re­turn­ing from in­jury this year I’m proud of my per­for­mance on the Mil­wau­kee Aprilia. When you con­sider two statis­tics it’s clear that the Su­per­bike World Cham­pi­onship has been dom­i­nated by three other man­u­fac­tur­ers lately.” And Sykes’ new team-mate Reit­er­beger says the pair need to keep their ex­pec­ta­tions low. Reit­er­berger said: “I am look­ing for­ward to work­ing with my new team-mate Tom Sykes. I have a huge amount of re­spect for him. He has al­ready been world cham­pion and has been one of the very best for years. “How­ever, we need to be care­ful not to set our ex­pec­ta­tions too high. We have a new mo­tor­bike and we are in a new team. We just need to try to be im­prov­ing all the time and make sure that we pre­pare well for the new sea­son. “I am re­ally look­ing for­ward to this new chal­lenge and I am very op­ti­mistic. Thanks to ev­ery­one who has sup­ported me and given me this new chance in the WorldSBK.”

Now I know I’ll be able to count on a man­u­fac­turer that wants to fol­low my in­di­ca­tions

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