New team move puts Sykes in driving seat
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