Tom Sykes (born 19 August 1985 in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England) first made his mark in racing in the British Supersport championship from 2003 to 2006, finishing 8th, 5th, 6th, and as runner-up to Cal Crutchlow in 2006. In 2007 he gained his first ride in British Superbikes, riding a Stobart Vent-Axia Honda; Sykes finished in sixth position in the championship in his rookie year. Following this success, he was signed by the Rizla Suzuki team for the 2008 season; he went on to finish 4th in the championship as well as making wildcard World Superbike appearances at Brands Hatch & Donington Park, where he impressed strongly, helping him gain a World Superbike ride at Yamaha Motor Italia for the 2009 season. Starting 228 races out of his overall 259 WorldSBK races with Kawasaki, Sykes moved over to the Ninja in 2010 and it welcomed gradual progress with the ZX-10R. His first pole position came at Imola in his debut year, which was the start of a historic run. Ending the season in 14th in the championship, there was some work to be done.
Heading out with all guns blazing in 2012, Sykes and his KRT team had truly arrived and were involved in a season long battle for the title. Taking a podium finish at the first round of Phillip Island, his first win came at Monza in round four after three podium finishes. With a total of four victories, 13 podiums and nine pole positions, he heartbreakingly missed out on the title by half a point to Max Biaggi. To add salt to the wound, the half points came from the red flagged Monza race two – the same race in which he took his first win of the season.
Coming back motivated and fighting, he was crowned champion in 2013 after taking an impressive 18 podiums, nine victories and eight pole positions. With a 23 point advantage over Eugene Laverty at the season finale in Spain, all Sykes needed to do was take a podium finish around Jerez to take the title – which he did with ease. Involved in another year long battle, his strong levels of consistency and pure determination saw him take the title. Choosing to run the number one plate in 2014, his title defence was a difficult one as he was beaten to the crown by only six points from Sylvain Guintoli on the Aprilia. Taking his overall win’s tally to 22 at the end of the season, it was all change within the green team for 2015 – with Loris Baz making way for Honda’s Jonathan Rea… From here a strong inter-team rivalry developed between Sykes and Rea, as the duo were both gunning for the crown, and Rea was competitive from the off. Contending with Rea and Ducati’s Chaz Davies in 2015, Sykes finished in third position overall as he took four victories and 15 podiums – on top of continuing his strong Superpole pace. Fighting back in 2016, he was able to secure the runner-up spot behind Rea, with stunningly consistent pace of 20 podiums and eight pole positions. Struggling to develop the ZX-10RR to suit his riding style over the last few seasons, Sykes is never far away from the podium or the front of the pack, and an injury sustained in Portimao last season hindered the end of his 2017 campaign leaving him in third position overall in the standings. 2019 sees a complete change in machinery and team as he lines up for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team following his 9-year period with Kawasaki.