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'Target' with BMW 'to become World Champion' - Tom Sykes

Tom Sykes looks ahead to the 2021 WorldSBK season and new M 1000 RR bike in a BMW organised social media interview.

Former 2013 World Superbike champion Tom Sykes goes into his second year with BMW, but first on the new M 1000 RR package, as the German outfit hopes to make significant strides towards challenging the likes of Kawasaki, Ducati and Yamaha. 

Sykes remains with the factory team and is joined by Michael Van Der Mark for 2021, as the Dutchman replaces Eugene Laverty. 

Discussing his goals for the season and the new bike in a recent social media interview, Sykes said: "I have to say I’m very much looking forward to it. I believe there has been quite some upgrade with the M 1000 RR.

"It looks like I’m going to see for myself next week when we finally get to put it all on track in the south of Spain at Jerez.

"Looking forward to it all, blow out the cobwebs and see what we have got.

"We all share this target to become World Champion again and I believe with the new upgrades, with the new M 1000 RR, this will put us back into the playing field and ballpark of where we need to be."

One of the biggest issues with the BMW S 1000 RR last season was being underpowered compared to other bikes, especially Ducati. 

The turning ability of the BMW was one of its strong points in 2020, but Sykes admits this was something where he had to 'ask a lot more' from the bike due to having less power.

Early signs suggest big improvements have been made in this area with the M 1000 RR, and Sykes is excited to start testing. 

Asked about this, Sykes added: "It was difficult last year. It was no secret that we were definitely underpowered, and this meant I was having to ask a lot more of the tyres in the middle of the corner which is not really what you need to do on a superbike.

"It’s all about getting the bike upright and using the power of the engine to do the talking. Power was certainly an issue. We still had some limitations on where we needed the chassis set up to be.

"But this is just time, this is development and certainly now with extra power… this is the biggest thing we’ll notice inside the team! But then on top of that, we’ve had small changes to where we needed to on the chassis/swingarm.

"We’ve learnt a lot about many other small things, electronics, suspension and these little key ingredients. When you put them all together, they make a big difference on the track. I’m excited to pick up with testing."

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