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Sykes to replace Kagayama

Published: 02 September 2003

The Rizla Suzuki British Superbike team has announced that British Supersport rider Tom Sykes will take the place of injured Yukio Kagayama for the next round of the championship at Brands Hatch.

Sykes, who is currently sitting seventh in the Supersport championship will take over Kagayama’s Suzuki GSX-R1000 for just one round but has been put under no pressure from the team to go for the win.

The 18-year-old rider has only been racing for four years but is attracting a lot of attention after coming second in the British Superstock championship last year and finishing second at Mondello Park this year.

But team boss Paul Denning wants Sykes to use the time to build up his racing experience: " I make no secret that this is our team keeping an eye on Tom for the future. He is one of a number of talented young riders in this year's Supersport class and his bike control is particularly impressive. I can see Tom winning races and championships in years to come, hopefully on Suzuki motorcycles. There is no pressure on him, we want Tom to enjoy the weekend and to gain some valuable experience."

Both Kagayama and team-mate John Reynolds had planned to compete as wildcards at the Assen round of the World Superbike championship this weekend but the broken pelvis that Kagayama got when he crashed at Cadwell Park means he won’t race again this season. Reynolds will now be the only Rizla Suzuki rider competing in the race.

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