World Superbikes: Tom Sykes replaces Noriyuki Haga at Yamaha

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Britain's Tom Sykes will quit British Superbikes at the end of the season to race in the World Superbike Championship for the Yamaha Italia squad in the 2009.

The 23 year old will replace long time Yamaha man Noriyuki Haga in the factory backed squad following the Japanese riders expected switch to Xerox Ducati.

Sykes became a target for the top teams in WSB following his strong results in BSB, his impressive performance at Brands Hatch WSB and his sensational second place finish at Donington Park WSB last weekend.

Sykes currently holds second in the BSB championship standings onboard the Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000. Sykes is believed to have been offered a deal to stay with his current Rizla team for 2009 with an option to take him to WSB but this wasn’t enough to tempt him away from the full factory Yamaha ride.

Sykes' 2009 Yamaha teammate is still unconfirmed. The Italian run team are keen to retain the services of on-form Australian Troy Corser, who currently sits second in the WSB championship standings, but Corser also remains in deep negotitions with BMW about a switch to their new WSB team next season.

To read the full details about the deal and what it means for Rizla Suzuki see next weeks MCN out 17 September.

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Michael Guy

By Michael Guy

Sports Editor, former 250-racer and adventure rider