Kawasaki unveil Sykes' championship defender

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The Kawasaki WSB team has unveiled the livery 2013 World Superbike champion Tom Sykes and teammate Loris Baz will be riding as the Huddersfield man looks to defend his crown for 2014.

The new machine is a departure from last season’s black and green scheme, as more white appears on the machine despite still lacking a title sponsor.

The Barcelona launch, featuring a whole host of top Kawasaki bosses, comes in an important year for the Japanese firm, as it’s venerable Ninja line celebrates its thirtieth anniversary, with the onus very much on retaining their world title.

Steve Guttridge, KME Racing Manager: “We are 100% committed to winning the World Superbike title again. As you already know, we are now looking to the future of WSBK and making an extra commitment via our development of a new SBK Evo rules machine within the 2014 Championship, with the highly talented Spaniard David Salom on board the Evo SBK Ninja ZX-10R.”

Salom will step up from supersport to join the team on the Evo spec machine as the factory prepares for the move to British Superbike-spec control rules for 2015.

Speaking at the launch, Sykes said: “It is great to be here in Barcelona at the 2014 launch. I do not even need to look at the bike to know what it is because it is engraved in my memory. I have shared a lot of great times with this Ninja ZX-10R and I know we can be competitive again. We have had some really good tests in the off-season even though I did not feel at my full potential. I am excited and even more motivated than last year to start racing again.”

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer