WSB: Tom Skyes and Kawasaki Puccetti Racing split after four rounds

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Tom Sykes has left the Kawasaki Peccetti Racing team after only four rounds of the 2023 World Superbike Championship season.

The 2013 champion returned to WorldSBK this year after a difficult campaign in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship last season. Riding for Paul Bird’s Ducati team, Sykes ended the year outside of the top 10 and recorded just two victories in what was a tough campaign.

Sykes raced for the official Kawasaki team between 2010-2018, winning 34 races and securing the manufacturer’s first title since 1993 in the 2013 season. Before Sykes’ success, the last Kawasaki rider to be crowned champion was Scott Russell onboard the Team Muzzy Kawasaki ZXR-750.

A switch to BMW followed in 2019, but Sykes lost his ride to Scott Redding for the 2022 season, which led to Sykes’ largely unsuccessful return to the UK.

His return to the WorldSBK paddock has not gone to plan. Sykes has scored just a single point, 15th at Assen, and failed to finish six of the 12 races held so far. Technical gremlins have hampered the team’s results all season.

 “I had no hesitation in joining the Kawasaki Puccetti team and helping them with the refinement of their Ninja ZX-10RR package,” Sykes said. “I hope all the data I helped them accumulate over testing and the first races of the season pushes them closer to winning races in the future.”

Sykes’ future is currently unknown, whilst the team has not yet made any announcement regarding a possible replacement for the British rider.

“My team, staff and sponsors were honoured to have Tom join us to start the season,” Team Principal, Manuel Puccetti added. “As a former World Champion and multiple time race winner, his insight has really taken our understanding of the Ninja to the next level.

“Now he leaves us, and we thank him for all his knowledge and for sharing so much information.”

Round five of the 2023 WorldSBK season takes place at Misano on June 2-4.