Sykes Prepared For Championship Decider As Baz Returns
October 15, 2013
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) will be joined by his regular team-mate Loris Baz for the
finale of the 2013 season, with Tom entering the Jerez weekend with a substantial 37-point
Sykes, who scored the most recent of his nine race victories in the 2013 season at Magny Cours last time
out, is now in a commanding position. Only two other riders are capable of catching him before the
second race ends on Sunday afternoon in Spain - Eugene Laverty (37 points behind) and Sylvain Guintoli
(38 points behind).
Irrespective of what his rivals do at Jerez, Tom could wrap up the championship after race one if he
scores third place or better. Sykes and his official KRT squad are taking nothing for granted and will start
the weekend with the intention of finding the best race set-up for the official Ninja ZX-10R as possible,
and aiming for race wins on Sunday.
Tom has made an impressive push in the past few rounds to extend his championship lead at an
important period of the season. Since he retook the points advantage after race two at the Nürburgring
round Sykes has scored race results of third, second, first, fourth, first and first. He has led for 242 race
laps in 2013, almost half of all the laps set so far. Tom has also posted 16 podiums, eight Superpole wins
and 12 fastest laps.
Regular KRT rider Loris Baz will rejoin the team for the final round after fracturing a vertebra in a warm-up
crash at the German round in early September The healing process has gone very well and all the
indications are that Loris should be fit to ride in the forthcoming Spanish event. He has to receive final
approval by the official championship medical team at Jerez before he can take to the track, however.
Federico Sandi and Mark Aitchison from the Kawasaki Team Pedercini squad will be tough privateer
competitors at the final round once more, with genuine points scoring opportunities available for both.
The Superstock classes come back for one last 2013 run out in Spain, with Superstock 1000 FIM Cup
rider Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) attempting to win a race yet again, as he did last time out in
France. Romain Lanusse (Team MRS Kawasaki), Leandro Mercado (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) and his
team-mate Lorenzo Savadori will all be aiming to finish on a high.
Jerez has not been used as an SBK venue since way back in the early years of the championship, and
even then it was only on the calendar for a single season, in 1990. Most of the top teams have tested at
the 4.423km circuit last winter, including Tom and Loris, so it should not be a new venue for any of the
main competitors to face.
Tom Sykes: “Jerez is a very exciting circuit and it is one which we have tested at in the winter. We had a
couple of tests there and luckily we have some good track information. Everything is in place for us to go
there and start racing again. I hear people saying I need ‘X’ amount of points or I need to finish in
this-or-that position in this race, and so on, but we just need go there and work on our own thing and see
what happens after two races. I am expecting some of our competition to be strong but we have made
improvements on our bike and we will start on Friday morning and see where we are. Jerez is a good
circuit to work on to find bike set-up improvements. I am quite relaxed. This will be the last round and it all
boils down to the last round – again. Last year we were 30.5 points behind at this stage and now we are
37 points in front. We are in a much better position and that is the way I am looking at it. I just want to go
and enjoy the weekend like always. Hopefully come Sunday afternoon, if all things go well, then we can
really enjoy the weekend.”
Loris Baz: “I went to have a scan earlier today and everything was fine. The specialist was really happy
because the vertebra is healing really well and really fast, so that is good. We are just waiting for the
approval from the medical staff at the races now but all the medical people from Barcelona and Geneva
say I will be OK to ride. I will try my best this weekend and I am pretty sure I should not have any pain on
the bike. I will make the first session on Friday and see how it is. I would like to finish the season strongly
but you never know how you feel after you come back from an injury. I am sure I will be able to fight near
the front and I will do my best to take back the sixth place I lost in the championship standing after Magny Cours."