Superbike, Misano: Is Tom Sykes ready for BMW?

SMR and the Bavarian firm seem interested in the British rider for launching their new Superbike, as he has just been freed from Kawasaki.

As you all know from one of our previous articles, Tom Sykes is leaving Kawasaki in favor of Leon Haslam. He is now on the market again and the latest news from the paddock is that BMW is aiming to have him on their team as they will be releasing the evolution of their S1000RR. The British rider could be the perfect man to deal with the development of this new bike: back in 2010 he accepted Kawasaki’s challenge, one of the least competitive bikes, and in just two years he made it very close to the World Championship title, losing for half a point to Max Biaggi. But of course, the title came just one year later, and from then on the ZX-10RR has been the bike everyone wanted to defeat.

HYPOTHESIS – Obviously, we are still in that phase where everyone speaks to everyone else. But this is a serious matter and the rider himself has been talking to people close to him about this possibility. BMW wouldn’t join the race directly but they would give the bikes’ management to the Shaun Muir Racing company, the current Milwaukee Aprilia team. Their boss, Shaun Muir, will meet Romano Albesiano in Misano, but he already knows that Noale won’t give them bikes, R&D support and technical support for free, that’s why he knocked to BMW’s door. Actually, they could also provide high-quality materials to Alpha Racing, as they are interested in taking Markus Reiterberger back to the World Championship after he conquered the European Superstock Championship. All details are still to be defined, included Althea Racing’s position, as they have been the only BMW team on the starting grid so far this season. Even the Roman team is looking for alternative technical solutions at the moment.

DUCATI’S SIDE – As for Ducati, it looks like everything is paralyzed. Both Chaz Davies’ and Marco Melandri’s contracts are going to expire soon and during the weekend in Misano the Borgo Panigale’s headquarter, meaning Luigi Dall’Igna and Paolo Ciabatti, will meet the riders’ managers. Ducati seems to be willing to renew their contracts, but they need to cut the decision-making process short because the new testing period for the Panigale V4 can’t wait much longer. Both Chaz and Marco have been offered to the Yamaha Pata, but there are Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes there and they will be busy with the 8H of Suzuka on the YZF-R1 “Full Factory” until the end of July, and after that, they could be both renewed as well. Moreover, SMR freed both Eugene Laverty and Lorenzo Savadori, and Scott Redding will be coming to SBK from MotoGP (heading to Honda?): this means that some of the big names could be left with a handful of flies. Misano will be a hot weekend, not only on the track.

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