Kawasaki Rider Tom Sykes and the Ninja ZX-10R Claim 2013 World Superbike Championship
After missing the 2012 World Superbike title by one-half point, Kawasaki Ninja pilot Tom Sykes would not be denied the 2013 championship. Entering the final round in Jerez, Spain, Sykes knew he needed to put his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R on the podium in the first race of the doubleheader to claim the World Superbike Championship and he did just that, finishing third.
“Words cannot describe how I feel. When I was dreaming I had goose bumps and it was magical to even dream I could be world champion," said the popular Sykes. "But that was maybe 2% of what I am feeling now after winning the title. My Ninja ZX-10R was working very well. All things considered I have to be very happy today. It was good for the championship that it got decided at the final round again, especially at this beautiful circuit, with these great fans. The championship win has not fully sunk in yet but it will do soon, I’m sure.”
Sykes began extending his points lead at Laguna Seca in late September. The fun-loving British rider won the first race of that double header and then finished fourth in the second race to pad his lead to 23 points in World Superbike's return to Monterrey, Calif. after a 10-year absence.
American road racing legend Scott Russell was the last Kawasaki Ninja rider to win the World Superbike Championship, taking the title 20 years ago aboard his Muzzy Kawasaki ZX-7RR. The two had statistically similar seasons as Sykes rode his ZX-10R to 9 wins, 18 podium finishes, 8 pole positions and 13 fastest laps, while Russell collected 5 wins, 18 podiums, 4 pole positions and 3 fastest laps.
Sykes has now concluded the 2013 championship season with 447 points, 23 markers
In World Supersport competition, Kawasaki Mahi Racing Team India’s rider Kenan Sofuoglu finished second at Jerez on his Ninja ZX-6R, ensuring that Kawasaki would win the WSS Manufacturers’ Championship by 12 points.