British Superbike return looks likely for BMW’s Tom Sykes

The 2013 world champion fell victim to BMW’s decision to turn to current Ducati rider Scott Redding, who is expected to partner with Michael van der Mark aboard one of the German automaker’s two M1000RR machines.

BMW has ruled out using three work bikes in 2022 to accommodate Sykes, but has made it clear that it is open to keeping the Briton in one of its satellite teams.

Sykes also told the official WSBK Barcelona website – before the accident that left him with a concussion and unable to run in Jerez – that he had “had an interesting conversation with a team” about staying in the WSBK in 2022, considered the Bonovo Team who currently lead Jonas Folger.

However, Motorsport.com understands that those talks ended without a deal, with Bonovo considering signing Eugene Laverty to lead his 2022 squad instead and Folger looking certain to leave.

With few other options in WSBK, that likely means Sykes is returning to the UK Championship, having attended the Silverstone round of the series earlier this month.

In the same WSBK interview, Sykes admitted, “I loved watching the British Superbike Championship at Silverstone and coincidentally I ended up talking to some people.

Motorsport.com understands that Sykes already has offers on the table from Ducati and BMW to return to the series where he raced in 2007 and 2008 before moving to WSBK in 2009 at Yamaha.

Such a move would bring the curtain down on a 13-season WSBK tenure that brought in 34 race wins (the last of which was at Assen in 2018 on a Kawasaki) and 114 podiums.

Haslam is also set to leave the WSBK, ruling out retirement

Another British veteran in the form of Leon Haslam is also set to return to BSB in 2022 following Honda’s decision to sign Spanish rookies Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge for 2022.

Haslam is no stranger to BSB, having won the title there in 2018 before returning to WSBK with Kawasaki in 2019 and then joining the new Honda factory team last year.

“Honestly, it’s not very clear,” Haslam said of his future. “I’m in no rush. If I can’t compete here, I’m not going to do a satellite or private tour and not be able to challenge.

“If the opportunity is there, unbelievable, otherwise we’ll do something else. I’m not at a stage in my career where I need to be in WSBK.”

Haslam, 38, has ruled out following in the footsteps of compatriot Chaz Davies, who announced his retirement from top-level competition on the eve of the Jerez round last weekend.

“My passion for bikes and racing is probably the highest it has ever been and that’s why my priority is to be on something competitive,” he said. “My passion is winning races and that’s what we’re going to try to create for next year one way or another.”

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