Tom Sykes is entering his 13th full season in the Superbike World Championship this season and third with the Motorrad BMW Team.
Sykes will line up on the all-new M 1000 RR package with teammate Michael Van Der Mark, Jonas Folger and former teammate Eugene Laverty, as the German manufacturer looks to close the gap up front.
The 2013 world champion currently has 34 class wins – which puts him in the top ten of all-time winners, but the Briton is by far the leader in pole positions.
Sykes has 50 pole positions to his name, which is a record that cannot be matched by any current rider in 2021, as Jonathan Rea is next on this list with 27.
In a recent series of videos curated by World Superbike, WorldSSP rider Federico Caricasulo asked Sykes how he was preparing for a quick lap.
Sykes alluded to everything that happens “in slow motion”, and that the performances he is able to squeeze out are all based on the “take” available.
âFor me, everything is happening in slow motion, I have a lot of time to think and react. On my starting lap, I just feel the grip I can have,â added Sykes.
“As soon as I cross the line to do my Superpole lap, for me everything is a benchmark: the initial acceleration, the identification of my braking points, the way I release the front brake in the turn and face it. straight … it’s all about the outlet you have.
“Of course that is all changing because now you have a lot more grip. I feel very lucky that I can react very quickly and understand the full potential in such a short time.”
Most of the Superpole success for Sykes came during his long stint with Kawasaki, however, the Huddersfield-born rider has also won a pole position in each of the last two seasons on the very unfavorable BMW S 1000 RR.
“I feel safer on a Superpole lap than on a race lap, I feel a lot more natural on the bike,” added the 35-year-old rider.
âIn the past when I was looking for crazy records on the circuits, especially with qualifying tires, I always looked to open the throttle and balance the bike as much as possible and use rear grip as much as possible.
“For me it’s a very easy and comfortable way to match my riding style.”