World Superbike Champion Tom Sykes and his teammates Loris Baz and David Salom were introduced to the media yesterday at the Pabello Mies van der Rohe in the center of Barcelona, Spain, the threesome set to begin the 2014 season with new color schemes on their ZX-10Rs.
“It is great to be here in Barcelona at the 2014 launch,” Sykes said. “I do not even need to look at the bike to know what it is because it is engraved in my memory. I have shared a lot of great times with this Ninja ZX-10R and I know we can be competitive again. We have had some really good tests in the off-season even though I did not feel at my full potential. I am excited and even more motivated than last year to start racing again.”
Sykes will be joined on the factory ZX-10Rs by Baz while Salom will race an Evo version of the bike.
Baz, who finished eighth in the 2013 World Superbike Championship, knows where he needs to improve – on the days leading up to race day.
“We know that on Fridays and Saturdays we have to improve in practice and qualifying,” Baz said. “In the races I am always strong, but the nearer you start to the front row the better it is. The target for me is to start in the two front rows each time, and then try to go with the leading guys. If I can start well I am sure I can be with those guys in front in the races. We have already made a big step with the bike set up in testing this winter. It looks really good this year with more white on the fairing so it will look different from some of the other bikes.”
Salom’s goal is to be at the head of the Evo pack. Last year he finished 18th in the World Superport Series.
“I am very pleased and proud to be riding the SBK Evo bike for the official Kawasaki Racing team,” he said. “Because I will ride the Evo machine it will not be like the full Superbikes of Tom and Loris, but I hope to be at the head of the Evo race each time. I am happy to be in the Kawasaki family again.”