Tom Sykes: ‘World Superbike Is Changing Rules Too Often’

2013 World Superbike Champion Tom Sykes has offered some pointed words in regards to the frequent upheaval of the World Superbike ruleset.

Have you ever played a board game at a friend’s house, only to find out that they’ve implemented new “house rules” since the last time you were there? What about when they do it mid-session? That shit gets frustrating, to say the least. You’ve no time to adapt to the new ruleset and you’re instead left in some sort of weird, muddled, gray area without anything to really latch onto. Now imagine how that would feel if you were a Motorsport world Champion that’s facing that very issue in a world-class racing event. Frustrating, no?

MISANO ADRIATICO, ITALY - JUNE 19:   Tom Sykes of Great Britain and Kawasaki Racing Team prepares to start on the grid during the Race 2 during the FIM Superbike World Championship - Race at Misano World Circuit on June 19, 2016 in Misano Adriatico, Italy.  (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)
MISANO ADRIATICO, ITALY – JUNE 19: Tom Sykes of Great Britain and Kawasaki Racing Team prepares to start on the grid during the Race 2 during the FIM Superbike World Championship – Race at Misano World Circuit on June 19, 2016 in Misano Adriatico, Italy. (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)

Well, that’s precisely what 2013 World Superbike Champion Tom Sykes is having to put up with when it comes to upcoming changes to the way riders will be positioned on the grid for race two:

“I still haven’t figured out what it’s about and I don’t think I’ll waste my energies on trying to do so either. I’m not a big fan and I still haven’t got my head around them but what can I say, it’s a rule, it’s been put in place, it’s the same for everybody and we’ve got to deal with it.” – Tom Sykes

IMOLA, ITALY - APRIL 29:  Tom Sykes of Great Britain and Kawasaki Racing Team heads down a straight during the World Superbikes - Practice at Enzo & Dino Ferrari Circuit on April 29, 2016 in Imola, Italy.  (Photo by Mirco Lazzari/Getty Images)
IMOLA, ITALY – APRIL 29: Tom Sykes of Great Britain and Kawasaki Racing Team heads down a straight during the World Superbikes – Practice at Enzo & Dino Ferrari Circuit on April 29, 2016 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Mirco Lazzari/Getty Images)

Sykes is far from an under-experienced racer. And if you’ve got someone the likes of him struggling to cope with a newly implemented rule, you’ve probably botched the language. Take a step back from the legalese method of writing regulations and ensure that everyone out on the grid knows what the hell is happening. A racer tapping out of trying to understand a new rule change is more reflective on its description than it is of the racer’s aptitude.

“It seems like the rules change quite frequently now, formats are changing. You try to voice your opinion in this paddock and you get shot down. I like to think that I’ve got a bit of experience but for that reason I just shut my mouth.” – Tom Sykes

We’re seeing a phenomenon across all Motorsports currently – change as an effort to stay fresh and engaging. But if this rocks the boat too much one way, we could end up with a messy puddle of a sport rather than the dynamism officials seem to be aiming for.

 

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