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Tom Sykes leaves hospital, ‘13 rib fractures not ideal when you enjoy laughing’

Tom Sykes, ROKiT BMW Motorrad, BMW M 1000 RR, 2023 WorldSBK, Donington Park, portrait, grid [credit - Gold & Goose]

Tom Sykes has left hospital a full week after suffering a series of injuries in a huge crash during Round 6 of the 2023 WorldSBK Championship at Donington Park.

The 2013 WorldSBK Champion was flicked into a mammoth high-side after losing the rear of his ROKiT BMW M 1000 RR rounding Coppice on the opening lap of the second and final full-length race of the weekend.

Though Sykes was mercifully missed by a tightly-packed field of bikes coming up behind him, the impact on the ground left him with a catalogue of injuries, originally announced as ten rib fractures, a thoracic injury and damage to his ankle.


Taken to hospital, Sykes has spent a week convalescing but upon leaving he issued a statement on social media to thank staff for treating him, as well as his technical partners for their role in ensuring his injuries weren’t worse.

He also says his double rib fractures mean he, in effect, has 13 rib fractures, joking that this is a particularly difficult injury to recover from when he laughs so much.

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“Here we are leaving the hospital exactly one week after entering it. I have so many people to thank but thankfully they all know who they are. 

“But especially all of the medical staff from trackside at Donington, all the way to my stay through the Queen’s Medical Centre Nottingham. What an amazing job they have all done. Also my technical sponsors Dainese and Shark helmets for doing an unbelievable job.

“I have 10 broken right ribs, 3 of those ribs with a double fracture so essentially 13 fractures in the right rib cage (not ideal when you enjoy laughing). 

“Also a fracture to the left ankle but that doesn’t count when ribs are involved.

“That is essentially the first hurdle done. Now I will focus on recovery and time with family and friends for my return.


"I want to thank everybody for the get well wishes. These are really appreciated and really do makes things that little bit easier. I really do appreciate and love the support."

The injuries bring an abrupt end to Sykes’ brief return to the factory BMW Motorrad WorldSBK squad, whom he previously competed with between 2019 and 202§. 

The Englishman was lured from Puccetti Kawasaki to BMW as a substitute for Michael van der Mark, the Dutchman having been forced onto the sidelines himself after breaking his leg in a crash at Assen.

With this weekend’s seventh WorldSBK round at Imola looming this week, van der Mark is expected to do a trial test ahead of a potential comeback, though there is no word on whether he will be able to make his return alongside Scott Redding.

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