2013 WorldSBK Champion Tom Sykes will swap to the factory ROKiT BMW Motorrad for upcoming rounds of the 2023 WorldSBK Championship after parting ways with Puccetti Kawasaki.
Sykes - who competed with BMW between 2019 and 2021 - will replace the injured Michael van der Mark and compete alongside Scott Redding.
The Briton embarked on a return to the international stage this year with Kawasaki’s foremost satellite team following a season spent on the Paul Bird Motorsport Ducati in BSB.
However, it has been an abysmal season thus far for Sykes, with the respected Italian outfit struggling with persistent electronics issues with the Kawasaki ZX-10RR package, issues that led to him retiring or pitting in each of the first seven races of the year.
With only a single point to his name - achieved at Assen - and on the back of another desperate weekend in Catalunya, Sykes and Puccetti opted to go their separate ways.
In the meantime, however, Sykes sourced a stand-in deal to ride the factory BMW M 1000 RR from Round 5 until van der Mark returns.
“I’m looking forward to temporarily returning to the BMW Motorrad Motorsport and to the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team,” Sykes said. “I will work hard to support them as best as possible. I know them from the beginning and was involved in developing the BMW M 1000 RR.
"Now I get the opportunity to contribute again to the development process. I’m looking forward to getting on the new BMW M 1000 RR at the Misano test. At the same time, I wish my former teammate Mickey all the best on his way to recovery while I give everything to stand in for him in the best possible way.”
Sykes’ return to WorldSBK with Puccetti Racing marked a return to the Kawasaki fold with which he enjoyed much of his success in the series, scoring all of his 34 wins and the 2013 WorldSBK title with the factory KRT squad.
Sykes races with Shaun Muir Racing’s squad in 2019 through to 2021 before being replaced by Scott Redding for the 2022 WorldSBK season.
Puccetti Kawasaki meanwhile could revert to Lucas Mahias, who returned to the Italian squad this weekend in the WorldSSP Championship. The Frenchman - who is busying himself in the Endurance World Championship - has raced with Puccetti Kawasaki in both WorldSBK and WorldSSP.
CLICK HERE to view the latest 2023 WorldSBK Championship standings after Round 4 of 12 [Catalunya WorldSBK]