LEPTON speed merchant Tom Sykes has won a dream ride in next year's British Superbike Championship.
The 21-year-old steps up from British Supersport to take the colours of Paul Bird's Stobart Honda.
It's a mark of his potential after three years at his current level with the TAS Suzuki team and a delighted Sykes said: "It's brilliant!"
Sykes will now be a regular on ITV's Sunday coverage, which features former Huddersfield rider Jamie Whitham as one of the main commentators, guaranteeing him top exposure.
He added: "I'm so excited at finally getting the chance to make the step up to British Superbikes.
"It's a fresh start and, with testing getting under way next week, I'm really looking forward to the season and I know I've got a great team behind me.
"They have won two British Superbike Championships and have a lot of experience so I can't wait to get started.
"It's going to be a steep learning curve but it's one I'm relishing."
Sykes finished runner-up in this season's Supersport Championship, and his performances attracted the attention of several leading team owners.
Sykes will be joined by Shane 'Shakey' Byrne, who was champion in 2003. Sykes and Byrne will use the Phil Borley prepared Honda Fireblade CBR1000RR's in the series which starts at Brands Hatch next April.