World Superbikes champion Tom Sykes has decided that he is No1!

Until now the 28-year-old Huddersfield racer had been unsure if he would run his favourite race number ‘66’ or the champion’s No1 plate on his Ninja ZX-10R for the 2014 season.

He has elected to adopt the No1 plate, but with some personalised touches, and a ‘prototype’ of his new plate featuring many small ‘66’ graphics inside the No1 has been made.

Sykes was using the plate as he and his KRT teammate Loris Baz completed a three-day test at Jerez in Spain – with Sykes hailing highly-positive results.

All World Superbikes teams now face the mandatory winter test ban period, and in the last test for KRT of 2013 Sykes spent his track time refining his set-up in preparation for a new season.

The new No1 on Tom Sykes bike
The new No1 on Tom Sykes bike
 

With the 2014 campaign – which will begin in Australia in late February – in mind, Sykes set out to do as many laps of the impressive Jerez circuit to work out the details of race set-up, particularly over the first two days.

“We did a bit of everything at this test and it has been very good for us,” said Sykes.

“I did a lot of laps again so my crew chief Marcel (Duinker) was working me hard!

“We tested many different components, which you do not always get the chance to do in the middle of the season.”

Both official KRT riders finished with fast lap times to their credit, with Sykes setting a best of 1.39.6 and Baz 1.39.9, as they enjoyed good weather conditions in the south of Spain.

The next tests for KRT will take place right after the end of the testing ban, in mid-January, at Almeria in Spain.

“Our testing schedule during the season was quite minimal compared to what we used to do, so this test has been a good experience overall,” added Sykes, who is convinced that the Kawasaki Racing Team are heading into 2014 in even better shape than they were in winning the title.

“We retried certain things to understand if they are definitely better, especially over race distance, and I am happy with how it has gone.

“The Ninja ZX-10R is working well even though Jerez is not one of my strong points. That shows we have improved our package, which is the main thing.”