TOM SYKES has signed to ride with Kawasaki in World Superbikes next season.

The 24-year-old from Fenay Bridge, who has lost his ride with current team Yamaha Motor Italia, will be reunited with his old British Superbikes boss Paul Bird.

The news comes as Sykes prepares for the final World Superbikes meeting of the season at Portimao in Portugal on Sunday.

Sykes, who is eighth in the championship standings, said: "The team has big plans for World Superbikes next year so I’m really looking forward to being part of that.

"The big factor for me was that I have worked with the team before and know how good they are. They’re one of the best teams I’ve ridden for and I’ll have the same crew chief as I had in my rookie season in BSB.

"I’ve learned a hell of a lot this year and the intention is to put that experience to good use."

Team chief Bird said: "I’m delighted we’ve managed to sign Tom, as I’ve always rated him highly – that’s why I handed him a ride back in 2007.

"The team have made huge strides and I fully expect us to be right at the sharp end in 2010."