Sykes in tears as he lands the World title

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An emotional Tom Sykes admitted he had shed tears after winning the World Superbike Championship.

The Huddersfield-born 28-year-old Kawasaki rider, who missed out on the 2012 title by half a point, finished third in the opening race of the final round at Jerez.

Sykes did enough to take the championship at the Spanish circuit as he finished behind Ireland’s Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) and the Gold Bet BMW of Italian Marco Melandri.

Sykes became the fourth British winner of the title after Carl Forgarty, Neil Hodgson and James Toseland.

“I’m absolutely over the moon, so emotional. I was shedding a few tears on the slowing down lap, I was shaking,” Sykes told British Eurosport.

“There have been lots of sacrifices to get here. Finally we’re here and what a feeling.”

Sykes had lost the title in 2012 by half a point to Italian Max Biaggi and also started this year with a cracked bone in his left wrist but was able to cope with an up and down season to take the title.

He added: “Luckily this is our moment. I was so close last year. I’ve been waiting a long time for this.”

Laverty, who won a fierce battle with Melandri to take the race win, added: “Congratulations to Tom. He and Kawasaki moved the goalposts very far this year..”

Hampered by his left wrist injury at the start of the season Sykes had taken his time to show his true speed.

But a first and a second at round three in Holland showed he would be a title contender and he followed that up by taking a double race win at Donington Park.

Sykes repeated that in Italy but his second home round at Silverstone proved a low point as he could only finish 11th and seventh.

But from there Skyes showed the sort of form which has earned him the title.