REA SEALS SECOND WorldSBK CHAMPIONSHIP

Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea shone as brightly as one of the dazzling lights of the Losail circuit in Qatar this evening as the 29 year old rode to second position in the first outing of the final round of the 2016 series to re-fix the number one plate on his ZX-10R for the second […]

Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea shone as brightly as one of the dazzling lights of the Losail circuit in Qatar this evening as the 29 year old rode to second position in the first outing of the final round of the 2016 series to re-fix the number one plate on his ZX-10R for the second year in a row.

The Northern Irishman and reigning champ only needed to grab two points from the initial race in the thirteenth and last date on the WorldSBK slate (and from Pole Position after blitzing the track record) but rode to a solid runner-up slot behind winner Chaz Davies to send the Kawasaki team into rapture for the second time in two weeks; the team wrapping up the Manufacturer’s title a fortnight ago at Jerez in Spain.

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Rea has faced a challenge from teammate Tom Sykes this season – the Englishman riding to fourth in Losail – but has headed the standings from the get-go at Phillip Island in February and with his podium appearance on Saturday night clinched his 22nd top three classification from a possible 25 in 2016; dropping the pressure for a hard charge on Sunday and the chance to demote the in-form Davies who has won five six from the last seven WorldSBK sprints.

#65 became the first back-to-back champion in WorldSBK this century and only the fourth in the history of the class.

“We have twenty-six races in the season and we won the championship with one remaining so that means we have done a very good job all year and have been very consistent,” said Rea – who has now accumulated 87 WorldSBK podiums and a total of 45 in two years since joining Kawasaki – to www.worldsbk.com. “To win back-to-back championships is so difficult. Last year when I first arrived in the Kawasaki family I already had high motivation to win but the ZX-10R was a headache for me at the beginning of this season because it was completely new and very different to last year’s [bike] so I want to thank Kawasaki and my team for really believing in me and this project and to keep pushing on.”

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“Back-to-back championships is incredible and I think one of my heroes – Carl Fogarty – was the last to do it seventeen years ago,” he continued. “Chaz had incredibly pace at the end of last year and was the strongest so I felt a bit like the underdog to be honest but we won at Phillip Island and ‘made’ the season in the first part of the year. My teammate Tom, and Chaz, were so strong and everybody would have their good and bad days but it was about keeping the bike up when things did not go well and that was the difference. We had to accept our bad days and it was hard to do that but the story of the year was that consistency is key.”

The bigger picture of WorldSBK is now finished, framed and now figuratively hanging on the walls of the Rea residence on the Isle of Man. The 2016 story comes to a conclusion tomorrow evening in the Qatari night air.

Viñales Podiums As Espargaró Unlucky At Phillip Island

Maverick Viñales raced to a sensational hard-fought third place in today’s Michelin® Australian Motorcycle GP after an exciting recovery from 13th place on the grid and a hard-fought battle with team mate Aleix Espargaró, who unfortunately slipped-off from his provisional third position with just five laps remaining.

Team Suzuki Press Office – October 23.

 

 

Maverick Viñales – 3rd / Series Ranking 4th
Aleix Espargaró – NC / Series Ranking 11th

 

 

Maverick Viñales raced to a sensational hard-fought third place in today’s Michelin® Australian Motorcycle GP after an exciting recovery from 13th place on the grid and a hard-fought battle with team mate Aleix Espargaró, who unfortunately slipped-off from his provisional third position with just five laps remaining.

 



Both Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders were on podium pace from the morning’s warm-up, held in bright and dry conditions at Phillip Island, for the first time all weekend. And on the start, both GSX-RRs got great jumps with both riders immediately in the hunt.

 

 

Espargaró moved from fourth to third and Viñales started his climb through the pack that saw him catch-up from a lowly 13th on the grid, to challenge for the podium with nine laps remaining.

 

 

The young Spaniard traded places with his team-mate and Andrea Dovizioso in the race’s most exciting battle until Espargaró lost the front end after re-passing for third position in the closing stages; putting Viñales in line for his second successive podium in two weeks; his previous one being at Motegi in Japan.

 


Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:

“This weekend has been very difficult, as the weather was totally unstable and made our job very hard. Only this morning we had 30 minutes in totally dry conditions, and it was all the time we had to try to find proper set-ups before the race. These hard conditions also made Maverick to jump from 13th place, but he could pull-off many overtakes and finally got the podium; with this he did a super job and we’re very proud of him. Also, Aleix had an extraordinary weekend, he managed to exploit the hard conditions to his best and performed very competitively for the whole race, consistently fighting for the podium. Unfortunately, he crashed and this is a huge pity because he was doing a very good job. We will keep this positive feeling going to Malaysia, which will be the next race on next week and also the last one of this three-in-a-row fly-away rounds, as a further push to keep our performance at the top.”

 


Maverick Viñales:

“This podium has a very good taste to it, the weekend had been very hard this morning, but finally I was happy when I woke up today and saw the sun. We had very little time to finalise a set-up for the race, but finally the machine was very good to me and the tyre choice proved to be the right one, allowing me to recover and go for the third. I only had to be careful in the very early stages of the race because not having had the time to test the tyres I was not totally sure the front would support me, but after two or three laps I realised I could trust it. My pace was very good, I’m sorry for Aleix’s crash because we were having a strong race and we had a good pace. At the end, I also thought I could catch-up for second place, my pace was good enough to do it, but unfortunately I’d lost too much time in getting from sixth to third and the race was gone. Anyway, I’m really happy with the result, I want to thank my team because they did a very good job having such a short time to prepare.”

 


Aleix Espargaro:

“I’m really sad because once again, just like in Japan, we were fighting for the podium until the last laps… it’s difficult because I felt I had the pace to catch-up for second, but I lost much time to keep my rhythm as I had to recover from overtakings on the straight. After the warm-up we took a gamble, going with the hard tyre at the front without having tried it properly in the warm-up, but also the team did a very good job improving the machine a lot for the race. I’m sorry also for them, I hope we will come strong again in Malaysia to be competitive again. We proved we can be a lot more competitive recently, so we will work to keep this positive performance.”

 

 

MICHELIN® AUSTRALIAN MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX RESULT:

1 Cal CRUTCHLOW – LCR Honda – 40’48.543 176.5
2 Valentino ROSSI – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 40’52.761 + 4.218
3 Maverick VIÑALES – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 40’53.852 + 5.309
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO – Ducati Team – 40’57.700 + 9.157
5 Pol ESPARGARO – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 41’02.842 + 14.299
6 Jorge LORENZO – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 41’08.668 + 20.125
7 Scott REDDING – OCTO Pramac Yakhnich – 41’16.912 + 28.369
8 Bradley SMITH – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 41’17.324 + 28.781
9 Danilo PETRUCCI – OCTO Pramac Yakhnich – 41’17.335 + 28.792
10 Jack MILLER – Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS – 41’17.358 + 28.815
NC Aleix ESPARGARO – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 33’18.496 – 5 laps

Suzuki To Defend Arenacross Title In 2017

Thomas Ramette, the 2015 and 2016 Arenacross Pro Champion, has confirmed he and SR75 World Team Suzuki will return to AX in 2017 with a single-minded determination to once again lift the coveted AX Pro crown.

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Team Suzuki Press Office – October 20.

 

 

Thomas Ramette, the 2015 and 2016 Arenacross Pro Champion, has confirmed he and SR75 World Team Suzuki will return to AX in 2017 with a single-minded determination to once again lift the coveted AX Pro crown.
Whilst undoubtedly the most successful Pro racer and team in the four-year history of the ultra-competitive UK-based race series, Ramette and SR75 will be up against some stiff opposition next year. Both preceding Arenacross champions Adam Chatfield and Fabien Izoird are already signed up and chomping at the bit to get out on track to secure points, and a share of the significant prize fund. However, Ramette may have a slight advantage in that he is the only former series winner to return with the same manufacturer, team-mate and team set-up.

 


Ramette’s smooth style and determined attitude served him well in the closely-contested, and often controversial, 2016 series, particularly as it reached the climax in London. He set out his stall at the opening round in Manchester back in January with an Arenacross racing masterclass to secure the first win of the year, and then went on to take a further four Main Event outright wins. Of the 11-round championship, the Suzuki pairing of Ramette and team-mate Cyrille Coulon enjoyed 10 podium finishes, confirming SR75 Suzuki as undisputed back-to-back Team Champions in the process.

 

 


Never one to rest on his laurels, Ramette kept himself pretty busy once the AX dust settled. Immediately after the final leg at Wembley, he jetted out to America to tackle the East Coast rounds of the gruelling AMA Supercross, prior to returning to Europe to contest, and win, a number of high-profile indoor and outdoor Supercross events. In the latest chapter of the Ramette success story, the likeable 25-year-old Frenchman was crowned King of Stockholm SX at the beginning of October, ahead of fast-charging Arenacross regulars Angelo Pellegrini, Jack Brunell, Izoird, Flo Richier and Matt Bayliss and, more recently, he added the King of Poland SX award to his bulging trophy cabinet.

 

 


Looking ahead to the 2017 Arenacross Tour, Ramette said; “It is cool to return to the series. I have had an amazing couple of years with my awesome SR75 Suzuki team and I look forward to getting back to the UK and the cool line-up of Arenas where we have enjoyed so many successful nights racing in front of the amazing UK race fans. Coming back to look for the ‘threepeat’ is something special and I do this with the professional respect it deserves. I will give it my all while having fun with some good racing and great pro class competition.”
Coulon said: “This series is a big favourite for me. I like the race and the track style sometimes suits my experience. I’ve had a great year with my SR75 Suzuki Team and I like to make good racing for UK fans with many great riders in this series.”

 

 

 

Delighted to continue with the winning partnership, Rob Cooper, Suzuki GB’s Marketing Manager added; “Ever since winning this year’s Arenacross Championship we fully expected to return in 2017 to defend the title with Geoff Walker and the SR75 Suzuki team. Last year was one of the most entertaining and explosive Arenacross tours the series has ever seen. It provided a great spectacle for the crowds and it was great to be a part of the show, and even better to come away having successfully defended the championship with Thomas Ramette. It was also fantastic to clinch the team championship for a second year in a row. Geoff puts together an extremely professional outfit, and in both Ramette and Cyrille Coulon we have two riders capable of fighting for the title again this year, and hopefully they can help deliver another team championship for Suzuki and the RM-Z450.”

 

 


With the return of all former Pro champs and a heady line-up of British Motocross talent, the 2017 Arenacross Tour promises to be intense. It all kicks off on Saturday January 7th at the Manchester Arena and will then travel to Glasgow, Birmingham, Belfast, Sheffield and London.

Bonneville Speed Week with Team 38

Team 38 ventured from Japan to Bonneville Speed Week with the goal of reaching the top speed of the Ninja H2R. Watch to see the awesome process in trying to reach their goal, as they push the limits of man and machine on the salt.

Team 38 ventured from Japan to Bonneville Speed Week with the goal of reaching the top speed of the Ninja H2R. Watch to see the awesome process in trying to reach their goal, as they push the limits of man and machine on the salt.