Home Round Approaches For KRT Duo

Official KRT WorldSBK riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes will soon arrive at their home round at Donington Park eager to continue the winning ways they have each demonstrated in 2018. Three-time champion Jonathan Rea has recorded five FIM Superbike World Championship race wins so far in 2018, including his first double weekend at Imola […]

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Official KRT WorldSBK riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes will soon arrive at their home round at Donington Park eager to continue the winning ways they have each demonstrated in 2018.

Three-time champion Jonathan Rea has recorded five FIM Superbike World Championship race wins so far in 2018, including his first double weekend at Imola last time out. His fellow Briton, and the 2013 world champion, Tom Sykes took his first victory of 2018 at Assen in round four. With both KRT riders winning a race at Donington last year the competition for home round success in 2018 is likely to be an enthralling spectacle.

For Rea, there will be an extra edge to this weekend, beyond the natural anticipation felt by all riders racing at their home venue. He will have two chances to be the first rider to reach 60 career race wins in the 30-year history of WorldSBK racing. If he does so, he will set a stand-alone record of career race wins at this level. Currently Jonathan is tied on 59 race wins with four-time champion Carl Fogarty.

Sykes could also set a different stand-alone all-time record, should he win the Superpole qualifying contest in Saturday. Pole position for race one would raise his record to 44 Superpoles, one more than the record he currently shares with Troy Corser. At a circuit he has won nine races at in recent years, there may be no better venue than Donington for Sykes to make pre-race history on Saturday.

As well as much desired race wins to try and achieve at Donington, Rea and Sykes will be hunting for points in the overall championship standings. Rea has led the championship since the second race of round two, and now has a 47-point advantage over second placed Chaz Davies. Sykes is third in the rankings after five rounds, 25 points from Davies.

Donington Park, the first ever WorldSBK race venue in 1988, has hosted 50 individual races, with only Phillip Island (55) and Assen (54) having featured more races over three decades of WorldSBK competition.

Regular BSB Championship competitor Leon Haslam will have his second wildcard ride of the season this weekend, at a local circuit that is almost synonymous with his family name.

After the regular Donington Park race weekend an old WorldSBK favourite – Automotodrom Brno – returns to host the seventh round of the championship, between the 8th and the tenth of June. It will be the first time the Czech circuit has hosted a WorldSBK race since 2012.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “I’m looking forward to racing at Donington this weekend as it’s the closest thing I have to a home round feeling. It’s nice to arrive there on the back of a strong weekend in Imola and we will work hard together to make sure we can fight for victory again. Of course, Donington is a different challenge, with its undulating layout and a mix of fast flowing sectors and stop and go sectors. This always makes it difficult to set up the perfect bike, but we will try to find a compromise. This weekend marks the first opportunity I have to surpass Carl Fogarty’s all time WorldSBK win record. I will have a lot of travelling support so let’s hope that’s enough to get it done.”

Tom Sykes, stated: “Preparations are going well for Donington. It is a special place for me. We have done all right in the recent past, with nine wins on the bounce before race two last year. I think I rode there for the first time in the 2000 season. I had ridden at some other British circuits before, and when I finally rocked up to Donington it was special. It is wider and more open compared to most other British circuits. When I got to Donington as a 14 year old, I remember thinking ‘Wow!’ It lived up to all my expectations, and more. First impressions are important, they say, and Donington’s first impression on me was a big one, and it stuck. When you go round Redgate and head down Craner Curves, under a bright blue sky, it is fantastic. In general we are in good shape for Donington and I am looking forward to going racing there again.”

2018 KRT Rider Statistics

Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016 & 2017
2018: Races 10, Wins 5, Podiums 8, Superpoles 2
Career Race Wins: 59 (44 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 120 (78 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 16 (12 for Kawasaki)

Tom Sykes: World Champion 2013
2018: Races: 10, Wins 1, Podiums 4, Superpoles 1
Career Race Wins: 34 (34 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 104 (103 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 43 (43 for Kawasaki)

5 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016 & 2017), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
3 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017)
3 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016 & 2017)

Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 115 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 360 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 76 – second overall

#NinjaSpirit

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Warm Send-Off For Sofuoglu On His Final Weekend

Having qualified third for what was scheduled to be his final WorldSSP race Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) finally elected not to ride today at Imola. The most successful WorldSSP rider of all time was given a warm and rousing send off after the race was completed, as he began his retirement from on-track life. […]

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Having qualified third for what was scheduled to be his final WorldSSP race Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) finally elected not to ride today at Imola. The most successful WorldSSP rider of all time was given a warm and rousing send off after the race was completed, as he began his retirement from on-track life. His team-mate Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) secured a top ten finish at Imola, his best of the season since he joined Kawasaki, and is now 18th in the championship rankings.

A few minutes before he was due to race at Imola Sofuoglu, elected to not line up for what would have been the final contest of a long WorldSSP career. Realising he was not fit enough to truly compete in a full race, particularly starting from a front row grid position in front of almost 30 other riders, Kenan did not want to potentially affect the outcome of a championship fight he would no longer be part of.

Promising his family he would not be injured again, and not wanting to pull out mid-race in case the fans thought his retirement was caused by a technical problem, the statistically greatest-ever WorldSSP rider decided to do a sighting lap and retire in pit lane. In practice, despite his lack of race fitness, he achieved the same lap time as he had last year and decided to leave his competitive career on that note.

Sofuoglu’s career sign off, in his team’s home country of Italy, was the focus of incredible media and public attention, with even many of his old and current rivals attending a special send-off for him on Saturday the 12th of May, at the WorldSBK Paddock Show.

Kenan’s career-ending stats are untouchable by any other rider since the FIM World Championship class was instigated in the late 1990s. No other rider has come close to Sofuoglu’s five world championship crowns, three of which have been attained using Kawasaki machinery, and the two most recent with Kawasaki Puccetti Racing.

The lone official Kawasaki Puccetti rider in the race was 2018 signing Hikari Okubo, who finished tenth and scored six valuable championship points.

After some misfortune at previous rounds, Okubo rode as hard as he could while ensuring he completed the race, and the Japanese rider now heads to the next round armed with much greater understanding of his machine package over full race distance.

Donington Park, in the UK, will host the sixth round of the championship, with raceday on Sunday the 27th of May.

Kenan Sofuoglu stated: “Friday went well and on Saturday we took a front row Superpole position. It was a very great moment for me to be here. Dorna, Kawasaki and my team organised a very nice event yesterday. I felt that if I raced today what was the reason that I would start? I felt I was not really physically ready to do this race. If I crashed with some of the championship challengers, if something happened, it could be very bad. I would feel I had damaged someone’s championship. I was here for the show, not here for the goal, and I think the show was over. I came on to the grid, onto the front row, and said goodbye to everyone. I think this was the best decision to make. Honestly, this morning I did not know what I was going to do. I only decided not to race a few minutes before the start. My team were surprised but they respected what I wanted. I did not want to break a promise to my family. Thank you to everybody; thanks to Jonathan Rea, who came to my goodbye event at the Paddock Show, and my Turkish riders for the future, plus all my Turkish fans. I was happy to be here but this is not my decision to retire, my family and everyone that surrounded me persuaded me to retire. I am here to say goodbye to racing – and to say thank you to everybody.”

Hikari Okubo, stated: “I enjoy riding at this track but it was a hard race. In the previous rounds I have had some crashes and a technical problem, so I have not done a full race yet on my Kawasaki. So I did not know how the bike would feel over 17-laps. It almost feels like today was my first race of the season. I understood some things about the machine and set-up today so now I need to go to the next step. I finished inside the top ten and it was an important result today. We can do better step-by-step from now on.”

Ken Ondo, Head of Motorsport for Kawasaki Heavy Industries, stated: “It has been a great pleasure having Kenan working with us for many years and losing him is a great loss for Kawasaki.”

Steve Guttridge, Race Planning Manager, Kawasaki Motors Europe, stated: “It’s been fantastic to work with Kenan, he gives 100% every time. He has full motivation and he works with a great team; we will really miss him.”

Manuel Puccetti, Team Manager, stated: “This is a difficult moment for the team. In our very first season in 2015 we got the title. He asks 100% of the team and gives more than 100% in return.”

Fabien Foret, 2002 WorldSSP champion, stated “I have been lucky to know him well and he is a very good person. On the track, he gave me a very hard time because he never gave up. He was the best rider in Supersport for a very long time; probably the best rider ever and a very good person.”

Kenan Sofuoglu WorldSSP Statistics

World Champion 2007, 2010, 2012, 2015 & 2016
Career Race Wins: 43 (26 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 85 (46 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 34 (22 for Kawasaki)

With Sofuoglu not riding at Imola in the race Anthony West (EAB antwest Racing Kawasaki) was the top ranked Kawasaki rider, in sixth. This was a remarkably determined performance as he had to have an operation to repair a broken right wrist, suffered in Assen just three weeks ago. He was also suffering the effect of a virus, but battled his way to his second top six of the season. He is now ninth in the championship standings, and top Kawasaki rider.

With Okubo tenth, ESS Rider, Rob Hartog (Team Hartog Against Cancer) was 11th, and again the best of all the riders who only compete at the European rounds. Niccola Morrentino Jr. (Renzi Corse Kawasaki) scored a point for 15th as a wildcard rider today.

Peter Sebestyen (SSP Hungary Team) was 17th today, Michael Canducci (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) 18th and Wayne Tessels (Chromeburner Wayne’s Racingteam MTM) 21st, one place ahead of Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki). Javier Ezequiel Iturrioz (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) was unable to start.

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Sym Symphony 150

Safety and comfort are the hallmarks of this brilliant little scooter. Light weight combined with a punchy 151 cc, single-cylinder engine gives lively performance, perfect for beating the urban traffic away from the lights and staying ahead. 16-inch cast alloy wheels front and back give unparalleled stability and security on any road surface and a […]

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Safety and comfort are the hallmarks of this brilliant little scooter. Light weight combined with a punchy 151 cc, single-cylinder engine gives lively performance, perfect for beating the urban traffic away from the lights and staying ahead. 16-inch cast alloy wheels front and back give unparalleled stability and security on any road surface and a large disc brake on the front wheel gives strong, progressive braking.

Comfort and practicality have been given priority; a roomy foot well and generously-sized and carefully contoured seat allowing for a relaxed riding position. The front cubby hole is large and fully lined to protect keys, remotes and cell phones. The under-seat storage compartment will accept a full-face helmet.
Forget what you think you know about scooters; this is a stylish, grown up machine suitable for the sophisticated city dweller.

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Carrasco Wins As Deroue Crashes Out

Ana Carrasco (DS Junior Team Kawasaki) won the second WorldSSP300 race of her career after putting in a pole-to-chequered-flag win at the Imola circuit in Italy today. Recent championship leader Scott Deroue (Motoport Kawasaki) was unfortunate to fall in the final sector of the race, but is still only 12 points off the championship lead, […]

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Ana Carrasco (DS Junior Team Kawasaki) won the second WorldSSP300 race of her career after putting in a pole-to-chequered-flag win at the Imola circuit in Italy today. Recent championship leader Scott Deroue (Motoport Kawasaki) was unfortunate to fall in the final sector of the race, but is still only 12 points off the championship lead, in third place.

After posting the best lap in Superpole qualifying Carrasco simply let loose in the race itself, piling on the pace to ease away from the chasing bunch in a class that is known for close competition between younger riders, all desperate to make their mark in the newest form of full FIM World Championship racing there is.

Ana’s final margin of victory was over 13 seconds, after only 11 laps of the 4.936km long Imola circuit.

On the awesome new Kawasaki Ninja 400 the uncatchable 21-year-old Spaniard Carrasco made good use of her strong pre-race preparations to follow up her race win for Kawasaki in Portugal last year.

After qualifying second but being penalised for slow riding in a practice session – like many of his competitors – Deroue was put back to sixth on the final grid. He was on course for a podium finish until he almost lost the rear exiting the Tosa hairpin, also dropping track position for a short time.

He regrettably crashed after losing the front on the very last lap, but his misfortune allowed another Kawasaki rider, Borja Sanchez, from the ETG squad, to take second place, at the head of a pack of six battling competitors. Sanchez had originally been classified third but was promoted after another rider was penalised for going over the limits of the track.

Mika Perez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) placed eighth, one second behind the second group, but Tom Edwards (Nutec – Benjan Kawasaki) crashed out early. His team-mate Walid Khan was tenth today and Darren Loureiro (DS Junior Team Kawasaki) 11th. Robert Schotman (Motoport Kawasaki) crashed heavily and was taken to hospital for checks.

In the championship fight, Carrasco leads with 48 points, Luca Grunwald has 45 and Deroue 36. The next round will take place at Donington Park in the UK on the 27th of May.

Ana Carrasco, stated: “Incredible! I think we had a perfect weekend because we were really strong in all the practice sessions and the whole race. I did not push, push, push to go alone but it was easier than I thought. I feel really happy and the team did a perfect job.”

Scott Deroue, stated: “I’m really disappointed about this DNF, because I rode a pretty good race. In the sighting lap I noticed a problem with my quick shifter. An hour before the race the external company who’s responsible for the quick shifter visited us. In the warm-up on Sunday morning everything still was fine, but during the race the reaction of the quick shifter was really slow. It affected my race a lot, so I’m pretty upset that it gave me a harder challenge to get a good result. I tried to gap my opponents, but it wasn’t possible with this quick shifter problem. I pushed a lot in the last lap and unfortunately a little bit too much. Of course, it’s my own mistake, so I’m really disappointed in myself. I needed to be smart, but tell a racer to be calm if he sees the podium. I’m really fired up to go to Donington Park and set this DNF all straight. I also hope that my teammate Robert Schotman has a speedy recovery, so he will be able to show his speed in the UK-round.”

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Record Equalling Double For Rea As Sykes Podiums

In taking his first double race win of the season at Imola today Jonathan Rea (KRT) made WorldSBK history by equalling the all-time record of 59 career race wins. He now shares that honour with WorldSBK legend Carl Fogarty. Tom Sykes (KRT) finished a fighting third in race two, after sharing a third row starting […]

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In taking his first double race win of the season at Imola today Jonathan Rea (KRT) made WorldSBK history by equalling the all-time record of 59 career race wins. He now shares that honour with WorldSBK legend Carl Fogarty. Tom Sykes (KRT) finished a fighting third in race two, after sharing a third row starting position with Rea.

After a masterful race one win for Rea from pole position on Saturday, Sunday’s 19-lap race delivered a victory of a different kind. Starting from ninth, and not getting away as cleanly as his team-mate Sykes, Rea had to put in several passes before getting into the slipstream of early leader Chaz Davies.

Rea was in second place after four laps, and sat behind Davies for much of the race before deciding to make a final pass into the Variante Alta, on lap 13. Rea put in two blistering laps with clear track ahead of him and eventually won by a margin of 4.019 seconds. He has now won half for the races in 2018, but this is the first time has been able to win the second race of any weekend, rather than the first.

He now has the chance to become the stand-alone record holder for race wins at the next round, at his home circuit of Donington.

For Tom Sykes a less than perfect front end feel in race two held him back down the order for some time, even after he had made a strong launch from his seventh place grid position.

As some other riders fell Sykes used all his experience to catch and pass Xavi Fores with three laps to go, and took his fourth podium of the 2018 season. In doing so he has moved up to third in the championship rankings.

Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) just missed out on a point after running off track late in the race, being classified 16th.

In the championship standings, after five of 13 rounds, Rea leads Davies by 47 points, 209 to 162, with Sykes now third on 137.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “We got it done and it was probably the best race win of the season. Coming from ninth on the grid, it was so difficult. I was not so confident I could win today. In fact, it was Fabien Foret, who kept talking me round. I think I was over-thinking the first lap a lot – and my track position – coming from the outside of row three. I lost places in the first corner but eventually I was able to stick in some passes. I wasted no time so when I arrived with Chaz I was able to relax a little bit behind him and understand where I could pass him. I tried two or three times, but he was determined to come back. The final time I made it through, into the Variante Alta, it was time to put my head down, set two clean laps and make a gap. It was really nice to equal the record total of race wins, and with a long season left I feel confident that I can extend my win tally, and that is super-nice.”

Tom Sykes, stated: “It is positive that I am now third in the championship, so we are coming back. We had a difficult feeling with the front of the bike today and it was not easy to do what I wanted on the entry to corners. That meant I suffered with rear traction on the exits, so it was difficult for me to manage the race. I kept pushing and I could see the guys in front of me had better overall speed but, strategically, I tried to come back at them and slowly, slowly got there. Michael van der Mark made a mistake and he and Marco Melandri were out of the race and that made it easier for me to manage. On a ‘bad’ day I was able to take a podium so I have to be happy for this.”

2018 KRT Rider Statistics

Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016 & 2017
2018: Races 10, Wins 5, Podiums 8, Superpoles 2
Career Race Wins: 59 (44 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 120 (78 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 16 (12 for Kawasaki)

Tom Sykes: World Champion 2013
2018: Races: 10, Wins 1, Podiums 4, Superpoles 1
Career Race Wins: 34 (34 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 104 (103 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 43 (43 for Kawasaki)

5 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016 & 2017), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
3 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017)
3 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016 & 2017)

Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 115 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 360 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 76 – second overall

#NinjaSpirit

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