Rea Wins Again With Sykes Seventh

Jonathan Rea (KRT) won the opening race of the WorldSBK Laguna Seca race weekend, by almost three seconds, to record his 61st career victory. Tom Sykes (KRT) was a front row starter but slid backwards from a podium position in the early laps to finish seventh. After qualifying third fastest in Superpole on Saturday morning, […]

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Jonathan Rea (KRT) won the opening race of the WorldSBK Laguna Seca race weekend, by almost three seconds, to record his 61st career victory. Tom Sykes (KRT) was a front row starter but slid backwards from a podium position in the early laps to finish seventh.

After qualifying third fastest in Superpole on Saturday morning, Jonathan Rea spent the early laps right behind eventual race one second place rider Chaz Davies, before pouncing to lead on lap seven. Davies had run wide at the entrance to the famous Corkscrew chicane, Rea instantly took his opportunity on the inside line.

Rea built his lead from then on to ease out to an eventual clear advantage of 2.978 seconds after 25 intense laps, on a tricky track surface that rose to over 50°C under the hottest conditions of the weekend so far.

Rea extended his championship lead over Davies to 70 points with his latest win, with one more race to come at Laguna on Sunday the 24th of June.

Front tyre grip issues for Tom Sykes saw him go from third on lap one to seventh on lap 18, defending his final finishing position in the last few laps to score valuable championship points.

Kawasaki is now 40 points ahead in the Manufacturers’ Championship, with 15 of the scheduled 26 races now complete.

An unlucky finish to a promising race for Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) saw him suffer a fast highside crash in The Corkscrew chicane. He suffered a fracture on the outside of the base of his left big toe, and will not be able to compete in race two on Sunday.

The highest placed Kawasaki rider behind the KRT duo today was Yonny Hernandez (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki), in 11th place, with Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) in 12th position. Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was a faller and was unable to finish the race.

Race two at Laguna is scheduled for a 14.00 start, local time in California.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “In the early laps I felt good behind Chaz, although his pace was really fast. I knew as soon as he made that mistake I wanted to go through, set my rhythm, and tenth-by-tenth slowly build up a lead. It was not easy, much more difficult than I expected. The front grip was dropping quite a lot at the end so I just had to ride accordingly. We have not had that issue all weekend but the temperature change today, that extra ten degrees on the track, was massive. We learned some things from the race today to be a little bit stronger tomorrow.”

Tom Sykes, stated: “We had a decent start but even on the first laps I knew I was in trouble. I was having a lot of understeer from the front of the bike and I lost the front in many corners. Then about from lap four, that was it really. That was the end of the game. It was over the limit from then on and there was no way I could maintain the lap time any more. Definitely, we had an issue with the front tyre. Our lap time was so far from what we did in practice. We lost a lot of time. Our pace should have been enough for the podium today and I feel we could have had a good battle, considering where we were in all the practices and the build-up to the race.”

2018 KRT Rider Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016 & 2017
2018: Races 15, Wins 7, Podiums 12, Superpoles 2
Career Race Wins: 61 (46 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 124 (82 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 16 (12 for Kawasaki)

Tom Sykes: World Champion 2013
2018: Races: 15, Wins 1, Podiums 6, Superpoles 3
Career Race Wins: 34 (34 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 106 (105 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 45 (45 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: 117 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 367 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 78 – second overall

#NinjaSpirit

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KRT Riders Open Well At Laguna

The first day of WorldSBK qualifying at Laguna Seca ended in rewarding fashion for KRT Riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes, as they finished the three Friday practice sessions first and third in the timesheets, easing their way directly into Superpole 2 on Saturday. At the popular and fan-friendly Laguna Seca circuit in the USA […]

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The first day of WorldSBK qualifying at Laguna Seca ended in rewarding fashion for KRT Riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes, as they finished the three Friday practice sessions first and third in the timesheets, easing their way directly into Superpole 2 on Saturday.

At the popular and fan-friendly Laguna Seca circuit in the USA KRT’s championship challengers Rea and Sykes took part in the now established three 40-minute Friday practice sessions, with Rea fastest despite a late fall and Sykes third quickest in a field of 20 riders.

Both KRT riders set their best Friday times in FP2, with Rea sliding off while pushing the boundaries of his set-up after completing 11-laps in FP3.

Sykes used FP3 to try out some alternative settings in readiness for Superpole and race one on Saturday, while still setting fast lap times to the very end.

With windy conditions at times blowing sand onto the 3.610km long track surface this afternoon, Laguna proved as much of a satisfying challenge as ever, but a challenge that both KRT Riders rose to meet with a 1-3 finish to free practice.

Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was 13th after the three sessions on the opening day but only 1.073 seconds from Rea on his first visit to Laguna Seca.

Argentinean Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was 16th today, Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) placed 17th and Yonny Hernandez (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) 20th.

A short FP4 session and then Superpole 1 and 2 will take place on Saturday morning, before race one starts at 14.00, local time in California.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “From the first session we have been fast but we have been changing the bike to make it better and better. Now our consistency and speed are good. This is a track that has struggled with grip but it seems our base set-up is finding grip. It is just a shame to go to sleep tonight on a crash but my rhythm has been stronger than everyone today so I feel like we have some margin to just come back now and find the limit. I had a lot of feedback from the bike and I was finding the limit really – and I found it. I arrived a little bit faster than my fastest lap. I was in a run where I was very consistent and fast even at the end, so I was just pushing the boundaries.”

Tom Sykes, stated: “We had a fairly good set-up in FP2, and in FP3 we just experimented in a couple of directions, with a few different little variables. I am happy enough, really. We did not improve our lap time in FP3 but to be honest the track was not in great condition. In the windy conditions this afternoon I followed a couple of guys exiting the pits and you could see, slightly off line, there was a lot of sand. I am happy with what we have done and tomorrow we will try to put it all together. In the morning session tomorrow we have a couple things to try and hopefully we can give them a little whirl.”

2018 KRT Rider Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016 & 2017
2018: Races 14, Wins 6, Podiums 11, Superpoles 2
Career Race Wins: 60 (45 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 123 (81 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 16 (12 for Kawasaki)

Tom Sykes: World Champion 2013
2018: Races: 14, Wins 1, Podiums 6, Superpoles 3
Career Race Wins: 34 (34 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 106 (105 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 45 (45 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: 116 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 366 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 78 – second overall

#NinjaSpirit

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California Dreaming For Rea And Sykes

The annual visit of WorldSBK to Laguna Seca in the USA is one that the entire paddock looks forward to, and none more so than the KRT riding duo of Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes. The eighth round of the FIM Superbike World Championship will take place close to the beaches of California this weekend, […]

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The annual visit of WorldSBK to Laguna Seca in the USA is one that the entire paddock looks forward to, and none more so than the KRT riding duo of Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes.

The eighth round of the FIM Superbike World Championship will take place close to the beaches of California this weekend, at the world famous Laguna Seca circuit.

Home to the unique ‘Corkscrew’ downhill section, Laguna has enjoyed two periods of inclusion in the WorldSBK calendar. It has already hosted 30 individual WorldSBK races and will host its next two on Saturday the 23rd of June and Sunday 24th of June.

The current adoption of the 3.610km long hillside circuit in the WorldSBK calendar re-started in 2013 and has delivered success for both KRT official riders. Tom has won three races at Laguna, with Jonathan scoring two wins, including race two last season.

Having taken an all-time record 60th career win the opening race at the last round in Brno, and despite a subsequent race two non-finish, Rea leads the championship by 65 points. Sykes is fourth; after he also no-scored in race two at Brno. So far in 2018 Rea has scored six race wins with Sykes taking a single at Assen.

Kawasaki enjoys a handsome 35-point championship lead in the Manufacturers’ Standings, with most points being collected by either Rea or Sykes. The top Ninja ZX-10RR points scorer in race two at Donington, however, was rookie Turkish WorldSBK competitor Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), who finished runner-up in only his 12th race in the class. He is currently eighth in the championship rankings.

Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) sits in 15th position in the standings, with Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) one place behind and Yonny Hernandez (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) 19th.

After the Laguna Seca weekend there will be one more round before the long summer break begins. The seaside-circuit of Misano on the Adriatic Coast of Italy will host round nine, between the 6th and the 8th of July.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “Laguna Seca is a great venue for Superbikes and I’m very excited to go there after Brno where we had been very strong. The American fans always bring the atmosphere, so if we can organise some good weather we are in for a great weekend. The circuit itself is very demanding and we have to concentrate on Friday to understand the bike and enable us to challenge for wins. Turn one is one of the most thrilling corners on any circuit so I’m already looking forward to my first lap!”

Tom Sykes, stated: “I am ready for America. The whole journey to the USA is a pleasure and the fans are absolutely fantastic. Laguna Seca is an adrenaline-pumping circuit and it certainly gets the blood flowing. In places like turn one you have to be pinpoint accurate. At another few corners, including the top of The Corkscrew, there are some blind entries. It is such a short track and very demanding, so there is absolutely no place for rest. You have to be on top of your game there.”

2018 KRT Rider Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016 & 2017
2018: Races 14, Wins 6, Podiums 11, Superpoles 2
Career Race Wins: 60 (45 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 123 (81 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 16 (12 for Kawasaki)

Tom Sykes: World Champion 2013
2018: Races: 14, Wins 1, Podiums 6, Superpoles 3
Career Race Wins: 34 (34 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 106 (105 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 45 (45 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: 116 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 366 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 78 – second overall

#NinjaSpirit

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A second place and two crashes for Clement Desalle in Italy

Clement Desalle of the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team had a day of mixed fortunes at the MXGP of Lombardy but it was sufficient to reinforce his third place in the championship standings. The twenty-nine year Belgian emerged strongly from the difficult sweeping first turn in each moto at the sandy Ottobiano track, but the […]

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Clement Desalle of the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team had a day of mixed fortunes at the MXGP of Lombardy but it was sufficient to reinforce his third place in the championship standings.

The twenty-nine year Belgian emerged strongly from the difficult sweeping first turn in each moto at the sandy Ottobiano track, but the final results in this eleventh round of the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship were very different. He took over second place on the seventh lap of the opening moto and retained it to chequered flag despite immense pressure from behind during the final stages of the race. Again showing his experience to emerge fourth on the opening lap of race two, he advanced quickly until the first of two falls pushed him back into the pack where a collision with another rider damaged the rear brake pedal. After attempting to straighten the pedal alone Clement soon realised that he would need to pit for assistance and rejoined the race way down in twenty-eighth position. Showing relentless spirit he charged all the way to the chequered flag and was rewarded with a single championship point for twentieth position, a hard-earned point which may prove vital at the end of the season.

Clement Desalle: « I got a good start in the first race, and took over second place after a few laps when I passed Febvre. I managed to keep Anstie behind me during the last few laps to finish second, which was a good result. I got another good start in the second race and was third when I had a small crash; the speed was really high during the first few laps, and I had to push to regain the positions I had lost but I had another small crash and again lost positions. Then I collided with Simpson and my brake pedal was bent; I tried to repair it myself but in the end I had to stop at the pits and was last when I went back on the track, I recovered from twenty-eighth to score one point. That’s not what I was expecting but I know where I am and was pleased to feel physically strong in the heat; that will be important during the next two rounds in Indonesia.”

Alessandro Lupino of Gebben Van Venrooy Kawasaki Racing rode two solid races to eleventh and twelfth in his home GP, while Tommy Searle of Bike It DRT Kawasaki rode strongly from eighteenth place to thirteenth in the second race despite being unfamiliar with track conditions after an early exit from the first moto.

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Rea And KRT Join Forces Again

Jonathan Rea has signed a new contract with Kawasaki to remain in the WorldSBK championship as an official KRT rider for two more years. This is an agreement that seals the commitment of both the three-time World Champion and the most successful WorldSBK manufacturer of recent years to each other – and to WorldSBK racing. […]

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Jonathan Rea has signed a new contract with Kawasaki to remain in the WorldSBK championship as an official KRT rider for two more years. This is an agreement that seals the commitment of both the three-time World Champion and the most successful WorldSBK manufacturer of recent years to each other – and to WorldSBK racing.
Rea had several options for 2019 and beyond but has elected to stay loyal to Kawasaki and the WorldSBK championship paddock he has ridden in since 2008. Rea has secured three consecutive World Championships since he joined the Akashi based manufacturer in 2015.

Rea and Kawasaki has been a winning partnership since their first season together, with Rea becoming the most successful WorldSBK rider ever, in terms of race wins, at the most recent event in Brno.

Jonathan’s legendary self-belief is mirrored by his confidence in the future of both Kawasaki’s WorldSBK racing efforts and the increasing profile of WorldSBK racing.

Over the past three-and-a-half seasons Jonathan has enjoyed a wins-per-race ratio of just under 50% since he joined Kawasaki. He is already the most successful Kawasaki WorldSBK rider in history, with his 45 victories taken on either the Ninja ZX-10R or Ninja ZX-10RR.

Re-signing Rea underlines Kawasaki’s commitment to be an integral part of the WorldSBK Championship itself and its desire to continue its development of ever-improving machines for both the marketplace and WorldSBK racing use.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “I am more than happy to continue in these next two seasons with the Kawasaki Racing Team. Since the end of last season we have already started to talk about continuing our partnership, so it’s nice to finalise everything now, so that we can concentrate on the remaining races of 2018. From the moment I arrived at the end of 2014 I was welcomed into the Kawasaki family and since then we have achieved success beyond our wildest dreams. Here is where I want to stay. Of course it feels natural to keep writing this incredible story together, and I want to thank everyone in the Kawasaki Racing Team for believing in me and for this opportunity. Together we will work harder than ever to keep the ZX-10RR at the front of WorldSBK in the future. I have the best team of people around me to ensure that we can continue fighting for the World Championship.”

Steve Guttridge, Kawasaki Race Planning Manager, stated: “Signing Jonathan originally was so cool. The foundation for his dominance was built up very quickly. JR deciding to say with KRT after three World Championships and breaking records is actually even cooler. All those strong relationships can remain in place. It is the same goals and motivations that we share with JR, and the dedicated KRT crew, engineers and team staff. To continue making history together with Kawasaki inside WorldSBK.”

Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, stated: “We can celebrate that Johnny decides to stay two more years in Kawasaki and running in WorldSBK. It is important that he has decided that WorldSBK is the place that still makes him motivated. I’m sure many fans would like to see him running with the top guys in MotoGP, but we can ask the guys from MotoGP to come here to see the battle too. The level Rea has now is so high and this only will make the level of other riders and manufacturers in WorldSBK increase. All will be forced to give their maximum to beat Johnny, so we all must be happy and motivated. Of course, we all will continue working to improve the package so I’m sure the show will continue. Other riders and manufacturers will need to work hard if wants to have the honour of being a WorldSBK Champion. The show must go on.”

#NinjaSpirit

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