Podiums For Rea As Haslam Fights On

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) took two more podium places today to remain in a strong second place in the WorldSBK Championship rankings after two rounds. His team-mate Leon Haslam battled hard in his return to the Chang International Circuit and recorded another two fifth places today, keeping him sixth overall. With two Sunday races […]

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Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) took two more podium places today to remain in a strong second place in the WorldSBK Championship rankings after two rounds. His team-mate Leon Haslam battled hard in his return to the Chang International Circuit and recorded another two fifth places today, keeping him sixth overall.

With two Sunday races to compete in at the 4.554km-long Buriram circuit, one ten lap sprint race and a second full distance contest just like the opening race on Saturday, Rea and Haslam stuck to their tasks well on their official Ninja ZX-10RRs.

In finishing two seconds behind Alvaro Bautista in the early Tissot-Superpole race Rea scored nine points. He again scored a second place, by ten seconds in the final race, meaning Rea now has six runner-up spots on his 2019 record.

Being hampered by a trapped nerve in his lower back all weekend Haslam, as well as having to re-learn the secrets of the Chang circuit, also scored three identical race finishes this weekend – fifth each time.

The short race today was even shorter than planned, when a two-rider incident saw the red flag thrown to stop the action after two riders fell. The planned ten-lap contest became a six-lap event in the final classification.

In the second 20-lap race of the weekend Rea again tried to stay in the slipstream of Bautista but ended up riding to make sure of second place, after Alex Lowes ran close behind him early on. Rea maintained his strong pace to the end and he crossed the finish line with a 2.3 second margin of advantage over Lowes. He headed Lowes by 0.4 seconds in the sprint race.

In the championship rankings, Jonathan has scored 98 points and is 26 behind the lead after six individual races. Leon’s overall sixth place comes thanks to his total of 51 points, 11 more than the next closest rider.

There will now be a run of six European-based WorldSBK events, starting with the Spanish round at Motorland Aragon, which will be held between the fifth and the seventh of April.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “The best we could hope for today was a brace of second places and we managed to achieve that, albeit with a lot of pressure from Alex in the final race. He kept really pushing, as he had in the sprint race, but I just had that little bit extra in the end of race three to go away. I want to thank my team for giving me a good bike this weekend and there is always some work to do to improve the package. I felt this weekend we struggled a little bit with front end stability, especially when the front was moving a little bit in that second part of the final race, in the sectors where I was strong. Behind my visor I was giving it 110% especially in those early laps to try and keep in the slipstream as long as I could. As soon as I lost that it was back to managing my own race. I am taking home 49 points again and we will try to build on that in Europe.”

Leon Haslam, stated: “It was more consistent for me in the second race today. We were running the bigger brake discs, which I did not have the best of feelings with this weekend, but in general we made a big step with the bike. I can say now that I have been suffering with a tapped nerve in my back, which flared up just before I came here, and I have had to take painkilling injections. I struggled a lot this weekend and I am glad it is over, in some ways. I need some rest and then we can start again in Aragon. I had not been to Chang for four years. It was always going to be tough with just two 50-minute sessions and going straight into it. So to get three fifth places, I am quite happy.”

Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) once again won a final lap duel in the long race today, with fellow Kawasaki rider Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki). Toprak was ninth in the 20-lap contest, Torres tenth. Razgatlioglu was also ninth in the sprint race. Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) placed 12th in the sprint, one place ahead of Torres, but had to retire from the final race of the Thai weekend. In the championship Toprak is ninth on 24 points, Jordi 12th with 18 and Leandro 15th with 11.

2019 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics

Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018
2019: Races 6, Wins 0, Podiums 6, Superpoles 1
Career Race Wins: 71 (56 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 140 (98 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 17 (13 for Kawasaki)

Leon Haslam:
2019: Races: 6, Wins 0, Podiums 2, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 5 (0 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 41 (3 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 3 (0 for Kawasaki)

6 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
4 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017 & 2018)
4 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018)

Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 127 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 388 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 82 – second overall

#NinjaSpirit

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New Buildbase Suzuki BSB Team Concludes Spanish Test

Team Suzuki Press Office The Buildbase Suzuki team’s preparations for the 2019 Bennetts British Superbike Championship began in earnest this week, with Bradley Ray, Richard Cooper, and new recruit Luke…

The post New Buildbase Suzuki BSB Team Concludes Spanish Test appeared first on Suzuki Motorcycles.

Team Suzuki Press Office The Buildbase Suzuki team’s preparations for the 2019 Bennetts British Superbike Championship began in earnest this week, with Bradley Ray, Richard Cooper, and new recruit Luke...

The post New Buildbase Suzuki BSB Team Concludes Spanish Test appeared first on Suzuki Motorcycles.

Kawasaki Global Racing Site Gets Revamp!

On Friday the 8th March 2019 the Kawasaki Global Racing Site was relaunched. The brand new website has been refreshed and is now more mobile friendly than before. The content that is available on the new website is as followed: A short story about the colour of lime green. Information about all the different Kawasaki […]

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On Friday the 8th March 2019 the Kawasaki Global Racing Site was relaunched.
The brand new website has been refreshed and is now more mobile friendly than before.

The content that is available on the new website is as followed:

  • A short story about the colour of lime green.
  • Information about all the different Kawasaki racing teams, and it’s riders.
  • Kawasaki racing history.
  • Useful links.

For more information visit: www.kawasaki-cp.khi.co.jp

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Kawasaki Official WorldSSP 300 March test report

In the second week of March, Kawasaki Motors Europe (KME) exclusively hired the Almeria track in southern Spain for an official manufacturer test event welcoming the majority of its supported teams in the fiercely contested WorldSSP 300 category of WorldSBK. Playing host to six teams and an impressive 15 riders – all of whom receive […]

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In the second week of March, Kawasaki Motors Europe (KME) exclusively hired the Almeria track in southern Spain for an official manufacturer test event welcoming the majority of its supported teams in the fiercely contested WorldSSP 300 category of WorldSBK.

Playing host to six teams and an impressive 15 riders – all of whom receive support from Kawasaki Motors Europe – the two day test was designed to give each team and its riders a chance to make ready for a nine round series that is being seen as one of the closest and most exciting on the WorldSBK schedule.
With no less than four Italian based teams at the event, the other two slots were filled by the Netherlands based MTM Kawasaki team who will field four riders in 2019 and the newly formed Provec team from Catalonia who have 2018 WorldSSP300 Champion, Ana Carrasco, as their pilot.

Enjoying good weather and favourable track conditions across the test, the teams plus riders familiarised themselves with their race machines developed within the predicted strict guidelines laid down the series promoter, Dorna. Based on the highly popular Ninja 400, that can be purchased from any Kawasaki road bike dealer, the test was targeted by

KME as an environment where the transition from road bike to racer that the teams had spent the past few months undertaking would be near completion.
Ludo VanDerWeken, Manager of the MTM team commented; “It’s a good start to the season and very good to have an open track situation for full days to complete our heavy testing schedule. Plus our riders can do many laps before season starts. I’m happily surprised by the already good pace of our two rookies and their serious attitude across the test”

Provec team manager Jordi Caparros said the team used the test to look at a wide range of parameters. “This test has been so interesting. It has been a warm up test to know how to work together in the new team. The bike is same base last year but we forced Ana to ride with extra kilos and rev limits to learn to ride in tough regulation conditions. She has been working and training so hard in the last weeks and she feels so good on the bike; this is the most important feedback we got. We dedicate test to help her to get on-bike feeling and, of course, enjoy.”

For Fabien Raulo, the KME coordinator for Kawasaki teams in this fast evolving race series, a chance presented itself for teams to liaise on and off track as he explained. “We wanted to see what the riders could do for sure but also we created this official test so that teams could compare notes on things such as machine set up, team structure and the overall approach to racing with the Ninja 400. In that regard it was a great success and the riders really appreciated the chance to benchmark each other in a controlled environment.”

Alessio Altai of the Italian GP Project team endorsed this saying: ”This was good experience for us and a good comparison with some of the best teams in WorldSSP 300. It’s good to build confidence and link in the team with others. The event was well run and weather conditions were also with us so we could use this as the best way to prepare for the season ahead”.

A sentiment echoed by Gianluca Ruboli of Maranga Scuderia : “This test is a good chance to evaluate our level compared to more experienced teams here with the Ninja. It’s also good to be in touch with other teams. For sure it’s good to get a useful feedback from riders about bike preparation. We still need to work on a base set-up but this helped us make a good step in the right direction”.

For Eduardo Rovelli of the ParkinGo team and Marco Lobelli of the BWG by Puccetti squad the test was positive while they waited for final confirmation of the category regulations: “We came here to try the 2019 configuration even though regulations are not 100% confirmed yet, giving us some challenges in preparation of the bikes” commented Rovelli. “But otherwise, we could make some good race simulations and the riders are really bonding with the team and we got some work done on the base set-up”.

The sentiment was echoed by BWG by Puccetti’s, Lobelli; “This test was positive. We could identify and already fix some issues. We make only 40 laps but quite efficiently and we could work on the base set-up. A good step was made here. Our next test is in Aragon. Hopefully by then we can have regulations confirmed.”
For the riders this was a chance for them to blow away winter cobwebs and start the business of matching themselves to other riders joining them on a packed grid for 2019.

“It’s good to be back on the bike after winter break”, said Scott Deroue of the MTM team. “I felt good immediately. After a small crash early on I was back on the bike quickly and we could catch up with the busy testing schedule. I didn’t push too much. Most important was to understand potential new rule influences even though they are not fully confirmed yet and to work on our base set-up”.

Current World Champion in the class, Ana Carrasco declared herself: “Happy with all testing done. We worked on suspension and settings to make me feel comfortable on the bike. I think we improve again from last year”.

Mika Perez of Maranga Scuderia detailed his progression during the test commenting “Overall, it was very positive test for us, we improved a lot from the first day the feeling on the bike with a big step on suspension set up. On the final day we were consistent and fast, it’s encouraging for the season”.

Looking towards the season start, Race Planning Manager for KME, Steve Guttridge was enthusiastic about the programme saying: “The Ninja 400 has to be the machine of choice in this class again for 2019. Ana took the title on the bike along with Perez and and Deroue claiming the other top medal positions in last season’s World Championship! We created this supported teams test so that our official teams that could be present there, could focus on their machine and rider preparation as well as get to know one another and look forward to the season possibilities ahead. Despite not having the rules in place for sure the teams benefited from the extra investment and initiative from Kawasaki”.

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Round Two Beckons For KRT Duo

After podium showings at the opening round of the 2019 WorldSBK championship in Australia last month the Kawasaki Racing Team pairing of Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam approach the next round of the championship full of ambition and confidence. The forthcoming second round of the 2019 WorldSBK Championship will be held at the 4.554km-long Chang […]

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After podium showings at the opening round of the 2019 WorldSBK championship in Australia last month the Kawasaki Racing Team pairing of Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam approach the next round of the championship full of ambition and confidence.

The forthcoming second round of the 2019 WorldSBK Championship will be held at the 4.554km-long Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand, with race weekend running from the 15th to the 17th of March.

Once more four-time champion Rea and 2018 BSB champion Haslam will face a race weekend that comprises three races; two regular distance contests for full points and one ten-lap Tissot Superpole race on Sunday morning, which scores points for the first nine riders home. The ‘sprint’ race also determines the final race’s starting grid slots for the top nine riders.

After finishing in second place in all three WorldSBK races at Phillip Island Rea is keen to get back to winning ways at the first opportunity and extend his all-time record total of race victories to beyond his current tally of 71. Rea has an enviable record of six race wins and one additional podium finish in eight race starts at Buriram.

Haslam has already scored two podium places on his return from a successful BSB career, in the sprint race and the second full-distance race at Phillip Island. Leon’s previous WorldSBK experiences have included one weekend at the Chang International Circuit, where he scored two second places.

As well as the new-look KRT riding line-up for the 2019 season, there is a new Ninja ZX-10RR, with a higher-revving engine and other developments to make it even more potent in road and race trim.

After the Thai round of the championship there will be a run of six consecutive European-based events, starting with the Spanish round at Motorland Aragon between the fifth and the seventh of April.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “Thailand is a great venue and one that always welcomes a lot of fans, especially Kawasaki support. The circuit is one of two halves; the first being fast stop-and-go sections and then the flowing final sectors, which play to the strength of the Ninja ZX-10RR setup. Friday will be important to nail that setup and understand our level. I’m excited to start. We have enjoyed some great success there in the past, so the goal is to build on our results from Phillip Island. I’ve spent a few days in Bangkok already with Kawasaki Thailand, visiting their factory and taking part in the Kawasaki Day, so the atmosphere is building nicely.”

Leon Haslam, stated: “I am really looking forward to Thailand. The last time I was here was 2015, and I took two second places behind Johnny. I felt like I had good pace and I really enjoyed the circuit. It is always a challenge with the temperature and the humidity but I am looking forward to going here again this weekend. Round one in Australia was a good battle and I really enjoyed the racing there and I am looking forward to taking that on to Thailand.”

Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) will be looking to capitalise on his sixth place finish in race one at Phillip Island this weekend in Thailand. He sits 11th overall, two places ahead of Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki). Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) is expecting to make more progress as he takes part in his first Kawasaki season inside WorldSBK. There will be a strong Thai wildcard representing Kawasaki this weekend, as Thitipong Warokorn (Kawasaki Thailand Racing Team) takes part in his first ever WorldSBK race at his home circuit.

2019 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics

Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018
2019: Races 3, Wins 0, Podiums 3, Superpoles 1
Career Race Wins: 71 (56 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 137 (95 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 17 (13 for Kawasaki)

Leon Haslam:
2019: Races: 3, Wins 0, Podiums 2, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 5 (0 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 41 (3 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 3 (0 for Kawasaki)

6 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
4 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017 & 2018)
4 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018)

Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 127 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 385 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 82 – second overall

#NinjaSpirit

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