Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes still 1 – 2 with Ninja ZX-10RR after Round 9 of the 2017 World Superbike Championship
Superbike World Championship Round 9 – Race 1:
Jonathan Rea (KRT) and Tom Sykes (KRT) each scored podium results in the opening 21-lap WorldSBK race at the Lausitzring in Germany, with Rea second and Sykes third today. With one more race to go this weekend, Jonathan has a 63-point championship lead over Tom
Making progress through race weekend, despite encountering some changeable track conditions, Rea built up to an eventual second place in the opening race, having scored second spot in Superpole. He chased eventual winner Chaz Davies all the way to the flag after he took second place on lap three, but could not find enough traction near the end to mount a final challenge for victory. Rea was less than two seconds down on the win at the flag.
Sykes, who had set a new pole record for the Lausitzring earlier in the day as he captured his 42nd career Superpole win, led the first lap of race one. After first Davies and then Jonathan passed him, Tom could not regain a winning position and he finished 3.25 seconds from first place. His pole win was the 70th for Kawasaki in WorldSBK history and was taken on Tom’s 32nd birthday.
After more heavy overnight rain, the track took some time to get back to the grip level of the early sessions tod ay, but when it did it allowed the leading three to move well ahead of the chasing riders at the flag, with Sykes 13 seconds up on the fourth placed rider.
In the championship standings, with one more Lausitzring race to go tomorrow, Sunday 20th, Rea now has 361 points and Sykes 298 – with the official Ninja ZX-10RR duo still 1-2 in the rankings. Davies’s win takes him to a total of 251 points, in third place.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing team Rider): “In the beginning and middle parts of the race I felt I had the pace to be with Chaz. Following him, I did not know exactly where I was going to be strong enough to make a pass to make my own race. I just tried to say stay there as long as I could and hope that the gap would open up behind. Then I started suffering with the right hand side of my rear tyre. I was starting to struggle to make the lap times and through some of the right-handers I felt on ice a little bit. I just had to manage my own race, and the guys gave me incredible pit-board signals. When Chaz was eking out a gap there was nothing I could do to win. So I put all my effort into keeping a solid rhythm and preserving the tyre for the last laps. Until we all put our heads together and look at the data we will not really know if we chose the correct rear tyre option today. It has been such a to ugh weekend because of the conditions, and all the rain we have had. But the pace today was still much faster, on a green track, than last year’s race, or even my race simulation during the test here in the summer break. Hopefully it will not rain again so much tonight.”
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “I got a strong start and the lap times were good but our main rival had something extra compared to all the practice, so we just missed out. Whether it was a tyre choice, as we went for the softer option, but the only thing I was struggling with in the race is that I was not able to get of the corners as strongly as I wanted to. We will have to look at this for tomorrow but overall I am just disappointed not to convert the pole position into a win today. But Chaz and Jonathan were riding strongly and compared to last year the lap times were much faster. In Superpole the bike itself was working really nice, really consistent and it did pretty much what I wanted it to.”
Superbike World Championship Round 9 – Race 2:
The second WorldSBK race of the Lausitzring weekend saw Jonathan Rea (KRT) take the runner-up spot and his team-mate Tom Sykes score a fourth place finish, meaning that the official Kawasaki riders remain 1-2 in the championship standings with four rounds to go.
The Lausitzring weekend ended the summer break in the FIM Superbike World Championship class. In scoring two second places and 40 points in the comeback weekend Rea extended his lead over his own team-mate Sykes to 70 points. Sykes’ opening day podium at Lausitz, and second day fourth place, gave him 29 points in total this weekend.
Sunday’s race in Germany saw Sykes start from seventh place on the grid and Rea eighth, under the new rules which put the podium finishers from the first race onto the third row for race two. As on day one, Chaz Davies won the race, this time by 2.290 seconds.
A good start from today Rea saw him move up to third place on lap one, then take the lead on lap five, being passed by Davies on lap 11. Sykes made a good launch from his third row grid slot but touched the bike of another rider in turn one, losing momentum. Unable to pass other riders easily in the early laps he worked his way to fourth and finished clear of a battling group of riders behind him.
After nine rounds and 18 individual races Rea has 381 points, Sykes 311 and Davies 276. Kawasaki leads the Manufacturers’ Standings by 56 points.
Returning WorldSBK venue Portimao, in Portugal, will host the tenth round of the championship, one month from now.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “Chaz was really solid in race two and his pace was good. When I had really good grip in the beginning I felt stron g on the bike but as soon as I started to lose entry-traction the bike became very physical to ride. I was manhandling the bike and this is such a bumpy track. Yesterday’s race started to take its toll a little bit also. I had no big moments but I just tried to rein it in a little bit and I saw that my gap behind to Marco was just moving forward, tenth by tenth, so it was about consolidation at the end. When I lost the edge grip it was just not possible to stay in front but I did try. I am happy with the results from this weekend as the bike has never really worked that well here and we were on the back foot on Friday. So to make the set-up changes we did, and make some big steps, I am really happy with the team – so thanks to them. We came away with 40 points, from Lausitzring, which I am satisfied with.”
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “Things in that race definitely did not go to plan early on. I got a good start but touched the back of Savado ri in turn one, so lost all the advantage of the good start. When I got clear laps towards the end, that’s when I started going towards a normal feeling again. Before that I did not have the confidence to pass the other guys on the brakes and I was suffering every time I tried to line them up. I was just losing out because I could not get off the turns as well as I wanted to. It was an awkward fight all race and I am disappointed that I did not have the confidence to make passes under heavy, heavy braking. I wanted to get on the podium for sure but unfortunately we did not make the best of our situation. We will keep working and there are still four rounds left.”
2017 KRT Rider Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015 and 2016
2017: Races 16, Wins 9, Podiums 15, Superpoles 3
Career Race Wins: 47 (32 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 103 (61 For Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 11 (7 For Kawasaki)
Tom Sykes: World Champion 2013
2017: Races: 16, Wins 2, Podiums 13, Superpoles 3
Career Race Wins: 33 (33 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 97 (96 For Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 41 (41 For Kawasaki)
Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
4 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Sykes 2013, Rea 2015 & 2016), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
2 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016)
2 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015 & 2016)
Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 102 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 336 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 69 – second overall
2017 Superbike World Championship Points after Round 9:
- JONATHAN REA 381 KAWASAKI
- TOM SYKES 311 KAWASAKI
- CHAZ DAVIES 276 DUCATI
- MARCO MELANDRI 218 DUCATI
- ALEX LOWES 169 YAMAHA
- XAVI FORÉS 146 DUCATI
- MICHAEL VAN DER MARK 135 YAMAHA
- LEON CAMIER 120 MV AGUSTA
- JORDI TORRES 109 BMW
- EUGENE LAVERTY 95 APRILIA
- LORENZO SAVADORI 81 APRILIA
- ROMÁN RAMOS 77 KAWASAKI
- LEANDRO MERCADO 75 APRILIA
- STEFAN BRADL 67 HONDA
- RANDY KRUMMENACHER 50 KAWASAKI
- NICKY HAYDEN 40 HONDA
- ALEX DE ANGELIS 32 KAWASAKI
- RAFFAELE DE ROSA 31 BMW
- MARKUS REITERBERGER 29 BMW
- LEON HASLAM 20 KAWASAKI
- AYRTON BADOVINI 14 KAWASAKI
- ONDREJ JEZEK 12 KAWASAKI
- RICCARDO RUSSO 8 KAWASAKI
- JAKE DIXON 7 KAWASAKI
- JOSHUA BROOKES 4 YAMAHA
- JULIAN SIMON 4 APRILIA
- JAKE GAGNE 2