News & Features

March 25, 2018

Rea Fights Back To Lead The Championship

Jonathan Rea (KRT) secured a strong finish after a challenging second race in hot conditions at the Chang International Circuit, following up his opening day win with a battling fourth place despite experiencing issues under braking. Tom Sykes (KRT) had a technical issue with the front end of his machine and dropped through the field from his front row starting position to record a rare no-score.

Starting from the third row today, under the reverse grid rules first brought into play last season, race one winner Rea had to fight hard from the start. He occasionally ran on or lost track position as he experienced braking issues at what was already the most challenging circuit on the calendar in this regard.

Summoning up all his determination and skills, Rea managed to maintain a high level of pace and even overtake a rider in the final three laps to score fourth place.

Sykes felt a problem with his front end early in the race and went from third position on the grid to ninth in a single lap, then pulling out after completing seven laps rather than risk a potential crash.

Even being limited in his ambitions today, Rea leaves the Chang International Circuit with a two point championship lead after four races. Jonathan has 69 points, with former championship leader Marco Melandri on 67. Sykes’ race two misfortune leaves him seventh in the points with 43, but with 11 rounds and 22 races left in the championship chase.

The next round will take place in Spain, at the Motorland Aragon circuit, between 13th and 15th April.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “I think my problem today must have been a similar problem to Tom yesterday. It is what it is. After a very difficult Phillip Island we can go away from here with a first and a fourth, and leading the championship, so it was not a disaster. I am frustrated but with a smile on my face because at least the bike was good and this is the worst track for brakes. Everyone is pushing really hard so when the going gets tough the tough get going. I felt like today I could have fought for the win again, but it is what it is.”

Tom Sykes, stated: “From the first laps in free practice at Buriram, I felt on form, just like I was in Phillip Island. After Superpole I felt ready for the races. I think at that stage the overall potential of the bike was capable of fighting for the win. But then, what an absolute disaster, through no fault of my own. I have got to try and pick up now for the next race at Motorland Aragon.”

2018 KRT Rider Statistics

Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016 & 2017
2018: Races 4, Wins 1, Podiums 2, Superpoles 1
Career Race Wins: 55 (40 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 114 (72 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 15 (11 for Kawasaki)

Tom Sykes: World Champion 2013
2018: Races: 4, Wins 0, Podiums 1, Superpoles 1
Career Race Wins: 33 (33 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 101 (100 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: 110 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 351 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 75 – second overall