Just a few days after the completion of the most recent WorldSBK contest in Spain KRT riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes have an important appointment at another round, Assen in the Netherlands, this coming weekend. Rea has won two races so far in 2018 while Sykes looks to Assen to get his win tally off the mark.
With a race one victory in Motorland Aragon last Saturday Rea has now grown his total of career race wins to 56, just a few shy of the absolute record of four-times champion Carl Fogarty, who has 59. This season Rea is aiming for his fourth WorldSBK championship crown, having already made history with his third successive riders’ title for Kawasaki in 2017.
Sykes has shown some real pace in 2018, taking pole position in Australia and scoring a strong second place in the opening race of the year. Now working out how to get back to his absolute podium and race winning best after a tough Motorland Aragon experience, Sykes is focusing on the fourth round of the season at Assen.
Sykes is also chasing records, however, as he needs just one more Superpole success to extend his currently shared all-time total of a 43 Superpole wins to 44 and become the greatest ever in his own right in this specialist discipline.
Currently Jonathan leads the championship by 12 points, with Tom in seventh place.
After experiencing the fast straight and undulations of the Motorland circuit, Assen offers a different challenge to both Tom and Jonathan. Still featuring banked corners in some areas, the historic yet much modified Assen circuit still offers some unique sequences of corners, particularly in the final section.
The famous and sometimes infamous last chicane has been the critical backdrop in many would-be Assen race winners’ eventual fortunes. Rea has won no less than 11 races at Assen, and six in a row for Kawasaki. Sykes has also won in the Netherlands, taking race one for Kawasaki at Assen in 2013.
The next round of competition for the KRT duo after Assen will take place in Italy at Imola, with two races scheduled for Saturday 21st and Sunday, 22nd of May.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I really enjoy Assen and in the past it has been really nice to me. I spent a lot of time there with my previous team and it is a cool track. The weather forecast is hot. It is a really flowing track. I am looking forward to it, and it provides good racing. It tends to be a group of riders together, three or four, all race. I have done a lot of laps there, racing and testing and I also know some special tricks for the last lap.”
Tom Sykes, stated: “I am disappointed with the results in Motorland but I am not done yet and it is only a few days until we are in Assen. Both Jonathan and I have had some good races there. Assen is a circuit I enjoy so hopefully we can put the package together there and pick up where we need to. We will regroup at Assen, and it is a circuit where we have been very strong in the past.”
2018 KRT Rider Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016 & 2017
2018: Races 6, Wins 2, Podiums 4, Superpoles 1
Career Race Wins: 56 (41 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 116 (74 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 15 (11 for Kawasaki)
Tom Sykes: World Champion 2013
2018: Races: 6, 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: 111 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 353 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 75 – second overall