The ninth round of the WorldSBK Championship will take place at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, close to Italy’s Adriatic Coast this coming weekend. It marks the final round for KRT riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes before the start of a nine-weekend summer break in the championship calendar.
Contrasting recent fortunes follow championship leader Jonathan Rea and his team-mate Tom Sykes into the forthcoming race weekend, to be held between the 6th and 8th of July.
At the most recent championship round, at Laguna Seca in the USA, Rea won both races and extended his championship lead to 75 points, which equates to three race wins.
Rea has now won eight races this year on his Ninja ZX-10RR and has already become the all-time record holder in this category of racing. He has enjoyed the championship lead since the fourth race of the season, despite all Kawasaki riders having a lower season-starting rev limit than all of their main four-cylinder competitors, by regulation.
Having won a race at Assen already this year Sykes, the 2013 WorldSBK champion for Kawasaki, found Laguna a difficult venue in the races, finishing seventh and eighth after qualifying well. He is fourth in the championship and looks to Misano to get back to his podium best.
There have been no fewer than 50 previous individual WorldSBK races held at Misano, the first in 1991. The original circuit ran in a counter-clockwise direction, before extensive modifications in the mid-2000s brought about a change in direction and many other upgrades to meet contemporary standards.
Both KRT riders have strong records at Misano with Rea taking his first race win in WorldSBK there in 2009, and four victories in all. Sykes also has four Misano wins on his record, the most recent being in race one last year.
Kawasaki has a 45-point championship lead in the Manufacturers’ Standings after Laguna Seca.
After breaking a bone in his left foot during a crash in the USA, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) expects to be fit to race at his team’s home round at Misano. The WorldSBK rookie from Turkey is an impressive eighth overall in the points.
Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) sits in 15th position after eight rounds, Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) is 16th and Yonny Hernandez (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) is 18th.
With the championship going into its summer break after the Misano race weekend, the next opportunity to for KRT to ride as a unit will be at Portimao in Portugal. An official two-day test session in late August precedes the tenth round of the championship, to be held between the 14th and the 16th of September.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “Misano is one of my favourite races of the season and this year we planned a holiday before the race with my family, staying on the beach with our motor home. It sets the weekend up perfectly as I feel recharged for the last race before the summer break. The circuit is pretty straightforward and has a mix of everything. Although it’s flat, it’s still a challenge to find a compromise with set up, so we will work hard on Friday to make sure we can be competitive. It’s important to strengthen our position in the championship. Our target is to keep working the way we have in the previous races and maximise our potential.”
Tom Sykes, stated: “Misano is a beautiful venue with fantastic fans. It is great just to be part of the whole atmosphere and environment. The fans do enjoy themselves! When I get there I will settle in with a nice Italian coffee and some seafood. I head there in the knowledge that we have good information to work with. The corners give it an interesting layout with a fast section that is unbelievable. A flat-out right kink, with quite a dip in the middle. You have to get the front settled on the way in. The lap times are always close at Misano so you have to get technical and find the small differences that way.”
2018 KRT Rider Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016 & 2017
2018: Races 16, Wins 8, Podiums 13, Superpoles 2
Career Race Wins: 62 (47 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 125 (83 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 16 (12 for Kawasaki)
Tom Sykes: World Champion 2013
2018: Races: 16, 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: 118 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 368 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 78 – second overall