The official KRT WorldSBK squad is making final preparations for a mid-season test at Portimao, to be held on Thursday the 23rd and Friday the 24th of August. Championship leader Jonathan Rea will be in attendance but his fellow KRT rider Tom Sykes has been forced to miss the test after suffering a sports injury to his right ankle.
Jonathan Rea will fly solo at the forthcoming test in Portimao, which will be an important on-track outing after a long break in track action since the previous championship round at Misano in early July.
Rea has taken a podium and a new event lap record in the Suzuka 8-Hour race since the previous WorldSBK round and will use this week’s test in Portugal to get back into the groove on his regular WorldSBK machine. He and his crew will also gather set-up information to help them in the early stages of the forthcoming Portimao race weekend.
After the first nine rounds of the season Rea is the clear leader by 92 points, having recorded 10 race wins.
Sykes’ bad luck in missing the Portimao test is due to a sports injury suffered on the 15th of this month. After medical checks in the UK and then Spain, Sykes has been diagnosed with a rupture of the anterior fibular talus ligament and bone delamination in the insertion of the ligament in the fibula bone. He is hoping to be fit to race in the next round of the championship, in mid-September.
The forthcoming Portimao test is a precursor to the restart of the 2018 FIM Superbike World Championship season after a long summer break. The tenth round of the championship will take place at Portimao, between the 14th and 16th of September.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I am really excited to get back on the bike, especially at Portimao. It’s a track I really enjoy. Since Misano I have been very busy, first with the Suzuka 8-Hour programme – testing and racing – and also many PR activities. I have been riding bikes throughout the summer break, along with my motocross bikes at home, so I feel like I have been kept really sharp. Of course I am excited to be reunited with the KRT team and all the staff so that we can start carrying on from where we left off. We had two really strong races in Laguna and then Misano before the summer break. I am just trying to re-acquaint myself with the WorldSBK spec Ninja ZX-10RR, and the circuit, in readiness for the race at Portimao in a few weeks time. It is perfect timing to go and test there.”
Tom Sykes, stated: “It is a shame to miss this test because we have had a big gap in the season. I have been doing a lot of fitness training during the break and the results were very good. I was feeling very strong. But with this injury I am going to have to sit out the test, as I do now want to push it. It is a shame because Marcel and the boys had a good programme for the tests, so that we could finish the season strongly. We were going to play with the package because we would have a lot of track time to do so. The focus now is to try and be fit for the next race.”
Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, stated: “This official test is useful for all because the last race was in July and the next one is not until mid-September. It is valuable from a sporting point of view to evaluate the level of the riders and also to make a small show for the media and fans. I am sure we will use this opportunity well because it is the venue for the next race, and we will try out some ideas that the crew chiefs have in mind. This was more or less the main target of this test. Unfortunately Tom got injured last week while taking part in some sport. All Tom’s mechanics and crew will be at the test anyway to prepare for the race, work on his bike and organise everything to be ready for the Portimao race weekend.”
2018 KRT Rider Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016 & 2017
2018: Races 18, Wins 10, Podiums 15, Superpoles 2
Career Race Wins: 64 (49 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 127 (85 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 16 (12 for Kawasaki)
Tom Sykes: World Champion 2013
2018: Races: 18, Wins 1, Podiums 6, Superpoles 4
Career Race Wins: 34 (34 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 106 (105 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 46 (46 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: 120 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 370 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 79 – second overall