One day after Jonathan Rea (KRT) had clinched the Riders’ title in the FIM Superbike World Championship Kawasaki Racing Team took the Team’s championship too, after a dramatic second race at Magny Cours.
Tom Sykes (KRT) finished seventh after a gritty performance in the second 21-lap race in France but new champion Jonathan Rea (KRT) was forced out after his footpeg clipped a fallen rider’s bike and broke off, also injuring his right foot. Entering the pits for bike repairs and a new race boot, he was eventually forced to retire in pitlane.
Sykes had finished the first lap in fifth position, after a third row start, which was required under the new reverse grid rules that operate in WorldSBK. Tom gradually lost ground as he lost rear traction and was to finish seventh, unable to reach the podium level he had shown in race one due to a less than optimum tyre choice today.
Carrying left hand injuries from a heavy crash that made him miss the previous races in Portimao, Sykes still battled hard to the finish well and maintained his overall second place in the championship points.
The race was a difficult affair for all, as the threatening rains arrived in a very light form, and slowly got heavier as the laps counted down.
With two rounds and four individual races remaining this season Rea and Sykes have amassed enough points between them for KRT to add the a third Teams’ Championship to Rea’s third Riders’ title win in succession.
The battle for the Manufacturers’ crown will go forward to the next round at Jerez de la Frontera, with racedays on 21st and 22nd October.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “Without the incident that put me out of the race we could have been fighting for the win. My pace all weekend in the dry has been a little bit of a step ahead of the others. The conditions were a little intermittent throughout the race, so it is hard to say how it would have gone. But I was confident to be able to race with Chaz. Wet or dry we have set the level this weekend. The good news is that I have had some checks on my right foot and nothing is broken. I hit something really solid on the other bike, as it has broken skin on my foot and it was enough to take my footpeg completely off; the whole set-up. So I am very lucky and it could have been a lot worse. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The team won their championship today too. As soon as I got changed out of my leathers I saw the caption appear on the screen in my office saying they had won, so I rushed back into the pitbox to give my team manager Guim a big hug and say congratulations!”
Tom Sykes, stated: “We chose a harder rear tyre today which did not quite work for me today in the cooler conditions, but the temperature seemed quite cold for the softer compound. After a couple of laps I struggled to get the bike into the turn, and especially out of turns. I tried to compensate in other areas but with a few drops of rain I could have done with that softer compound rear tyre. I am still second place in the championship, nine points ahead, and if someone had offered me that two weeks ago I would have probably taken it. The team has two good riders inside the camp, it is a great team who give us a great motorcycle. It is a big team effort. Yesterday it was the Riders’ Championship with Jonathan, today the Teams’ one and if all goes to plan we will get the Manufacturers one as well.”
2017 KRT Rider Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016 & 2017
2017: Races 22, Wins 12, Podiums 20, Superpoles 5
Career Race Wins: 50 (35 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 108 (66 For Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 13 (9 For Kawasaki)
Tom Sykes: World Champion 2013
2017: Races: 20, Wins 2, Podiums 15, Superpoles 4
Career Race Wins: 33 (33 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 99 (98 For Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 42 (42 For Kawasaki)
5 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016 & 2017), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
2 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016)
3 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016 & 2017)
Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 105 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 343 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 72 – second overall