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Jonathan Rea finished second and #tomsykes third in the second 20-lap FIM Superbike World Championship Race at #jerez, meaning that one of the two official #kawasakiracing Team riders will definitely be crowned champion at the final round in Qatar in two week’s time. Which one will be champion is still to be determined, however, after their strong combined #jerez podium performances.
Having guaranteed the Manufacturers’ Championship for Kawasaki on Saturday, when Sykes was second and Rea third, both official KRT riders aimed to try and overcome Chaz Davies on Sunday, to overturn his race one success. Davies was to win his second race of the weekend all the same but this time around Rea finished ahead of Sykes on the podium, in second place.
The second #jerez race was held in marginally warmer conditions than the first race on Saturday and with some set-up and tyre choice changes on board the KRT riders pushed hard to maintain their championship challenges. Rea passed Sykes at half race distance and from then on they ran together, finally crossing the line only 0.137 seconds from each other.
Rea drew himself 48 points ahead of his team-mate today with only one round and two races left to run. That margin was just two points short of guaranteeing Rea the Riders’ Championship at the Spanish round but he goes into the Losail race weekend as hot favourite, with only 50 points available for Sykes if he wins both races.
Jonathan now only has to score two points or more to win his second consecutive Riders’ Championship with KRT. Only he or his fellow Ninja ZX-10R rider Tom can now win the championship itself, as Davies will be unable to score enough points in the races that remain to get ahead of Rea. Tom has an arithmetical chance of winning the title but also has to ensure he finishes second overall, if the goal of taking the championship proves impossible.
The last of 13 rounds of #worldsbk #racing will be held at the Losail circuit in Qatar, between 28th and 30th October.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I am satisfied with the championship gap. We can go to Qatar in a relaxed mood and look to pick up the target there. To date we have had nine race wins and done a very good job. I struggled with traction front and rear today and #jerez is a low grip track. As soon as the grip went off I was starting to struggle a lot, although not like yesterday. We changed a lot on the bike for Sunday, including the engine character. I had confidence with my team that it was in the right direction and I think we made one step forward. The temperature was up today so it was quite a different race, and slower at the end.”
Tom Sykes, stated: “Third is the best we could manage today but that is #racing. It was a good race and a good fight over the distance but I just came out third best today. I was very close to Jonathan at the end but just not enough. I could have so easily tucked the front in some areas but we saw it through to a podium finish. We will move on from this and try to be stronger. We have a 48-point deficit and we need to find a better set-up in Qatar to allow me to be aggressive from start to finish. I feel I am not able to do what I need to do right now. I do not want to lose second in the championship if we can help it. We have an important test tomorrow and utilise this in the best way.”
Behind the official KRT Riders Anthony West (Pedercini #racing Kawasaki) secured a strong ninth place and at his home round Roman Ramos (GoEleven Kawasaki) placed 11th. Gianluca Vizziello (Grillini #racing Team Kawasaki) scored a point for 15th. Dominic Schmitter (Grillini #racing Kawasaki) placed 18th but Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini #racing Kawasaki) slid off on lap nine. In the championship Ramos is 15th with 85 points and West 17th with 64.
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