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Jonathan Rea (KRT) scored a second podium during his home race weekend after finishing third in Sunday’s 23-lap #WorldSBK race, with his team-mate Tom Sykes sixth
A thrilling finish to the second #WorldSBK race at Donington Park saw #jonathanrea just lose out on his chance of finishing second, being displaced by young Kawasaki privateer #toprakrazgatlioglu. It was a thrilling battle for the spectators, but with most of his main championship rivals behind him, he extended his championship lead once again.
Sykes had a tough second raceday after his podium performance on day one, finishing sixth and unable to compete in the way he expected to. On the same standard rear tyre choice as day one he felt that the larger development rear may have been a better race two choice, despite winning a man-to-man battle in the closing laps with Lorenzo Savadori.
In a dry race, the flags came out at one stage to warn of rain falling in all sectors but it came to very little and the pace was unaffected at the front. In a race that had four leaders, including Rea, there were several aggressive early passes and some thrilling overtakes, in a classic #WorldSBK event in the #uk.
In the championship, Rea leads by a strong 64 points after 12 races. Sykes is now fourth, albeit on the same points total as third place rider, and double Donington race winner, Michael van der Mark.
The astounding podium finish of second for #toprakrazgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was his own first top three and the first podium for any Turkish rider. He was tenth on lap one and moved forward at great pace in what was only his 12th WorldSBK race start.
Local wildcard Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) made a superb start and was in podium contention until he fell on lap two, and was unable to restart. Leandro Mercado (Orelac VerdNatura Kawasaki) was 12th today, while stand-in rider Luke Mossey was 14th for Team Pedercini Kawasaki.
The next round of the championship will take place at Brno, in the Czech Republic, which is a circuit the team has tested at recently. Racedays will be the 9th and tenth of June.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “It was a difficult race because in the beginning it was very aggressive from all riders. Guys who are not usually near the front were super-aggressive. When I got a track position I could be really smooth and do my own thing. Michael passed me, made a good attack and was able to stretch that gap a little bit. I wasted a lot of tyre and energy trying to get back to him. I also ran into some arm pump under braking at the end so it was hard to start thinking about attacking Michael. I could see Toprak was coming from my pit board but there was nothing I could do about him at that point, as he had better pace at the end. The target here at Donington was to exit the weekend with more than 50 points of advantage in the championship and we exceeded that, so for me it was a positive weekend.”
Tom Sykes, stated: “It looks like we missed out with our tyre choice today. We continued on the standard rear tyre and we really suffered with traction. The guys in front obviously used the bigger tyre. So I was disappointed with that. I felt we had good speed to be a lot closer but we were battling with Savadori, and the lap times were not great at that stage. I also suffered with the strong winds at the top of Hollywood. I know where to be fast at Donington and I could not hold the throttle like I could in the past, so we need to adjust the bike setup. It was a bit of a mixed bag today and not what I was expecting. Onwards and upwards and we have lots of good tracks coming up.”
2018 KRT Rider Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016 & 2017
2018: Races 12, Wins 5, Podiums 10, Superpoles 2
Career Race Wins: 59 (44 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 122 (80 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 16 (12 for Kawasaki)
Tom Sykes: World Champion 2013
2018: Races: 12, Wins 1, Podiums 5, Superpoles 2
Career Race Wins: 34 (34 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 105 (104 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 44 (44 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: 115 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 364 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 77 – second overall
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