KRT Heading To Another Happy Hunting Ground

Courtesy of KRT – Kawasaki Racing Team

Kawasaki Racing Team will soon take on the second round of the WorldSBK season with their riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes, at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand. Rea is the early season leader after winning both the opening races, while Sykes is third in the points at present.

The start of the 2017 season has already shown the winning capabilities of the new Ninja ZX-10RR, as 2015 and 2016 champion Jonathan Rea secured both the race wins and Superpole status at the first round of the championship in Australia recently. With Tom Sykes third in race one, and in the leading mix at one stage of race two in Australia, it has already been a positive beginning to the campaign for the combined official Kawasaki entry.

As it stands in 2017, Rea has a perfect championship score of 50 points approaching Thailand, while Sykes is in third position overall, with 26 points.

The short two-season history of Chang International Circuit in WorldSBK has already shown it to be a fruitful venue for Kawasaki with Rea having won three races there already and Sykes one – a 100% success rate for both manufacturer and riders so far.

The Ninja ZX-10RR has already proven its capabilities in terms of both sheer pace and race long performance. The second points scoring test of Kawasaki’s official men and machines is expected to be a very different one from that faced at the fast, flowing and undulating opening round in Australia. The Chang International Circuit, near Buriram in the east of Thailand, is a similar length to Phillip Island, at 4.554km long – but the similarities stop there.

A series of geometric corners, long straits, low speed corner exits and a very flat topography in its stadium-style layout, make Chang a whole different challenge to the opening venue. The intense heat and humidity that usually characterise the Thai race weekend are factors that the KRT team and riders have already made preparations for.

Tom Sykes, stated: “I attended a great PR event with Kawasaki Thailand recently. I think there were around 400 people in attendance at a really nice venue and I enjoyed all of it. Now I am looking forward to race weekend at Buriram. This round is quite a challenging event because of the heat and the track conditions but I have enjoyed it over the last two years. Last season in particular we had some good results, on the back of some not-so-strong first round results at Phillip Island. Considering what happened at Phillip Island last week – being right there on the podium in race one and then scoring points after having to close in on the leaders through the early laps of race two – it definitely gives me more confidence going to the Chang International Circuit this weekend.”

Jonathan Rea, stated: “I am really excited to go to Buriram after a great start to the season. I’ve spent the last week here in Phuket on holiday with my family and some friends and it has been great acclimatising to what is the hottest race of the year while enjoying some amazing Thai cuisine. It is always nice to ride in front of the Thai fans and we always have so many Kawasaki fans in the crowd. The track itself is a mix of everything; heavy braking, flowing sections and long fast straights. It will be important to confirm our base setting here as the bike has changed quite a lot since 2016. We will focus on putting together some strong free practices to make sure we are able to fight at the front in both races.”

2017 KRT Rider Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015 and 2016
2017: Races 2, Wins 2, Podiums 2, Superpoles 1
Career Race Wins: 40 (25 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 90 (48 For Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 9 (5 For Kawasaki)

Tom Sykes: World Champion 2013
2017: Races: 2, Wins 0, Podiums 1, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 31 (31 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 85 (84 For Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 38 (38 For Kawasaki)

Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
4 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Sykes 2013, Rea 2015 & 2016), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
2 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016)
2 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015 & 2016)

Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 93 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 310 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 64 – second overall


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