Courtesy of KRT – Kawasaki Racing Team
Jonathan Rea (KRT) secured his ninth race win of the 2018 WorldSBK season with a start-to-finish leading display that gave him his 63rd career win. Tom Sykes (KRT) had qualified on pole but slowly dropped back from Rea’s slipstream in the early laps to finish fifth.
Rea was the dominant rider in the first race of the Misano weekend, after he made a perfect start and got clear of his opposition by over 0.3 seconds on lap one. His latest win was the 119th individual race victory for Kawasaki in WorldSBK, drawing the Akashi manufacturer into equal second place in the all-time rankings.
Rea took the holeshot and led his team-mate Sykes into the first complex of corners, with the KRT duo sitting 1-2 until the fifth lap.
With Rea powering on ahead at a high pace Sykes started to experience some issues with the front end of his machine not following the contours of the track surface after releasing the front brake and he slipped down to finish fifth, scoring valuable championship points in the process.
Rea’s latest success has seen him take more than 50% of the races on offer so far this season, with one more Misano race still to come before the summer break begins.
In Superpole 2 at Misano on Saturday morning, KRT had locked out the leading two positions, with winner Sykes extending his total to 46 career Superpoles in all, and seven pole positions at this venue across his career.
Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) finished tenth today and recent returnee from injury, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was 11th. Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) scored points for 13th place, but the luckless Yonny Hernandez (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) crashed at turn five and had to retire.
The second Misano race of the weekend will take place on Sunday the 8th of July, at 13.00 local time in Italy.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “We had good pace all weekend and the idea was to try and make a holeshot and then set my rhythm. I got a good start and I was able to put my bike in a good position in turn one and then make my rhythm from there. It was kind of a textbook race and in the first three laps with the bigger profile tyres, especially the rear tyre, it just kind of takes a few laps to find its rhythm. Once I found that I was able to increase the gap lap-after-lap. That made the last seven laps more stress free. My bike was quite balanced all the way through and I did not feel I was riding over the limit at all.”
Tom Sykes, stated: “I thought we would be much stronger. In the first few laps I was comfortable and happy with the way things were going and then we started to have the same kind of issue we had in Thailand. As soon as I started to release the brakes the front bounces and it would not follow the road. I started to lose a lot of time and even in the early laps something was not quite 100% right. Sitting behind Jonathan in the first couple of laps, in the slipstream, that is where you can normally take an advantage. From about one–third distance it started to get worse. Considering the problems we had I was happy to finish fifth. Hopefully our race tomorrow will be less interrupted. ”
2018 KRT Rider Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016 & 2017
2018: Races 17, Wins 9, Podiums 14, Superpoles 2
Career Race Wins: 63 (48 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 126 (84 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 16 (12 for Kawasaki)
Tom Sykes: World Champion 2013
2018: Races: 17, 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: 119 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 369 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 79 – second overall