Courtesy of KRT – Kawasaki Racing Team
Kyle Ryde (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) showed all his spirit and talent during a challenging day for the WorldSSP riders at Phillip Island. Ryde finished fourth in what was eventually only a ten-lap FIM Supersport World Championship race.
After a red flag due to another rider’s crash that stopped the first attempted running of the WorldSSP race, while Ryde was in a strong position up front, the final race was cut to 10 laps. It had already been reduced to 15 laps from its scheduled 18-lap duration at the start of the race weekend.
Kyle, only 19-years-old and running without his regular team-mate Kenan Sofuoglu alongside while the Turkish star recovers from surgery at home, kept his cool and pace in the final 10-lap sprint, taking away 13 points for fourth place.
Ryde felt he could have made an even better finish had the red flag not appeared in the first running, as he had worked hard on a full race strategy, but in the first regular weekend with his Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team fourth place was much more than many more established championship contenders took away.
Next up for Kyle is the second round of the championship at Buriram in Thailand, two weeks from now.
Kyle Ryde, stated: “The main thing today is that I got fourth place and kicked off the season with 13 points. I was a bit gutted that the red flag came out in the first part because it was pretty easy staying in second place and saving my tyre. Once I went back to seventh in the final running of the race they were all going crazy and I got punted wide twice at MG corner. I just thought if I stayed behind them something would happen and on the last lap something did; two riders fell and went out of the running. I have made a big step forward and I am riding around with the fast group. It was a positive, very positive, day. Even for Kenan’s sake, two of the main contenders dropped points at the opening round. Now we will roll onto Thailand and try to do the same again there.”
Kazuki Watanabe (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) was eighth today, Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) ninth and Lachlan Epis (Response RE Racing Kawasaki) tenth.
Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) scored points in 12th place. Michael Canducci (Puccetti Racing Junior Team FMI Kawasaki) earned 14th place in the re-run race, the last rider to finish after so many falls and retirements were recorded. Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) was forced out by another riders’ crash.