At the conclusion of a successful Jerez weekend Kawasaki’s third successive Manufacturers’ Championship arrived one round early, and is now added to the 2017 Riders’ Championship for Rea and the Team’s Championship for the Kawasaki Racing Team.
The second race was started on schedule at 13.00 but was almost immediately halted and restarted after clash between two riders brought out a red flag. Over a reduced race duration of 19 laps, Rea was not to be denied and set a new lap record of 1’40.640, to secure his second win of the Jerez weekend.
Rea has now scored 52 race wins in his WorldSBK career, making him equal second best of all time alongside another three-time champion, Troy Bayliss. He also scored his 110th World SBK podium with his race two win, taking him one place above Carl Fogarty, and making him the third most successful WorldSBK rider in that ranking.
Having reached a total of 100 race podiums in WorldSBK on Saturday, Sykes was unable to add to it with his fifth place today, fighting against an unexpected lack of rear traction. He still set strong lap times and fought all the way to finish just six seconds from the win. Tom is tied on points for second place overall with Chaz Davies, with one round to go. He is ranked third in the points table as he has fewer wins in 2017 than his rival.
The final round of the season takes place under the floodlights of Losail, Qatar, with races behind held on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th November.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “Kawasaki won the Manufacturers’ Championship today and it is not just the bike, the rider, the management, the crew chief, it is every single person inside the team and at the factory race department in Japan. Everyone has made this result and I am super-proud to be a part of it. In the race I had a really nice hash tag on my dash today for a little bit more motivation on the grid. My mechanics were building me up right before I left the grid and I knew today I had to go. I feel like I steered the bike around today. The win came from my crew chief Pere Riba because he asked me to trust him with some front geometry changes and a front tyre change. It was awesome.”
Tom Sykes, stated: “Kawasaki has had a great run in the past few years and certainly they have a great team together which helps them reach their goal. For the manufacturer, to get this title is probably as special as the riders’ championship. Today they got their prize for their effort. Fifth was not what I was looking for today. I was struggling with the bike set-up today if I am honest I could not find the rear traction. I just tried some things while riding the bike and finally it was OK to keep the lap times in the low to mid 1’41s. That is as fast, or faster, than yesterday but for whatever reason I just could not get that grip on the rear. It is something so, so small but unfortunately you spend a lot of time on the side of the tyre here.”
2017 KRT Rider Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016 & 2017
2017: Races 24, Wins 14, Podiums 22, Superpoles 5
Career Race Wins: 52 (37 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 110 (68 For Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 13 (9 For Kawasaki)
Tom Sykes: World Champion 2013
2017: Races: 22, Wins 2, Podiums 16, Superpoles 4
Career Race Wins: 33 (33 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 100 (99 For Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 42 (42 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: 107 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 346 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 72 – second overall