REA WINS AS KRT RIDERS LEAD THE FIELD
Laguna Seca SBK race 2
KRT riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes finished 1-2 in the second Laguna Seca FIM Superbike World Championship race, with Rea taking his ninth win of the season today. Rea and Sykes are still 1-2 in the championship fight, with Rea extending his championship lead to 59 points.
Starting from seventh and eighth places on the grid respectively Sykes and Rea both made strong starts but Sykes was into a clear lead after just a handful of corners, despite being on row three at the green light.
Rea also soon passed the other podium contenders, at record pace with a 1’23.275 set on lap two, and he went past his team-mate Sykes on lap three, easing out a gap as the race progressed.
Both riders were to consolidate their leading positions throughout the 25-lap contest with Sykes able to keep Saturday race winner Chaz Davies behind to record second place and his 13th podium finish in 16 races.
In the championship points Rea leads with 341, Sykes is second with 282 and Davies is third, on 226. In the Manufacturers’ Championship standings Kawasaki leads by 66 points, with five rounds and ten individual races still to go.
The main summer break in competitive action begins now, with the next race weekend not taking place until 18-20 August, at the Lausitzring in Germany. Before then the KRT team will join some rival teams for a two day test at the same venue.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “It was awesome to win today and we did it by putting 25 good laps together. Right from the first lap Tom got away and I found it hard coming through at that stage. But when I got clear I put my head down and I knew it was game on. As soon as the opportunity presented itself and went through into the lead, and set my rhythm. We made a real step with the set-up overnight. On yesterday’s pace I felt good but I felt it was a difficult opening race. I left the changes for today to Pere my crew chief and did not go into too much detail. He came up with a good plan in warm-up and it seemed to work. Everything seemed to be coming easier and during the race I did not change anything, just played a little bit electronically with the engine braking settings. I want to thank all my team for giving me a great package and this is a good way to go into the summer break.”
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “I was in a bit of a hurry to get to the front in race two and I was hoping to be going there alone. I came out of the last turn, looked at the big screen and saw my team-mate there. I wanted the riders behind to battle for a while but it wasn’t the case. The bike was very consistent and we stayed in the high 1’23s to low 1’24s all race. I made a couple of mistakes on one lap trying to adjust the rear brake and engine mapping, just to try something different. We have to be happy with second because yesterday and today I gave it everything on track. Credit to the boys in the garage as today’s pace was faster, the race was faster and had a lot safer feeling. I am a little disappointed to lose some points in the championship but there is still a long way to go.”