KRT Riders More Than Ready For First 2015 WSB Round In Europe
April 7, 2015
For championship points leader Jonathan Rea (KRT) and third placed Tom Sykes (KRT) their imminent arrival at a revised Motorland Aragon circuit in Spain offers each the chance to score more valuable points after the season opening rounds in Australia and Thailand.
Rea’s induction to the KRT squad has been nothing less than sensational, with ‘JR’ only five points from perfection in the first four races, making the most of his Ninja ZX-10R in race situations under new and more stringent technical rules.
Sykes scored his first podium in the new WSB era last time out in race one in Thailand as he makes the transition to the new technical landscape, after experiencing so much success in the previous three years, including his championship win with KRT in 2013.
So far Rea has scored three race wins and a second place. In doing so he has taken a ten-point championship lead as he approaches the first European round, to be held between 10 and 12 April at a Motorland circuit Kawasaki has enjoyed great recent success at.
Sykes scored a double win in Aragon last season - from pole position to boot - while his then team-mate Loris Baz took two second places. Last year Rea scored a podium finish at Motorland, while riding for another manufacturer, but this year hopes to be able to take his first race win at the impressive Spanish circuit, located near the town of Alcaniz. Rea currently has 18 career WSB race wins, with Sykes on a total of 22.
This year, in addition to new technical rules that should limit top speeds somewhat on the extensive back straight at Motorland, the circuit has been modified from its previous WSB format, by losing the sharp hairpin extension that once led to a tight final chicane.
The Superbike riders will now use the same circuit layout as the MotoGP class has been running for some years, making the track to be used next Sunday 5.077km long. The 2015 WSB layout therefore now features 17 corners and has a much faster final left-hand curve for the riders to catapult to the finishing line from.
Jonathan Rea: “I left Thailand with such a good feeling and I have been speaking with my guys already about the plan for this weekend. We need to start at zero again, not get carried away, and it is going to be super-tough. We are back in Europe where everybody has a lot of data, so it should be much, much more competitive. We just have to see where we stack up on Friday and Saturday and work methodically to make sure we have a package to compete at the front. The final corner at Motorland has been changed from the one we used in 2014. I enjoyed the previous one but I also like faster corners and the new layout makes the lap more exciting, simply because it is faster. I enjoy either layout and I am just excited to get back on the bike again.”
Tom Sykes: “I am very much looking forward to Motorland in its new layout as the last corner is more exciting than the previous one - but it will be the same for everybody. I got on the podium in Thailand but we are still finding the best way to give a better bike set-up for me. We have a plan and we now need to see if we can make it work. I have had some success recently at Motorland but honestly I look at every circuit as a chance to try and achieve something. In Aragon I am looking forward to it more from the point of view that we have some reference from there and we will see how this bike compares to last year’s. We have some ideas to try and help me and hopefully we can put them into practice in a good way.”
David Salom (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) will have a home round to look forward to in Motorland Aragon after experiencing contrasting fortunes at the beginning of his season. Injured and unable to race in Australia, the 2014 WSBK Evo Champion for KRT scored strongly on two occasions in Thailand and now sits 12th overall.