New Champion Rea And Former Champion Sykes Go For More Trophies
September 30, 2015
KRT rider Jonathan Rea lifted the 2015 FIM Superbike World Championship last time out in Spain but even after this outstanding success both he and his team-mate Tom Sykes will be shooting for more race wins and podiums in the remaining races of the season to add to their already impressive season totals.
So far, after 11 rounds and 22 individual races, Rea has taken 12 race wins and eight other podiums in his first Kawasaki season. Champion in 2013 for KRT, Sykes has netted four wins and seven other podiums in the same time scale this year. Those combined statistics have ensured that Kawasaki has taken its first manufacturers’ title in the Superbike World Championship with two rounds of the 2015 season remaining.
With the pressure of winning his first WorldSBK title now receding Rea just wants to aim for more race wins, while Sykes is keen to move up to second place in the championship standings by season end. He is currently 22 points behind Chaz Davies, with four races left to run, including Magny-Cours.
In terms of previous Magny-Cours raceday form Sykes has three wins and three further podiums. Rea has three previous French podiums, including a third place in 2014.
Magny-Cours is run as the final European-based round of the season and features one of the biggest spectator attendances of all – despite the sometimes inclement weather that can arrive in the centre of France in October. The enthusiastic and knowledgeable fans spread themselves around the interesting 4.411km circuit often congregating at the final chicane and start/finish straight at the end of race two to hail the winning riders.
The final race weekend of 2015 will unfold under floodlights, at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar, with raceday on October 18th.
Jonathan Rea stated: “We had a really amazing moment in winning the championship in Spain but we struggled a little bit in the races. First, we have to really understand the reason why we struggled so much at Jerez on Sunday, when on Saturday everything was fine. When we sit down to make a plan for this coming weekend, and figure things out, we will be pretty clear in the direction we need to go. After that I just want to enjoy the races. I think in France we can start again with a clean slate and I see no reason why we cannot battle up at the front once again. I have had some good results at Magny-Cours in the past. To win the World Championship is a massive goal I have been waiting to achieve all my life and I have not really let my guard down too much since I did it. I was quite busy at the beginning of last week but since I got home I have been trying to treat each day as normal; to keep it in the back of my mind that we have to work hard for the next two races. I really want to bounce back after being off the podium in Jerez and fight at the front at Magny-Cours.”
Tom Sykes stated: “Magny-Cours has been a mixed bag for me in the past. It is a circuit that has been quite kind to me in terms of race results but it has also been quite pivotal in my career. We lost the championship there by half a point in 2012, so of course that was bit of landmark. Last year things were going so well for most of the weekend but then it rained and we had a painful race day in wet conditions. It is a bittersweet place but, overall, with the race success I have had there, I like it. The good thing is that the Kawasaki fans always bring great support and it is great to hear the grandstands. The turnout is incredible so it looks like they are mad bike fans in France. The Kawasaki brand is very strong there, which is great, because that also means in recent years those fans have cheered on Tom Sykes. I am certainly looking forward to getting going again.”
David Salom (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) and his fellow Spanish rider Roman Ramos (Team Go Eleven Kawasaki) approach the penultimate rounds with a determination to finish as high as possible in the final rankings – and as top non-factory Spanish rider. Currently Ramos is 14th, just four points and one place ahead of Salom.