KRT Pairing Aim To Return To Winning Ways At Assen

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With four of the first six races in the 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship won by the combination of KRT competitors Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes – riding the new model Ninja ZX-10R – the goal for this coming weekend at Assen is to take full points scores once again.

So far in 2016 Jonathan Rea has won three races on the latest Ninja ZX-10R, helping put him in a clear championship lead, by 26 points. Third overall in the rankings is Buriram race two winner Tom Sykes, who is only three points from Chaz Davies in second place.

In terms of previous results at the iconic Assen circuit Rea’s pair of successes last season gave him his sixth and seventh wins in the Netherlands, making ‘JR’ the second most successful rider in the history of WorldSBK competition at the famous ‘TT’ Circuit.

Sykes has also been successful at Assen in the past, winning the first race of the day during the 2013 Dutch event, before going on to win the championship itself for KRT later that same year.

During the most recent round of the championship, at the Spanish circuit of Motorland Aragon, Jonathan and Tom swapped second and third places in the races but the aim for both this weekend is to push for race wins again. As per the new race schedule adopted for 2016, race one will take place on Saturday 16th April at 13.00, with race two on Sunday 17th, at the equivalent time.

Reigning champion Rea approaches his happiest of hunting grounds with 32 career race victories and a total of 71 podium finishes to his credit. Sykes has 27 career race wins and 68 podiums to date.

The 4.542km-long Assen circuit will play host to the WorldSBK championship for the 25th year in 2016. The layout of the Circuit van Drenthe, which started life as a real roads circuit, has been much modified and periodically shortened over the decades. Sometimes the changes have been to improve safety and sometimes to modernise the amenities and paddock space that have grown with Assen’s stature as one of the best motorcycle racing venues imaginable.

Laid out over a flat site and devoid of real elevation changes, the unique elements of Assen include heavy positive cambers on many of the fast corners and sweepers, plus the much slower final ‘Geert Timmer’ chicane. This as been the scene of a vast number of last lap incidents and dramatic passes over the years. A popular venue for riders and teams alike, the stature of Assen in motorcycle racing mythology is such that it is regarded as the ‘Cathedral’ of Motorcycle racing by most – and is also knows as the ‘University’ by some. The latter description alludes to the old adage that a racer’s education cannot be said to be complete until the intricacies of Assen have been truly mastered.

Jonathan Rea stated:
“Assen is a good circuit for me and our bike works quite well there. We learned many things in Motorland Aragon during round three, mostly that the base set-up we found with the previous bike worked quite well with the new bike. Hopefully the weather can be consistent throughout the weekend at Assen so we can build a rhythm and some consistency in our package – and with my riding as well. We did a good job in Motorland but we need to start getting back to winning ways again. We could be in for a great season especially as we are entering Assen, a track I enjoy racing at. I have no idea why I go so well there but I really enjoy the place. It is a real riders track that – when your bike set-up is not working just perfectly – you can still make a difference. There are a lot of corners there that require different techniques than just the finding the brake point, apex and exit. There is quite a lot of technique to Assen. I also think it is just experience of the track.”

Tom Sykes stated:
“Assen is a track where we have had success in the past and had good speed and consistency. We know after Motorland Aragon we have some work to do. My crew chief Marcel and I have had some quite lengthy conversations, and we will see how it goes this weekend, but all-in-all I have certainly had a stronger start to the championship than I had last year. Everything feels quite positive. There are a couple of things on the set-up that we need to improve but these are things we can work on in the near future. Assen is a track that, as a rider, is always a great pleasure to ride around. It is quite special because you have banked corners with positive camber, so it is always that little bit extra special. We have good points of reference from previous visits and I think the whole Kawasaki Racing Team can have a potentially good race weekend.”

Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) is the next closest rider to the KRT official pairing in the current standings, 14th overall but with the same 25 points total as the rider ranked above him. Regular Pedercini Racing Kawasaki rider Sylvain Barrier will be replaced by fellow Frenchman Lucas Mahias for the Dutch round after Sylvain suffered a hand injury in a crash at the previous round in Spain. Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki), Josh Hook (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) and Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) complete the Kawasaki rider who will be competing this coming weekend in the Netherlands.

After the Dutch adventure the WorldSBK paddock moves to the very different host venue of Imola, in Italy, for the fifth round of the championship, between 29 April and 1 May.

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情報提供元 [ Kawasaki Motors Europe ]

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