Rea And Sykes Go For More Success In Italy

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Between them Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes have won all of the most recent six FIM Superbike World Championship races at the classic Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola. With such a proven record at the undulating Italian circuit each official KRT rider is ready to add to their 2016 season win tallies on the all-new Ninja ZX-10R as the WorldSBK series heads to the fifth round of the championship in a few days’ time.

After four rounds and eight races of the 2016 WorldSBK championship KRT riders Rea and Sykes have taken six of the possible eight race wins so far.

Leading the championship with a score of 181 points from a possible 200 Rea has finished every race on the podium and counts five race wins to his credit since the start of the year. He has won five times at Imola in all and now has 34 career race wins to his credit.

The reigning champion for Kawasaki has clearly made a strong start to his latest campaign but he feels there is more to come when he unlocks all the secrets of his new Ninja ZX-10R. Rea has won the four most recent Imola races in WorldSBK, including two victories last season on the previous model of Kawasaki superbike.

Being 2013 WorldSBK champion for KRT, Sykes is no stranger to winning races on the Ninja ZX-10R. He took both Imola race victories in his championship-winning season for Kawasaki, part of his current career total of 27 race wins. With five podiums, including a race victory in Thailand, to his credit in 2016 already he is third in the overall rankings, with 122 points.

The circuit itself is situated in parkland on the edge of the culturally important city of Imola and has hosted 25 individual WorldSBK races since 2001. It should be 26 races in all but a deluge of rain through raceday in 2005 meant that only one WorldSBK race took place.

In 2016, under the new weekend schedule for the WorldSBK entries, races are held on Saturdays and Sundays, with Superpole qualifying to determine the final grid positions taking place just before race one on Saturday. Getting a good start during the first two practice sessions on Friday has proved to be important so far, and should be again as the undulating hills and valleys around Imola’s 4.936km overall length provide a real test of machine set-up and rider skill.

Jonathan Rea stated:
“I have always been really lucky to have a great reception from the Italian fans. I enjoy riding there. The culture, the food, the parkland track itself; everything seems nice and the layout is kind of like the tracks I grew up on in the British Superbike Championship. In the past I have had some good results at Imola and some race wins. After the amazing weekend we had in Assen extending our championship lead was great. But it is back to business this week and trying to keep that target in mind during every weekend now – trying to improve our championship position. As I said recently, it is not just Imola but these next three races are all-important because the races are week-on/week-off. It is important to remain healthy throughout these races and score points. The key to the weekend is set-up on Friday. We have seen how critical it has been in Aragon and also Assen with the weather change.”

Tom Sykes stated:
“At the previous round in Assen we did not get what we deserved but we had good speed in both the wet and the dry. This motivates me so I am excited and looking forward to Imola now. It is a track where we have been strong in the past. The circuit itself is definitely an old school layout. It is exciting, technical and you have to be pin-point accurate round there to have a good race. Our season has been a little bit up and down but generally it has been up. Looking at the bigger picture, we have had great potential and just had a couple races, like Australia or Assen, where we didn’t get what we deserved. We are heading in a good way and always improving.”

Roman Ramos (Go Eleven Team Kawasaki) will once more carry the status of top ranked Kawasaki rider in the privateer ranks when he heads to Imola. Currently 14th overall, he is only eight points from a top ten ranking. The recently injured Sylvain Barrier (Pedercini Racing Team Kawasaki) is hoping to be back to full fitness in time for the Imola weekend, after being replaced by stand-in rider Lucas Mahias in the most recent Assen round.

Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) and Josh Hook (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) are aiming for their first points of the year in Imola, as is another WSBK rookie, Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Racing Team Kawasaki).

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情報提供元 [ Kawasaki Motors Europe ]

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