On the hottest day of the WorldSBK weekend in Brno the 18-lap second race offered up several surprise results. These included a rare DNF for triple World Champion Jonathan Rea, after an accidental clash with his team-mate Tom Sykes on lap three, at turn 12.
As the official Kawasaki riders vied for track position they arrived on the same line at the corner exit and after they touched Rea crashed. After his emphatic race one win on Saturday, and recording the greatest ever number of race wins in WorldSBK history as a result, Rea still left Brno with a new record of 60 race wins and an extended 65 point championship lead.
With Sykes and Rea starting off the third row, after they each scored podiums on the opening day of racing, they were running in sixth and seventh position respectively early in race two. Sykes survived the early scare at Turn 12, but fell on lap six, in the middle of turn 10.
Despite his low-side crash Tom’s bike could be ridden again and he completed the race, just missing out on a championship point.
In the overall standings Rea leads still with 270 points, Chaz Davies is second with 205, Michael van der Mark has 196 and Sykes 179.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was top Kawasaki rider in race two, in ninth position. Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) placed tenth and Yonny Hernandez (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) got two championship points for 14th place. Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki was 17th today.
The United States round, at Laguna Seca, will be next up for the WorldSBK riders, with race weekend being held between the 22nd and 24th of June.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “It has been a great weekend for so many reasons but unfortunately today we did not get to finish it off in the way we wanted. We have to understand that we extended our lead in the championship and that is the positive I can hang onto today. I felt very comfortable in the early laps. I had asked the mechanics to write ‘smooth’ on the dashboard. It was an 18-lap race and my pace all weekend has been a step ahead of everyone, so I was in no urgency to get to the front and start making ground in the race. At the start everyone was in a rhythm, in the low to mid two minutes lap times, and that pace I could manage, no problem. But what happened put paid to my race. A very short race for me, so not much to say.”
Tom Sykes, stated: “It was disappointing to not score in race two but in general this weekend I am not overly disappointed because I thought we would have the pace. Today, I think we made some improvements after race one and we got a good start. I certainly felt we could have started to push on and close in on Eugene and Chaz. We had the pace to run at the front. I am not saying what the outcome would have been but we had the bike and the package to run at the front in these conditions. I fell when I was trying to line a pass up. I had good corner speed and was about to pick the bike up, to get a good run into T11 and go inside. As I picked up the throttle I lost the front. To lose the front when you touch the throttle is not the usual way you crash, and it just caught me out.”
2018 KRT Rider Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016 & 2017
2018: Races 14, Wins 6, Podiums 11, Superpoles 2
Career Race Wins: 60 (45 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 123 (81 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 16 (12 for Kawasaki)
Tom Sykes: World Champion 2013
2018: Races: 14, Wins 1, Podiums 6, Superpoles 3
Career Race Wins: 34 (34 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 106 (105 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 45 (45 for Kawasaki)
5 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016 & 2017), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
3 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017)
3 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016 & 2017)
Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 116 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 366 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 78 – second overall