After his unprecedented fourth consecutive championship win on Saturday Jonathan Rea rode in celebration livery today, unfettered by thoughts of potential championship positions.
Starting from the ninth grid slot and with data from his first race win to help his cause in race two, he rode with freedom to go third on lap three and take the lead on lap 12.
Rea eventually beat Chaz Davies by 1.8 seconds to record his 14th win of the season so far, and his fourth double win in succession. It is still possible for Rea to even exceed the record of 17 race wins in a single season, as there are two rounds and four races remaining.
In race two Rea also set a stand-alone record for the number of podium places in WorldSBK, with a new total of 131 across his career.
Now almost fully recovered form a training injury suffered during the summer break, Sykes pushed in the early laps to go from eighth on the grid to fifth. He passed Marco Melandri in the final two laps to add a fourth place to his second place finish on Saturday.
In the championship, after 11 of 13 rounds have been completed, Rea has 470 points, Davies 335, Michael van der Mark 309 and Sykes 273.
The next round will be held at the all-new Argentine circuit of El Villicum, between the 12th and the 14th of October.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) followed up yesterday’s eighth place with 12th today. Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) got a point for 15th as he approaches his home round next time. Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) ended his Sunday in France 18th. Substitute rider Jeremy Guarnoni (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was 19th.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “It was an awesome weekend. With the pressure off I was able to ride a bit more aggressively. I put myself in great positions in the first laps and found great track position early on. It proved pretty hard to get past van der Mark, as he kept counter-attacking but once I got clear track I was able to catch up to Davies. But he had, again, proved quite difficult to pass. My team gave me the perfect bike today, also in terms of final gearing. Especially on the straight, I could really make some inroads into Chaz and draw alongside. I tried to outbrake him twice and just went long, missed the apex and then he cut back. So I readjusted the strategy a little bit to go and pass on one of the other corners. My bike was turning really tight and I could see he was struggling to find that apex in turn eight. Then I made my rhythm and rode to my pit board. It was a really nice feeling.”
Tom Sykes, stated: “Overall it was not too bad and consistently we were there, but it is a little bit of the same story as we had at previous events, where we have not got the initial lap time from the race tyre. Pirelli has two rear tyre solutions and we tried both of these of the races and finally our set-up is really quite good. It has advantages and disadvantages. I felt quite comfortable on the bike in race two, but I just missed a little bit of turning. I felt good while turning yesterday but missed a bit of edge grip. We started from row three and got through the traffic, but this race was a lot closer than yesterday and there were two guys in between Jonathan and me. It was nice to actually close some guys down at the front and make some passes at the end of the races, but we just lacked the initial speed again.”
2018 KRT Rider Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018
2018: Races 22, Wins 14, Podiums 19, Superpoles 2
Career Race Wins: 68 (53 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 131 (89 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 16 (12 for Kawasaki)
Tom Sykes: World Champion 2013
2018: Races: 22, Wins 1, Podiums 7, Superpoles 5
Career Race Wins: 34 (34 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 107 (106 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 47 (47 for Kawasaki)
6 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018), 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: 124 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 375 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 80 – second overall