KRT’s championship-leading duo looking for more success in California
Round 8 of the 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship this weekend at Laguna Seca will see Kawasaki Racing Team pair Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes striving for more glory at a track they both know well.
Both KRT riders have good reason to look forward to another visit to the 3.61km venue, as each has previously won races at the undulating and intense circuit, which is home to the famous “Corkscrew” corner. They shared a victory apiece in 2016, when Rea won the first race on Saturday and Sykes the second on Sunday.
So far in 2017 Rea has recorded eight individual race wins and he arrives at the GEICO US Round leading the championship by 50 points from Sykes.
“I’m really looking forward to Laguna Seca this weekend as it is one of the most iconic circuits in the world, and one that I really enjoy,” states Rea. “Our Ninja ZX-10RR has been working very well so far this season so I am confident we can find a good feeling when we hit the track in FP1 on Friday. Last year I was able to win my first race at Laguna and this time the target is to repeat that in both races. The American fans are very passionate about WorldSBK and the atmosphere around the paddock is something that I really enjoy.”
“We are now past the halfway point of the season and I am focused on this next block of races, just to be as strong as possible and go into the summer break satisfied with our work so far.”
In all, Sykes has won three of his career total of 33 WorldSBK races at Laguna - one on his way to the World Championship with Kawasaki in 2013. He once more scored individual wins in the 2014 and 2016 seasons.
He comments: “The Laguna circuit is quite tight and twisty and the lap times are always very close. I have had some good results there and I remember I won the very first Laguna race I ever rode in. It surprised me at the time because I won it against a few guys who had been there before, racing in MotoGP or the American championship. I remember that I was proud of that because I thought it would be difficult to compete there the very first time.”
“We have been making progress recently and I would like to keep moving forward and pick up a big bagful of points. That has to be the target this weekend. The American fans are fantastic and I just like the whole atmosphere and environment. I love the place!”