Kawasaki Racing Team undergo difficult day around Portimao
Reigning world champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) had an unbelievable second day in the Prosecco DOC Portuguese Round, as utterly dominated the field in the opening race of the weekend, whilst his team-mate Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) was forced to sit out of the race following a crash in free practise three.
Rea started from pole position after setting a pole position time of 1.41.430, and when the lights went out he didn’t look back. Crossing the line on the opening lap with already a second lead, the 30 year old was able to take his ZX-10RR into new levels, and he dominated the field over 20 laps of the Portimao circuit. Making it his fourth win in a row in Portugal, Rea has now extended his championship lead, and is in awe of his pace today.
“I don’t know what to say,” Begins Rea. “These weekends don’t come so often, the circuit is really difficult to get a perfect set up. I worked on myself and not just the bike over the weekend, but everything has worked well. I got a good start, put my head down from lap one and when I saw the gap on the first lap from my pit board I couldn’t believe it. Then it was hard to keep the concentration for the rest of the race, but it was very rewarding and if the gap stayed consistent I knew I had a bit to respond with. I’ve never had this kind of race in my life so it’s amazing. The bike feels so nice, I am lost for words.”
On the other side of the garage, Sykes’ weekend came to an early end following a big crash at the top of the hill in turn nine during Saturday morning’s free practise session. With the session red flagged, Sykes was taken to the medical centre and was unable to take part in the remainder of the weekend, needed surgery on his little finger following a dislocation.
Understandably downbeat, Sykes explains: “They have put the finger back in place as it was badly dislocated. I am disappointed with the crash, something so small led into a big crash but most of all it’s a shame the medication I had in the medical centre as meant I have been unable to race. I would have liked to have tried to ride to keep the points coming in but that’s not to be and I’m really disappointed for this and what will be will be.”
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