Another double for Kawasaki Racing Team
Putting his name in the record books once more, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) started his 200th race at the TT Circuit Assen and took the double victory around the iconic circuit. Starting from ninth position in the second race of the weekend, the reigning World Champion was able to get a strong start off the line and shot into the lead in the opening laps.
Despite struggling with his tyres throughout the race in the windy conditions, the British rider was able to hold off his team-mate Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) who was hunting him down for the victory under sunny skies.
“It was nice to win that 200th race,” explains Rea. “I’m not one for statistics but to reach that milestone in superbikes it’s a championship I’m really proud of, close to my heart and something that’s given me some really nice moments in my career.
It was a difficult race, and the wind was so strong. Starting from 9th I had a lot of work to do but I made my passes count, I got to the front and put my head down. However I had a huge moment at T11 where the front tucked; we were making an experiment with the front tyre, even up to on the grid we were still making our mind up which front tyres to use. It’s hard to control the race from the front in the wind, but I wanted to keep in front of Tom because he’s really hard to pass. I just did enough and in the last lap I had the inside covered, probably not the fastest and most beautiful line but I got it over the line so I’m really happy.”
British team-mate Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) continues to suffer with his health issues, but was still able to fight up with his team-mate and challenged for the victory on the final lap.
Despite having a plan in place ahead of the penultimate lap, he was unable to make the move stick and he narrowly missed out on the victory.
Sykes explains is race: “I had another plan but I had a moment around T7, I was alongside him into T1 but I already had some front warnings there on some laps before, so it would have been a big move. If I was to take him on the chicane, the line that I had meant he would have only got me on the cut back anyway. I came close, he made a small mistake in the last chicane, I had the line but because of the chicane and finally I didn’t have it. Jonathan put a great weekend together, and I have to be happy. I want to say a big thanks to the public, the fans and the team for understanding my condition.”
Kawasaki Racing Team are back out on track in two weeks time at Imola, and you can follow all the build up on the WorldSBK VideoPass.