Double podium glory for Kawasaki at Imola
Increasing his championship lead following a tough weekend for Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), the British rider was happy to take away 40 points from the Motul Italian Round. Taking two second position finishes in two very different races over the weekend, Rea was able to reduce the gap overall to race winner Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) on Sunday.
With a tough Sunday ahead of the British rider following a race re-start, he was able to capitalise on his third row start and quickly made it through into the podium fighting positions. Unable to catch the flying Davies, Rea was locked in a fight with his team-mate before taking a solid second position.
“Yeah of course I’m happy,” begins Rea. “Because I don’t think I could have been much better than second. We halved the gap to Chaz on race one so that’s a positive, but unfortunately I made a huge mistake on lap one going through one of the chicanes; I went over the gravel and that lost all my track position, and all my work I’d done on that first out lap. We changed the bike between race one and two so some positives, but all in all to leave Imola with 40 points and increase the championship lead is a good weekend at one of our not so strongest tracks.”
British team-mate Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) had a stunning start to the race, as he led the way in the opening laps and seemed to be feeling very comfortable on board his ZX-10RR machine. Disappointed to miss out on the win, he knew he didn’t have the pace to match the Ducati’s. Despite this, the British rider looks forward to Donington where he has a stunning record.
Sykes explains: “Of course I’m disappointed not to win it, I was given a bit of a life line and I tried to take it. I saw the gap open up, we were given a couple of seconds and I tried to maintain it so I thought ‘aye up’ we might be able to do it but there was still a long way left. I just stuck to it and I maintained a gap for a while, but Chaz had such a strong pace today. I suffered a little bit – in the cooler conditions I had a better package – that sight increase in track temp meant I was under steering slightly but I felt we improved today. On the last lap with a clearer track I could do more than I needed, it was one of those weekends, I think a podium was the best we could do and we’re happy with it.”
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