Mixed bag for KRT riders after Aragon weekend

Monday, 16 April 2018 08:27 GMT

While Sykes took 45 points and performed his best Round of the season so far, Sykes struggled with the bike setup

MotorLand Aragon has been a benevolent track for the Kawasaki Racing Team in recent years, with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) taking six (now eight) consecutive podiums at the track for the Japanese manufacturer, while Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) has managed a record four Superpoles here. However, while Rea can be satisfied at his points overhaul, for Sykes this was a difficult weekend, with both rider and team unable to take his bike close to the podium.

Rea followed a dominant display on Saturday with another fantastic performance on Sunday, rising from the back of row three to take the lead at the halfway point of Race 2. The reigning champion enjoyed the race. “Yeah it was a lot of fun, I had a lot of fun. Unfortunately, it didn’t come off our way this weekend or this race, but Chaz did a great job, he was very strong in the last laps. I put everything there to try to go with him”, he explained. “It seemed as if when I was making small mistakes I was getting penalised a lot. We had to keep the bike in a nice range to push forward. Every time a saw him make a little mistake I was getting excited, but they would seem to get the lap times. For me, I’m just satisfied to get out of here with 45 points, it’s a great weekend.”

The weather had dampened many riders’ expectations for the weekend, with the high heat on Sunday keeping Rea cautious: “Once I got to the lead I was a bit worried, because we haven’t done any running in 30-degree track temperatures this weekend with the soft tyre. I actually rolled back the pace a little bit, tried to conserve what I had, because I wasn’t so confident for the end. But when Chaz came through I was able to fight, to be strong, so we can take some confidence from that and move on to Assen.”

Teammate Sykes had more trouble, losing his front row start by the first corner and falling to ninth, before climbing back to sixth by the end: “Disappointed is an understatement, but I’m not done yet, and it’s only a few days before we’re at Assen”, confirmed the Brit. “I was happier today with the bike setup, but unfortunately I think I selected the wrong front tyre. Really suffered in some of the areas where we had an advantage yesterday”.

The Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK and all the other teams return to the track this weekend, starting Friday, April 20th. Catch all the action thanks to the WorldSBK VideoPass.