Happy Portimao Return For KRT2017-09-12 10:16
After a mini-break in the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship since the last round in Germany in mid-August KRT’s Championship leaders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes are primed and ready to compete for more race wins this weekend, especially as the series returns to the ever-popular Portimao circuit in southern Portugal.
The WorldSBK championship did not feature at the undulating and intense 4.952km Portimao circuit last year but both Rea and Sykes have recorded wins there in the past – two for Sykes and three for Rea. In 2015 Jonathan recorded two Kawasaki wins at Portimao on his way to his first world championship crown, with Sykes scoring his Kawasaki victories in 2012 and 2014.
It has been a successful season so far in 2017 for both KRT riders, with Rea leading the championship by 70 points and Sykes sitting in a clear second place. Rea has recorded nine individual wins and three pole positions through the year, with two wins and four pole positions being secured by Tom thus far.
Portimao could prove to be a significant weekend for Sykes if he wins Superpole and qualifies first on the grid. Tom is currently just one pole away from the outright record total of 43 Superpoles, held by Troy Corser.
Algarve was used by the WorldSBK series eight times in a row between 2008 and 2015. An instant classic when it first appeared on the scene it features unique elements in its track layout and especially in its modernist facilities and buildings.
This weekend in Portugal will host the tenth round of the 13 round season, with the 11th meeting of the year taking place in France, at Magny-Cours, between 29th September and 1st October.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I'm happy to return to Portimao this weekend as it's a race weekend that I really enjoy. The circuit has a lot of character and is fun to ride but in recent years the track has become very bumpy. It will be very important to optimise our set up to be strong for the full race. We had a great private test in the middle of the year so I'm sure we can start on Friday with a good feeling. I have spent the last few days here in Portugal already with my family, enjoying the Algarve weather and getting focused for what is a very important weekend for me. Our target is to try and win two races.”
Tom Sykes, stated: “I am looking forward to getting back in the saddle and getting some proper results in. We had almost another summer break in the season after Germany so I have had time to reflect on the year and I feel it is going OK. I need to work some more things out and honestly speaking I know I am capable of more. At the moment it is down to me trying to change my riding style and get a little extra from the bike. We will keep working on that. Portimao is a track I like, and where I have had some success, but the circuit itself is bumpy now. I am looking forward to going there again, especially after spending time away from the track since the previous round.”
Source: Kawasaki Racing Team
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