Rea Equals Assen Race Wins Record2018-04-21 11:30
In uncharacteristically warm and dry conditions, which blessed both opening days of the Assen WorldSBK weekend, Jonathan Rea showed his affinity with the historic Assen circuit by leading across the line for all but two laps. He was to win the race by an eventual 0.981 seconds from local man Michael van der Mark, who led for two laps.
Jonathan’s third race victory of the year came after some good work in practice and qualifying, and being able to improve the pace in warm conditions, making a gap that he could control in the final few laps of the 4.542km long circuit.
Rea’s win was his third of the season and takes him to within two victories of the outright record of 59, held by family friend Carl Fogarty. This was Jonathan’s 75th podium for Kawasaki. He is now the second rider, in his own right, in terms of career podiums, with 117.
Just 1.413 seconds from the race one win Tom Sykes just needed a better first few laps to have joined in with the podium celebrations, after offering a consistently strong pace on his Ninja ZX-10RR.
Having started the race sixth after Superpole qualifying, then going to seventh place for eight laps, Tom was able to pass some of his main rivals to get up to fourth and score valuable points in the process.
With race one completed the KRT riders will take part in race two at Assen, on Sunday 22nd April, at 13.00 CET.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I enjoyed that race. I had two or three small attempts to break the group but it just wasn’t happening. I preferred to be at the front of the race anyway, to manage things in the places I was strong. I knocked back a little bit in case I was not able to make a gap in the last laps. I think with four to go I started to make a couple of strong lap times and that just broke the gap to the others. I was quite lucky because on the last lap I made a little mistake at T8 but by that stage I had already made the gap. I was super-happy because we arrived here with the bike that was quite strong at the start. With consistent weather on Friday I was able to do two race simulations to understand how the tyres would be at the end today.”
Tom Sykes, stated: “Fourth in the race was a case of having to start a bit behind today, as the race set-up we had was good. The speed was pretty good. We possibly missed out a little bit on initial lap times, but our bike stayed very consistent. In the end we had race winning levels of performance but I just got stuck behind Chaz, who rides differently to some of the other guys I passed earlier. Alex, Marco and Xavi, those guys I could make passes on but Chaz was on a different line and to get him – I wasn’t able to do it today. He can stop better and the acceleration of his bike is very strong. We lost out there but in some of the flowing stuff we had a big advantage. Tomorrow we will just try and take advantage of what will be pole position on the race two grid.”
2018 KRT Rider Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016 & 2017
2018: Races 7, Wins 3, Podiums 5, Superpoles 1
Career Race Wins: 57 (42 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 117 (75 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 15 (11 for Kawasaki)
Tom Sykes: World Champion 2013
2018: Races: 7, Wins 0, Podiums 1, Superpoles 1
Career Race Wins: 33 (33 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 101 (100 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 43 (43 for Kawasaki)
5 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016 & 2017), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
3 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017)
3 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016 & 2017)
Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 112 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 354 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 75 – second overall
Source: Kawasaki Racing Team
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