Category Archives: SuperBike SuperSport

Superbike World Championship – United States

Rea takes a break

After taking control of the championship in Great Britain, Jonathan Rea accelerated on the Laguna Seca circuit to leave his contenders behind in the overall standings.

The quadruple Superbike world champion could not dream of a better scenario before the summer break. At Donington, in early July, Jonathan Rea shone by winning all three races of the weekend to overtake Alvaro Bautista, leader of the championship since the start of the season in Australia. A week later, in California, the Kawasaki rider scored more points by taking advantage of two errors made by his opponent to break away in the championship. After the start of season when he had had to bend without breaking, in recent weeks Jonathan Rea has found the recipe for success. On the Laguna Seca circuit, the Brit showed his current form by setting a new track record of 1’22″700. After winning on Saturday afternoon, he won again in the Superpole race before finishing second in the final leg behind Chaz Davies. “I’d never imagined a weekend like this in the United States,” said Rea. “I think I could have even won on Sunday afternoon if we hadn’t changed the settings of the bike before the last race. There was some floating on the front end and I preferred to keep close to Chaz who is not a rival for the title for the time being. The balance sheet for the weekend is extremely positive. We’ve regained the upper hand over our opponents. We’ll need to keep it in September when the championship starts up again.” Victim of a fall on Saturday, Leon Haslam had to continue his weekend with a painful hand and a weak arm on one of the most physical routes in the Championship calendar. The Brit showed his courage by finishing fifth in the sprint race and sixth in the last race on Sunday afternoon. “I managed to catch up with Sykes and Lowes but I didn’t have the strength to attack them,” lamented Jonathan Rea’s teammate. Toprak Razgatlioglu also confirmed his current form by crossing the finish line of both races in third place and finished fourth in the Superpole sprint.

The Championship

In two weekends, Jonathan Rea has completely change status. He’s now at the top of the championship score sheet with an 81-point lead over Alvaro Bautista. In Laguna Seca, the Kawasaki rider won his 80th victory in the Superbike World Championship and scored his 156th podium. Fifth overall, Leon Haslam is hot on the heels of Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark, while Toprak Razgatlioglu after his two podiums in California has consolidated his sixth place. The next event is in Portugal, on the Portimao circuit, on September 8.

Superbike World Championship – UK

Rea leads the championship

By winning the two weekend races at Donington plus the Superpole sprint, Jonathan Rea took all the points he needed to take the lead in the Superbike World Championship for the first time of the season. 

In front of his supporters, Jonathan Rea didn’t do things by halves. Clearly back in shape in recent weeks, the Kawasaki rider just won the three races organised on the Donington circuit. The first in the rain, the other two on a dry circuit. “I had an impeccable motorcycle this weekend,” said the four-time world champion. “Its stability allowed me to make all the difference, on both wet and dry tracks. I couldn’t dream of doing better on my home turf of Donington. Honestly, I didn’t expect to have a weekend like this. Now I’m looking forward to the next races and tracks on which we should do even better.” Leon Haslam also delighted the British public. Third on Saturday afternoon, Rea’s teammate made it to the Sprint podium before finishing fifth in the last race of the weekend. “I felt fine on eighty percent of the circuit,” said Haslam. “The last stop and go sector posed some major problems, but overall I can’t complain about the results of the weekend.” Toprak Razgatlioglu also shone in England. Finishing only thirteenth on Saturday in the rain, the Turkish rider clocked up two second places the next day on a dry circuit. In Supersport, Lucas Mahias started out in the lead on a fight from start to finish with Jules Cluzel and Federico Caricasulo. The French rider finally passed the chequered flag in third place, earning him his second podium in a row. Hikari Okubo finished the race in thirteenth position. 

The Championship

The current rider to beat, Jonathan Rea took control of the Superbike World Championship by chalking up three victories and taking advantage of Bautista’s fall on Saturday afternoon. Leader for the first time since the start of the season, the Kawasaki rider now leads even the Spaniard by 24 points. “We can be satisfied with our progress, but don’t let’s get over-excited,” said the four-time world champion. “In Jerez, we were 61 points behind: everything can change from one race to the next. We must continue to work and keep well focused.” Still fifth, Leon Haslam has reduced Alex Lowes’s lead to just five points. He is still ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu who now has 153 points. In Supersport, Lucas Mahias is fourth. The French rider is 50 points behind Jules Cluzel. Hikari Okubo has slipped to fifth place in the standings, nine points behind his teammate.

Superbike World Championship – Kawasaki Hat-Trick

Kawasaki Hat-Trick

The weekend in Misano was a sunny one for the Kawasaki riders, especially Jonathan Rea, who won two races on the Italian track. The four-time world champion has thus considerably reduced Alvaro Bautista’s lead in the overall standings.

On Sunday afternoon, the Kawasaki brand wrote a page of history thanks to Jonathan Rea, Toprak Razgatlioglu and Leon Haslam. The two Brits and the Turk were all together on the last podium of the Superbike World Championship weekend organized on the Misano circuit. A magnificent hat trick, something the Japanese manufacturer had not achieved since 1993 on the Sugo circuit, ending a very productive weekend, especially for the reigning quadruple world champion. On Saturday, Jonathan Rea had already started to shine by signing his third Superpole of the season before winning on the finish line of the first race of the weekend more than three seconds ahead of Tom Sykes, his former teammate. A difficult race, run in the rain. “It was the first time of the season that I was riding on a wet track,” says Rea. “The track was tricky because the water level varied from one lap to another. I fought it out for a long time with Alex Lowes, until his fall that made my job easier. The bike was very stable, which helped me a lot in such difficult conditions.” Fifth in the Sunday Sprint after a small crash that robbed him of the podium, Rea won again in the last race, this time ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu and Leon Haslam. “A great weekend for Kawasaki,” summed up the Brit. Leon Haslam was already on the podium at the finish of the Sprint, and he could have done the same the day before if he had not fallen after thirteen laps. Before finishing second on Sunday afternoon, Razgatlioglu also fell on Saturday when he was seventh. The Turk redeemed himself the next day by chalking up a fourth place and a well-earned second place. In Supersport, Lucas Mahias also clinched his first podium with Kawasaki by placing third after an encouraging pole position. Hikari Okubo crossed the finish line in fifth position.

The Championship

Thanks to his first twin-win of the season, Jonathan Rea has considerably reduced the gap with the championship leader. The Brit is now only sixteen points from Alvaro Bautista. Still fifth, Leon Haslam is only eleven points away from Alex Lowes. Toprak Razgatlioglu has climbed to sixth place overall. In Supersport, Hikari Okubo has kept his fourth place while Lucas Mahias has dropped back back to fifth position, four points behind his Japanese teammate.

Superbike World Championship – Spain

No rest for Rea

Making it to the podium by taking advantage of Alvaro Bautista’s fall during the last race of the weekend, Jonathan Rea has reduced the gap in points between him and the championship leader.

If everything was not perfect in Jerez for the quadruple world superbike champion, Jonathan Rea still managed to use his trip to Andalusia to reduce Alvaro Bautista’s lead by two points. Fourth in the first race of the weekend, twenty seconds behind the Ducati rider, fourth in the Superpole sprint, Jonathan Rea was able to increase the pace on Sunday afternoon to reach the second step of the podium behind Dutchman Michael Van der Mark . “A real podium after a difficult Saturday,” commented the Kawasaki rider. “I had no feeling with the front end of the bike but the team worked hard to find solutions and I felt much better on Sunday despite the increase in the temperature of the track. We’ll now do some tests in Misano where I hope we will continue to progress with the tuning of our bike.” Also penalized by a lack of grip on his front tire, Leon Haslam finished ninth on Saturday before taking sixth and a fifth places on Sunday. On his side, Toprak Razgatlioglu managed to make it back to the podium a month after having tasted triumph in Imola. The Kawasaki rider finished fifth in the first race, seventh in the sprint, and third on Sunday, hot on the heels of Jonathan Rea. In Supersport, Lucas Mahias and Hikari Okubo took the checkered flag in sixth and seventh positions.

The Championship

By making it to the second step of the last podium of the Spanish weekend, Jonathan Rea reduced the gap with the leader in the overall classification to 41 points. Second in the championship, the Kawasaki rider has no intention of abandoning his world title despite Alvaro Bautista’s domination on the first part of the championship. Leon Haslam stays in fifth place while Toprak Razgatlioglu has now moved up to seventh place. No change however on the side of the Supersport riders. Hikari Okubo remains in fourth place with 59 points while Lucas Mahias had not moved from his seventh place.

Superbike World Championship – Italy

Rea rides to victory

Regularly beaten by Alvaro Bautista since the start of the season, Jonathan Rea road back to victory in Italy, clocking up his first two wins of the season on the Imola circuit.

Not quite deliverance, but Jonathan Rea made no attempt to hide his joy on the Imola circuit. Tired of finishing behind Alvaro Bautista’s Ducati since the opening of the championship in Australia, the four-time world champion was eager to react in Italy. He did it by brilliantly riding his way to victory, with a first success on Saturday and another on Sunday morning in the ten-lap sprint. “I feel better and better on the bike and we were really on the ball this weekend,” commented Jonathan Rea. “I only regret the third race had to be cancelled, but the weather conditions hardly left any choice to the organizers. I am very happy to have won in Italy.”
As in the Netherlands, the schedule for the weekend had to been shortened, this time because of the rain. Whatever, Imola is definitely a good track for Kawasaki.
In 2010, Tom Sykes won the Japanese brand’s first pole position on this circuit. And since 2013, Kawasaki have chalked up nine victories on their kill count. This year, Toprak Razgatlioglu added his touch by making to the podium on Saturday afternoon before finishing seventh on Sunday morning. Leon Haslam came in fifth and sixth, while in Supersport, Hikari Okubo posted the best result of his career with a well-earned fourth-place finish. In the fight for the podium, Lucas Mahias unfortunately fell after hitting an opponent who had just missed a gear in front of him. The former world champion was nevertheless able to start off again, making it to the finish in eighth place.

The Championship

Regularly present on the podium since the first race at Phillip Island, Jonathan Rea is still in second place overall and has even benefited from his first two wins of the season to reduce Alvaro Bautista’s lead to forty-three points. Leon Haslam stays in fifth place while Toprak Razgatlioglu has moved up to eighth place. In Supersport, Hikari Okubo has also wins a place, and is now fourth with fifty points while Lucas Mahias remains seventh with forty points.

Superbike World Championship – Spain

No Rest for Rea

As in Australia and Thailand, Jonathan Rea was unable to beat Alvaro Bautista as the championship returned to Europe. The Kawasaki rider nevertheless won three second places, keeping in touch with the leader in the standings.

The races link up and look alike for the two strongmen in this start of the season, the transfer from MotoGP Alavaro Bautista, and Jonathan Rea the quadruple Superbike world champion and titleholder. Behind the handlebars of a Kawasaki currently under-performing compared with the brand-new Ducati Panigale V4, the Brit still has hopes for the future. For the first event held on European soil, he also clocked up three second places despite some complications in the free practice sessions and a start on Saturday afternoon from the fourth row of the grid. Although he never crossed swords with Bautista, the Kawasaki rider battled hard with Chaz Davies on the other Ducati and Alex Lowes on his Yamaha. “Once again we couldn’t hope for more this weekend,” sighed Rea. “Apart from the small mistake I made during the practice test sessions that forced me to start way back, we did the best we could with the bike. On Saturday afternoon, I even managed to come back to second place after only four laps.” For the record, that day, the Brit became the fifth rider in World Superbike history to reach the milestone of two hundred and fifty starts. “On Sunday morning the sprint was not easy because it was cool and we missed grip in the last few laps,” he continued. “That’s what made me cautious for Sunday afternoon’s race. I spared my tires in the first kilometres to be able to attack in the last laps.” And once again take the lead over Chaz Davies and Alex Lowes. Leon Haslam had trouble in Spain adjusting his bike for the braking phases. Ninth on Saturday, the Kawasaki rider set the record straight the next day with a seventh and fourth place finish. Toprak Razgatlioglu was seventh and tenth before being forced to retire on Sunday afternoon. In Supersport, Lucas Mahias and Hikari Okubo scored a hat trick taking seventh and eighth places.

The Championship

With three second places, Jonathan Rea scored another 49 points in Spain. Now in solid second place in the championship, the four-time world champion is only 39 points behind Alvaro Bautista. Behind them, Leon Haslam has moved up a place. The English rider is now fifth with 74 points. Toprak Razgatlioglu has slipped back to twelfth place. No change in Supersport: Lucas Mahias and Hikari Okubo are in fifth and ninth place respectively.

Superbike World Championship – Thailand

Rea stays in reach

Facing a Bautista/Ducati tandem in great shape, Jonathan Rea managed to clock up three second places on the Buriram circuit. Results that allow the Kawasaki rider to keep the championship leader within reach.

Four-time world champion Jonathan Rea wasn’t born yesterday. With the arrival this year of the new Ducati Panigale and that of Alvaro Bautista behind the handlebars of the Italian bike, the Kawasaki rider knew he would have to grin and bear it at the start of the season. While waiting for the performance of the different machines to be rebalanced, Rea has had to limit the damage. That’s just what he did very well in Thailand, making it three times to the second step of the podium.

“It’s the best I could hope for this weekend,” said the Brit. “I stayed in Alvaro’s wake as long as I could, but as soon as I lost his slipstream I could do nothing else but let him go. Aside from a small stability problem on braking, I had a very good bike this weekend. The team, once again, did a great job.”

Suffering from a pinched nerve in his back, and lacking feeling with the big brake discs that the riders had to use this weekend in Buriram, Leon Haslam had to settle for three fifth places.

Toprak Razgatlioglu finished tenth on Saturday, thirteenth and ninth on Sunday. In Supersport, Hikari Okubo finished sixth, as he had done at Phillip Island for the opening of the championship.

“The difference is that this time I fought it out for a long time in the top three and I finished within five seconds from the winner,” said the Japanese. Having to start from the back of the grid because of low tire pressure during the practice test sessions, Lucas Mahias managed to take the checkered flag in eighth place.

The Championship

No change in the overall Superbike ranking for the two Kawasaki official riders. As in Australia, Jonathan Rea scored 49 points in Thailand, consolidating his second place, now 26 points behind Alvaro Bautista. Leon Haslam keeps his sixth position with 51 points on the clock. Toprak Razgatlioglu has gained two places, and is now ninth with 24 points. In Supersport, Hikari Okubo has climbed to fifth place with 20 points while Lucas Mahias is in ninth place with 12 points.

Superbike World Championship – AUSTRALIA

Three rostrums to start the season

Although he did not win in Australia, Jonathan Rea nonetheless started his season well by clocking up the rostrums. Leon Haslam joined him at the finish of two of the three weekend races.

It’s become a tradition in the Superbike Wolrd Championship. Every new season there are new rules. This year, the Superpole has changed format and has reverted to a more conventional event. On the other hand, a third race, named Sprint, has been introduced in ten-lap format. It is held on Sunday morning and is used to establish the starting grid for the last event of the weekend. Last detail, only the first nine riders are rewarded with half of the points awarded in the two rounds between which the sprint is placed. Held as every year on the Phillip Island circuit, the opening race of the World Championship allowed Jonathan Rea to clock up three second places after signing the fastest time in the trials. While he was unable to do anything to beat Alvaro Bautista, the former MotoGP rider who is racing in the Superbike this year, the quadruple world champion was still satisfied with his Australian weekend. “I’ve never been very successful on this circuit and starting off with three rostrums is not a bad deal,” he said. “I want to congratulate Alvaro who made a good debut. He’s going to be a formidable opponent this year, I’m sure, and he’ll help me be even better. The season is just starting.” For his debut with the official ZX-10RR, Leon Haslam was also up to scratch. For a long time hot on Rea’s heels on Saturday afternoon, the Brit fell shortly after the halfway point. He still managed to get back on and finish fifteenth. And he made up for his mistake the next day by clocking up two third places that allowed him to score well-earned points. Toprak Razgatlioglu had his best result on Saturday afternoon when he finished sixth. He ranked fifteenth on Sunday. In Supersport, Hikari Okubo equalled the best performance of his career by crossing the finish line in sixth place. Lucas Mahias on the other hand was less successful. For his debut with the Kawasaki Pucetti team, the former world champion had to settle for twelfth place because of a nineteen-second penalty imposed for speeding in the pit lane. Next round on March 17th in Thailand.

The Championship

With three second places, Jonathan Rea left Phillip Island in second place overall in the World Superbike, with a capital of 49 points. The Kawasaki rider is only 13 points behind the leader, Alvaro Bautista. Leon Haslam is in sixth 

Superbike World Championship – Qatar

A final success for Rea

After missing the first round due to rain, the final of the Superbike World Championship in Qatar has enabled Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes to end the season with a final double victory.

The races

It was a pity that the final race of the season had to be cancelled and ironic that rain forced the organisers to refuse to start the race in the middle of the desert… “It stopped me from breaking two new records,” sums up Jonathan Rea. Winner of the first race of the weekend after his victories in the first and last rounds and crossing the finishing line ahead of his teammate, the world champion was hoping to break the all-time record for the number of victories in one season. He had to resign himself to sharing this honour with the American Doug Polen with seventeen successes. He also had to content himself with finishing twelve points away from the all-time record set in that same season. “It will be a challenge for the next season,” responded Rea. Tom Sykes also had a great finish to his adventure with Kawasaki with another Superpole and a place on the last podium. Toprak Razgatlioglu crossed the finishing line in tenth position. Barbera finished seventh in Supersport whilst the Japanese participant Okubo fell in the first round due to a problem with his bike’s transmission chain.

The championship

This is the fourth world championship victory for Jonathan Rea who has ended the season with a total of 545 points. For his final year with Kawasaki, Tom Sykes finished fourth with 314 points. Razgatlioglu has come up to ninth position with 151 points for his first Superbike season. Okubo came thirteenth with 39 points and Barbera seventeenth with 27 points in Supersport.

History

The final round of the Superbike World Championship in Qatar marked a turning point in the history of this championship which pits motorcycles derived from standard models against one another. A new format is to be introduced next year by the FIM and Dorna Sport, the promoter of the championship. Three races will be planned in 2019 over a single weekend. The first, which will be held on Saturday at 2 p.m., will mark the start of the festivities and will maintain the current format. The second, on Sunday morning at 11 a.m., will be in the form of a sprint and the third, in the same format as the first, will start at 2 p.m. “We have been planning to incorporate a third “sprint” race in the format of the WorldSBK for a long time and we are delighted that it is finally happening in 2019,” explains Daniel Carrera, Executive Manager of WorldSBK. “We try each year to guarantee exciting races for the fans and we believe that the addition of a spring race will enrich the WorldSBK experience. We are still working on the final adjustments to ensure that the new format is a definite success.”

Superbike World Championship – Argentina

A new title for Kawasaki

By winning in Argentina, Jonathan Rea has allowed Kawasaki to win a new manufacturer’s world championship title. Another highly successful season for Guim Roda’s team.

The Races

Untouchable at the end of the season, Jonathan Rea added two new wins to his track record in Argentina. The Kawasaki rider has now had ten wins in a row. “The weekend was once again perfect,” said the quadruple world champion. “My bike was fantastic and I can only thank all my team for allowing me to become the first winner of this new event in South America.” In trouble with the many changes in direction of the San Juan circuit, Tom Sykes ranked sixth Saturday, and fifth Sunday. Toprak Razgatlioglu took the podium of the first race before finishing seventh the next day. In Supersport, Okubo and Barbera crossed the finish line in eighth and ninth place.

The Championship

The riders’ world championship title being acquired since the previous event at Magny-Cours, all that Kawasaki needed was to win the manufacturers’ title. Jonathan Rea took charge of that in Argentina by winning on Saturday afternoon. A new success for the Greens which obviously delighted Guim Roda, the KRT team manager: “This title means a lot to us because this year the technical regulations were very restrictive, and the reversal of the starting grid for the second race often reduced the advantage that we naturally obtained. Being once again world champions means we have done a very good job.” On the riders side, Tom Sykes remains in fourth place overall, with only one event remaining. Razgatlioglu is in eighth position while Supersport Okubo is now twelfth. Barbera retains nineteenth place in the championship.

The Background

After Thailand in 2015, this year was Argentina’s turn to join the calendar of the Superbike World Championship. The new event, organized on the new circuit of San Juan Villicum, allows the competition to return to the South American continent to the delight of Jonathan Rea. “It was my first visit to South America and I really loved the welcome we received,” commented the fresh four-time world champion, received with great fanfare by Sergio Unac and Jorge Chica, respectively Governor and Secretary of Sports of the Province of San Juan. “The organization by the local authorities was impeccable and the public were wildly enthusiastic, warm and welcoming. And this new circuit also lived up to our expectations. Technical, with variations in the terrain… A great place to ride.” Argentina is the twenty-fourth country to figure in the World Superbike calendar and San Juan Villicum is the forty-eighth circuit to host an event. Note also that three Argentine riders have raced to date in Superbike: Nestor Amoroso at Monza in 1993, Leonardo Esteban at Misnao in 1994, and Leandro Mercado who has been competing in the world championship since 2012.