Race of Australia

Rea Rides On

For his debut with the Kawasaki team, Jonathan Rea has not done things by half. Winner of the first race of the season and second in the second, the Brit finished the opening of the championship as co-leader in the overall standings.

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The Races

With a win and a second place, Jonathan Rea got his 2015 season off to a flying start. As usual, Tom Sykes was a little less brilliant than usual on a circuit he has never really liked. After being roughly overtaken by VD Mark and leaving the track in the first round, Sykes made it to an honest sixth place before finishing at the foot of the podium in the second race. “It’s not too bad a start to the year,” summarized the 2013 World Champion. “We all know the first test does not really reflect what the rest of the championship will be like. For me, the real fun will begin in Europe.” In Supersport, Kenan Sofuoglu was fighting for a place on the podium when he left the track at the start of the sixth lap and torpedoed his hopes of victory. The triple world champion nevertheless got back into the race at the back of the pack to finish in sixth place.

The Championship

On a circuit that has never been a favorite for Kawasaki, Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes collected a fine crop of points, allowing them to leave Australia in second and fourth place overall. Sofuoglu began his season in sixth place in the Supersport championship.

The Background

After fifteen years of competing with Honda, Jonathan Rea did not expect to adapt so quickly to the Kawasaki ZX 10R. After winning the practice test sessions in the Superpole, the Brit brilliantly rode to the victory in the first race of the season. “I never imagined that the Kawasaki would be as good on the Phillip Island circuit,” said Rea. “Until now, the track was not the most favorable for the ZX 10R. Things have obviously changed, perhaps due to the new technical regulations… Anyway I managed to start in the lead and then control the race. Nobody seemed to want to take over my first place, and I didn’t know how fast I should ride to save the tires. In the end I managed to stay ahead until the finish.” The result of the second round might have been the same if Haslam hadn’t managed to snatch victory from Rea on the finish line. “I lost for a hundredth of a second,” regretted the Kawasaki rider. “That makes me a little mad, but the important thing is that I’ve realized that this year I’m going to be a serious contender for the title.”

Rally of Sweden

The Citroën DS3 WRCs in the points

Kris Meeke and Mads Østberg both finished in the top 10 scoring precious early-season points.

Hats off to the winner! The French world no. 1, Sébastien Ogier (Volkswagen), emerged victorious in the second round of the 2015 World rally championship in the final Power Stage.

Kris Meeke got caught out in SS7 on Friday when he was running in the top 5. Nonetheless, he fought his way back up through the field and saw the flag in seventh place overall. The Northern Irishman and his co-driver, Paul Nagle, set their first fastest time in Sweden (SS16) during their comeback.

Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson were in the running for a top-3 finish for a long time until they fell back after a puncture followed by hand brake problems. Thanks to their fighting spirit the Scandinavians never gave up and scored a bonus point in the Power Stage.

Yves Matton (Citroën Racing Team Principal): “The racing incidents, the handful of technical problems we had and the mistakes made by our drivers mean that the result is a long way off the targets set by the team at the start. Everyone is still very motivated. And it’s just the start of the season!”

Next Round : Rally Mexico (6-8 March)