Grand Prix of Philip Island (Australia), 2016

Beginning with a Blast

“No Compromise” was the keyword for the Kawasaki riders in the first race of the season in Australia. Jonathan Rea won both Superbike races and Randy Krummenacher took the chequered flag first for his debut in Supersport.

The Races

Since the twin-win by Carlos Checa in 2011, no other rider had managed to win the first two races of the Superbike season. Jonathan Rea seemed delighted about succeeding the Spaniard, if only to show that the World Championship title he won last year has not affected his appetite for success. The Kawasaki rider made a masterful return to the saddle. “I think our winter strategy paid off,” admitted Rea. “We developed the bike the way we wanted, and I think we are still far from achieving its full potential. I was patient in both races, avoided making mistakes and kept the others under control, in particular Chaz who was very fast.” At the forefront in the early laps, Tom Sykes had to settle for a fifth and a sixth place. “We tuned the bike well between the two races,” said the Brit, “But I was a bit unlucky and lost time with Giugliano. I rode very well for the first ten laps, then a little less.” In Supersport, the two Kawasaki riders were the leaders of the pack together, with Kenan Sofuoglu in the lead until his rear tire burst three laps from the finish. Randy Krummenacher who was riding hard on his heels seized his opportunity to win his first race on the ZX-6R.

Jonathan Rea GBR Kawasaki ZX-10R Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike

The Championship

With such a perfect start, Jonathan Rea has taken a comfortable lead in the Superbike Championship. The reigning world champion left Australia with a 14-point lead over Marc Van der Mark. Tom Sykes has taken the sixth place in the standings with 21 points. In Supersport, Randy Krummenacher is in the lead in front of Italian Caricasulo. Kenan Sofuoglu will have to wait for the next race in Thailand to open his points counter.

The Background

First Race, Fine Reaction. For his first race in World Supersport, Randy Krummenacher managed to win with style on the circuit of Phillip Island. It looks like the former Grand Prix rider who raced last year in Moto2 has very quickly adapted to his new discipline and his Kawasaki ZX-6R. “I couldn’t have wished for a better start to my new career in Supersport,” said the 26-year old Swiss rider and teammate this season with Sofuoglu, the reigning world champion. “It was a great feeling even if Kenan’s fall made the task easier. But the race was very difficult with the rain continually playing with our nerves. I felt great on the bike. All I need to do is keep feeling that way.”