Superbike World Championship Malaysia (Sepang), May 2016

Sykes wins, Rea leads

The Kawasaki team came through the Malaysian leg of the Superbike World Championship with flying colours: Sykes won the first race and Rea, with two podiums, consolidated his position as overall leader.

The Races

After chalking up his 34th Superpole on Saturday in Malaysia, Tom Sykes scored his 28th win in the Superbike World Championship. A clear success for the Kawasaki rider who handled his superiority from start to finish of the first race, which was held under excellent conditions. The second race was not as fortunate for the Brit. Starting in the rain, the 2013 world champion found the track difficult as it dried with the passing laps.

“The bike wasn’t tuned correctly and all I did was lose ground,”

he regretted after crossing the finish line in eighth position.

Finishing second on Saturday afternoon, Jonathan Rea managed to make it back to the podium the next day by snatching third place from Chaz Davies.

“The weekend was complicated but in the end I managed to take points twice from Chaz and at present he’s my most serious rival in the title race,”

grinned the leader of the championship.

In Supersport Kenan Sofuoglu and Randy Krummenacher were both affected by the bad weather. They finished sixth and eighth respectively.

The Championship

Having let up the pressure a little in Italy, in Malaysia Jonathan Rea managed to further increase his lead over Chaz Davies in the overall standings. The Championship leader now has 42 points more than the Ducati rider. Tom Sykes stays third with 62 points ahead of the fourth place, flying Dutchman Michael van der Mark.

In Supersport Kenan Sofuoglu continues to lead the Championship with a 17-point lead over his Swiss teammate.

The Background

Jonathan Rea will be riding for Kawasaki again in 2017 and 2018. The reigning world champion has renewed his contract with the Japanese manufacturer for two more seasons.

“I am very pleased to be given the opportunity to extend my contract so early in the season,”

said the overall leader.

“It will allow me to concentrate on the rest of the championship in order to defend my crown under great conditions. It will also allow us to continue developing the ZX-10 R slowly but surely. Given the excellent relations I have with everyone in the team, staying with Kawasaki was obvious for me.”

Since joining the Greens last year, Jonathan Rea has chalked up nineteen victories and won his first world champion tile. If he manages to keep it this year, the Brit will become the first rider since Carl Fogarty in 1999 to win the Championship title two times in a row.

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