After strong performances at Jerez only one KRT rider will be crowned champion
Kawasaki rider Jonathan Rea finished second with teammate Tom Sykes third in the second 20-lap FIM Superbike World Championship Race at Jerez, meaning that one of the two official Kawasaki Racing Team riders will definitely be crowned champion at the final round in Qatar in two week’s time. Which one will be champion is still to be determined, however, after their strong combined Jerez podium performances.
Having guaranteed the Manufacturers’ Championship for Kawasaki on Saturday, when Sykes was second and Rea third, both official KRT riders aimed to try and overcome Chaz Davies on Sunday, to overturn his race one success. Davies was to win his second race of the weekend all the same but this time around Rea finished ahead of Sykes on the podium, in second place.
The second Jerez race was held in marginally warmer conditions than the first race on Saturday and with some set-up and tyre choice changes on board the KRT riders pushed hard to maintain their championship challenges. Rea passed Sykes at half race distance and from then on they ran together, finally crossing the line only 0.137 seconds from each other.
Rea drew himself 48 points ahead of his team-mate today with only one round and two races left to run. That margin was just two points short of guaranteeing Rea the Riders’ Championship at the Spanish round but he goes into the Losail race weekend as hot favourite, with only 50 points available for Sykes if he wins both races.
Jonathan now only has to score two points or more to win his second consecutive Riders’ Championship with KRT. Only he or his fellow Ninja ZX-10R rider Tom can now win the championship itself, as Davies will be unable to score enough points in the races that remain to get ahead of Rea. Tom has an arithmetical chance of winning the title but also has to ensure he finishes second overall, if the goal of taking the championship proves impossible.
The last of 13 rounds of WorldSBK racing will be held at the Losail circuit in Qatar, between 28th and 30th October.