Take a look back over a stunning season for the green team
Barcelona-based Kawasaki Racing Team can celebrate yet another stunning season in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, as they secured the Team’s World Championship alongside Jonathan Rea taking his third title for the team. Finishing off the podium on just one occasion in 2017, we take a look back over their season.
Keeping the dynamite duo of Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes for 2017, the Provec Racing squad had a strong off season of winter testing under their belts and headed to Phillip Island for the first round of the season, ready for battle. Rea took a stunning double victory as he battled with Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) around the stunning Australian circuit; whilst Sykes was able to finish on the podium in race one – making it a strong opening round for the reigning champion.
Setting the benchmark early on in the season, the duo finished on the podium in both Race One and Race Two in the Thai heat around Chang International Circuit, before a tough weekend around MotorLand Aragon saw just three podium finishes for the team. Heading deep into the European leg of the WorldSBK season, they were able to take home a 1-2 from both races around TT Circuit Assen as Rea stunned with his third double victory of the season, whilst Sykes was able to continue to take second positions despite being plagued with an illness picked up in MotorLand.
Heading to Ducati territory around the historic Imola circuit, Rea was thrilled to take home two second positions from the technical circuit whilst Sykes was locked in a battle with Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) for the final spot on the podium, which he secured in race two. Donington Park was the sixth round of the season, and home turf for the team-mates. Sykes was unbeaten around the circuit since 2012 meaning there was a lot to play for. Sykes dominated in race one, but the reign ended in race two when Rea took the victory, and Kawasaki’s 100th WorldSBK victory.
The second half of the season continued to bring joy and strong results for the team, as they took nine victories and 13 podiums as well as the riders world title along the way.
Misano World Circuit welcomed Sykes’ second victory of the season, before Rea headed into the summer break after Laguna Seca with another victory under his belt and a 59 points lead. As WorldSBK returned, Rea’s next victory came around Portimao circuit after a tough round in Germany for the duo. Despite the world champion’s glory in Portugal, his team-mate Tom Sykes suffered a massive crash on Saturday morning in FP3 and after injuring his wrist, he was ruled out of the weekend. Returning to the podium in Magny-Cours Race One, Sykes wasn’t the only rider celebrating as Rea was crowned World Champion on Saturday in France.
With both the rider’s World title wrapped up with two rounds remaining, the duo now had their sights set on the team’s world title – which they secured around Jerez following a double victory from Rea and a race one podium from Sykes. Ending the season in style, Rea took his sixth double victory of the season in Qatar, breaking Colin Edwards’ overall record along the way.