Round 12 Race 1 Jerez
Tom and his fellow Kawasaki Racing Team rider Jonathan Rea secured second and third place finishes in race one at Jerez today. As a result Kawasaki won the Manufacturers’ Award for the 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship season – for the second year in succession.
Both Kawasaki Racing Team riders knew they would have strong opening races after Tom had scored his eighth Superpole of the year this morning, In the warm and dry opening race neither was able to keep the pace of eventual winner Chaz Davies for all 20 laps.
Rea took an early lead but Tom passed before the end of the first lap, and held his lead until lap four. Despite Tom setting the fastest lap of the race on lap three, Davies passed him one lap later and eased away to a lead that would become a win.
After race one Tom is 44 points behind, with one more Jerez race left to run and two more to come in the final round in Qatar in two week’s time.
The headline success today, for all involved from KHI and KRT, was securing the Manufacturers’ Championship with three points scoring races left to run. With three races and a possible 75 points up for grabs still, Kawasaki is an unassailable 80 points ahead in the manufacturers’ standings.
Kawasaki riders – either Rea or Sykes in each case – have already taken 14 race wins in 2016, with eight 1-2 finishes. There have been 38 individual podium finishes for the official Ninja ZX-10R riders.
“It has been a big day for Kawasaki, and for them to win two Manufacturers’ Championships on the bounce. We have been building up to this for some years and with two strong riders in the team we are able to deliver. It shows the amount of effort and support they are putting into the Superbike World Championship. To finish second today with two really strong guys either side of me is not too bad but it is also not perfect. We need to find an answer tomorrow as we had a little bit of a battle with the front set-up of the bike today. Hopefully we can then match the pace of Chaz on Sunday.”
Steve Guttridge, Kawasaki Europe Racing Manager, stated: “The combination of our two super competitive riders and our very professional team organisation again allowed Kawasaki to celebrate the Manufacturers’ title. These are good times for Kawasaki and we plan to keep them rolling for the future.”
Guim Roda, Team Manager, stated: “I think we can be very proud to win the Manufacturers’ Championship. That is something we got to with the efforts of many people, suppliers and sponsors, and of course with the big job that Tom and Johnny did. So big thanks to them. To win the manufactures’ title in the first year that Kawasaki introduced a new model ZX-10R is really something. It proves the base of the bike is good, so we are very happy to show this potential and help to sell more bikes all over the world. I really feel the customers will ride with the spirit of racing using the street ZX-10R. This title has given us big motivation to continue our work even harder next year.”
Yoshimoto Matsuda, Senior Staff Officer KHI Engineering Department R&D, stated: “We see this as a special year because we are having the 120th anniversary of the founding of Kawasaki Heavy Industries and it makes us so proud to win the Manufacturers’ Championship, both last year and this year also. This is very special for us. As the project leader of ZX-10R production and also having the responsibility of the world Superbike machine development this year, we have had a brand new machine to work with. So we are so proud, from both those points of view, to have had this chance and then won.”