Round 12 Race 2 Jerez
Tom finished 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 Tom 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 Tom finished 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.
The last of 13 rounds of WorldSBK racing will be held at the Losail circuit in Qatar, between 28th and 30th October.
“Third is the best we could manage today but that is racing. It was a good race and a good fight over the distance but I just came out third best today. I was very close to Jonathan at the end but just not enough. I could have so easily tucked the front in some areas but we saw it through to a podium finish. We will move on from this and try to be stronger. We have a 48-point deficit and we need to find a better set-up in Qatar to allow me to be aggressive from start to finish. I feel I am not able to do what I need to do right now. I do not want to lose second in the championship if we can help it. We have an important test tomorrow and utilise this in the best way.”