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Jonathan Rea at the 2017 World Superbike German round
NEWS

Rea runner-up in Germany and still on-course for historic title

Aug 212017

The fast, bumpy asphalt and intimidating concrete arena seating and fences of the Lausitzing was the platform for the Prosecco DOC German Round of 2017 WorldSBK and the meeting that switched the calendar back into play after a summer break. Round nine of thirteen was the domain of Ducati’s Chaz Davies but Kawasaki Racing Team’s reigning World Champion, Jonathan Rea, racked up more podium finishes to sit pretty at the top of the standings.

The Northern Irishman could do little about the red bullet ahead of him in the two races split over Saturday and Sunday but accepted the situation and looked towards the numbers: with teammate Tom Sykes going 3-4 then #1 was able to extend his championship lead to 70 points with just four rounds (eight races) remaining.

Rea also ended the weekend with 105 career podium finishes, putting him just four away from the record held by Carl Fogarty and possibly becoming most successful Brit in the history of the series. He has only missed the box once this year.

 

“Chaz was really solid in race two and his pace was good. When I had really good grip in the beginning I felt strong on the bike but as soon as I started to lose entry-traction the bike became very physical to ride. I was manhandling the bike and this is such a bumpy track,” Rea said as he also reached his 70th race start for Kawasaki in what has been two and a half years of unequalled dominance and speed on the Ninja ZX-10RR. “Yesterday’s race started to take its toll a little bit also. I am happy with the results from this weekend as the bike has never really worked that well here and we were on the back foot on Friday. So to make the set-up changes we did, and make some big steps, I am really happy with the team - so thanks to them. We came away with 40 points, from Lausitzring, which I am satisfied with.”

 

Sykes, who equalled a career-best eighth podium in a row on Saturday and set-off from first place after winning Superpole yet again, could not extend the run on Sunday and crossed the line in fourth

“Things in that race definitely did not go to plan early on,” he recounts. “I got a good start but touched the back of Savadori in turn one, so lost all the advantage. When I got clear laps towards the end, that’s when I started going towards a normal feeling again. It was an awkward fight all race and I am disappointed that I did not have the confidence to make passes under heavy, heavy braking. I wanted to get on the podium for sure but unfortunately we did not make the best of our situation. We will keep working and there are still four rounds left.”

 

Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes started from the first row of the grid on Sunday and gathered fifth position on the R1 to go with his sixth taken on Saturday. The Suzuka 8 hour winner will join the rest of the paddock on September 15-17 at Portimao for round ten in Portugal.

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