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Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes in action at the Sepang round of 2016 World SBK

Rea Stays 100% after Sepang showers

May 152016


The new racing surface at the internationally renowned Sepang circuit in Malaysia received a copious baptism with the sixth round of 2016 WorldSBK. Dry conditions from the first race on Saturday were swiftly forgotten with downpours that cast the second sprint on Sunday into a murky mire of chance, but it was reigning world champion and Kawasaki Racing Team rider Jonathan Rea that emerged from both outings with a 2-3 and his 100% podium record across twelve dashes in 2016 still intact.

Kawasaki were celebrating a 1-2 on Saturday and it was Rea’s teammate Tom Sykes who turned in one of his most convincing performances of the season to hoist the Ninja ZX-10R onto the top step of the podium. Rea had to play a supporting role. The ever-improving Alex Lowes made a great start from the front row of the first outing but was swiftly hunted by Sykes who sliced tenths of a second away from the lap record in construction of what would be a race-winning margin of superiority. “I really enjoyed the race,” the former champ said. “The bike was giving me plenty of warning, well in advance. We have struggled to some degree over 12 months now, and this is the first time we have come a bit closer. The fact is that we were able to be consistent for race distance, which is very nice. We had a bit of a gap today but everybody will aim to improve and we need to be one of those who also improve.”

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