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Apr 21, 2019

Le Mans 24 Hours: SRC Team Kawasaki France Victorious

Eluding them since 2016, Kawasaki has won a textbook victory on the Bugatti circuit at Le Mans; the 14th in its history ... an incredible record!The struggle for the highest step of the podium was a credit to the whole team managed heroically once more by highly experienced Gilles Stafler. They declared themselves exhausted yet relieved after a dazzling finale witnessed by 78,500 spectators. Saturday 20 April 3:00 pm: After a very good start from 4th position - which didn't accurately reflect the real potential of the team who's objective was not the pole position at all costs but a consistent performance across 24 hours - the trio of Jérémy Guarnoni, Erwan Nigon and David Checa took and maintained the lead as each handed over to the other during scheduled pit stops. At the end of the 8th hour, the team had accumulated 10 points in the intermediate rankings then 10 more during the 16th hour of race. The riders did not have it all their own way though and at around 13:00 SRC Team Kawasaki France temporarily conceded the lead of the race. Riders David Checa, Erwan Nigon and Jérémy Guarnoni rode on relentlessly to the end of the 42nd running of the race, never imagining they would finish anywhere other than in first position. Tactically Gilles Stafler played a final master stroke asking Jérémy Guarnoni to extend his last riding session. It proved decisive and "Le Toulousain" took back first place 20 minutes from race end, crossing the finishing line the winner as the checkered flag dropped just seconds ahead of the nearest pursuer. With this latest victory, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR #11 is points leader in the world endurance championship with 102 points against 86 for the closest opponent. Other Kawasaki teams also featured as part of the historic race with the next best placing by vastly experienced Swiss team, Bolliger, in a noble fifth place completing 827 laps on their Ninja ZX-10RR compared to the winners' 839 laps. Team 33 Coyote Louit Moto in tenth spot ensured that no less than three Ninja mounted teams were in the top ten at race end with nine Kawasaki teams among the accredited finishers making up very nearly 25% of those that completed the race. Next stop for winners SRC Team Kawasaki France and other competitors is the Slovakia Ring 8 hours in May.

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Apr 14, 2019

Two Race Sunday Gives Rea Two Podiums

After the postponement of the first planned race from Saturday to Sunday, both of Assen's 21-lap races took place today, with Kawasaki Racing Team rider Jonathan Rea scoring first a second and then a third place finish. His team-mate Leon Haslam rode to fifth in race one and then a more difficult eighth in race two. Under sunny skies, but in bitterly cold conditions, the first race took place at 11am, with Rea starting from eighth on the grid and Haslam fifth. Rea would work his way into third place after two laps, then second place from lap eight to the end. Haslam fought hard with Alex Lowes to finish fifth in the opening race. In the second race Rea hit the front very early and led for the first five laps, as a battling bunch of seven riders began to form. With Haslam fourth in the first few laps he looked set for another good result, but a fading front tire saw him drop back to finish eighth. Today Kawasaki overtook Honda as the second most successful manufacturer in WorldSBK history in terms of podium finishes, with a new total of 393. After Assen Rea is still a clear second in the championship points table, having finished second ten times in 11 races, and third in the remaining one today. He sits 53 points from Alvaro Bautista's lead with his total of 183, while Leon's Assen results keep him fifth overall, with 93 points. The next round of the championship will take place at the parkland circuit of Imola, in Italy, between the 10th and the 12th of May. Jonathan Rea, stated: "I felt good in the fight and my team gave me a good bike to fight with and keep the gap quite stable for a while. I enjoyed today and it was like good old Superbike, two long races in one day. I feel like the only difference today was that I had a shorter time to take lunch and prepare for race two. But it was not anything extraordinary. I really feel like we maximized our potential with the bike this weekend. I felt good with the bike and we were stronger in some sectors and weaker in others compared to Alvaro. Even in the cold conditions I felt like the grip level was really, really good but at the end when the tires were dropping, I lost a lot of grip. The bike became more physical to ride. Apart from that I was very impressed with the potential of the tires and I was able to run quite consistently in the start to middle of the second race. I am pretty content." Leon Haslam, stated: "In both races, with about eight laps to go in race one, the front tire grip just went and it was even worse in race two, with about 11 or 12 to go. I was happy to keep the bike upright and not lose the front. I feel we easily had the pace for podiums but we didn't, so we have to reassess the problems." In a competitive day for the Independent Riders Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) and Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) each scored the same total of championship points in Assen – 14 – but the best single performance came from Jordi, who was eighth in race one, with Toprak only 0.049 seconds behind in ninth, despite the painful effects of a heavy fall on Saturday. In race two Razgatlioglu edged out Torres for ninth place by just over half a second. With Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) injured at Motorland Aragon last weekend the team's replacement rider for Assen, Hector Barbera, was 16th after having to pit in race one. He placed 16th again in race two, ahead of one other rider. 2019 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017 & 20182019: Races 1, Wins 0, Podiums 11, Superpoles 1Career Race Wins: 71 (56 for Kawasaki)Career Podiums: 145 (103 for Kawasaki)Career Poles: 17 (13 for Kawasaki) Leon Haslam:2019: Races: 11, Wins 0, Podiums 2, Superpoles 0Career Race Wins: 5 (0 for Kawasaki)Career Podiums: 41 (3 for Kawasaki)Career Poles: 3 (0 for Kawasaki) 6 x Riders' Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Tom Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018), 1 x EVO Riders' Championship (David Salom 2014)4 x Manufacturers' Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017 & 2018)4 x Teams' Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018) Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship StatisticsTotal Kawasaki Race Wins: 127 – second overallTotal Kawasaki Podiums: 393 – second overallTotal Kawasaki Poles: 82 – second overall #NinjaSpirit

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Apr 14, 2019

Gonzalez Wins Again As Deroue Podiums At Home

The usual mind-bendingly close and exciting WorldSSP300 championship race at Assen saw a leading bunch of 19 riders cross the line almost as one, with Spain's Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGo Team) taking his second win in succession, doubling up on his recent success at home in Motorland Aragon. After the results of the race were revised from those first flashed up on the TV screens, Gonzales was finally confirmed as the winner, from another Ninja 400 rider - local man Scott Deroue (Kawasaki Motoport). Deroue had finished the Motorland race third, moving up by one place at his local track after an astounding contest in the highly oversubscribed WorldSSP300 grid. Scott was eighth at the end of the penultimate lap, making his push at just the right time to be in contention for the win. Reigning World Champion Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec) led the race with just a few corners to go but was swamped by other riders desperate to get on the podium. She finished eighth, but still only 0.780 seconds from the winner Gonzalez. It was a good day for Kawasaki riders in general again, with young Ukrainian rider Nick Kalinin (Nutec – RT Motorsports by SKM) the third Ninja rider in the top four. Bruno Ieraci (Kawasaki GP Project) was seventh, one place and 0.192 seconds ahead of Carrasco. Local rider Robert Schotman (Motoport Kawasaki) was 12th today, but as an indication of how close and competitive this class is in 2019, Robert was only 1.180 seconds back from the winner. The top 19 riders were covered by just 2.305 seconds at the checkered flag. Once again 50 riders tried to make sure they could qualify for the race today, but after snow, sleet and a wet tack surface cancelled the 'Last Chance' race on Saturday afternoon, all of the 34 riders who started the race today came direct from the 'A' and 'B' groups in qualifying and Superpole. In the championship standings, after round two, Gonzalez leads with a perfect 50 points, Deroue is second with 36, and Hugo De Cancellis is third with 31. Schotman is 10th and Carrasco 11th. The third of nine rounds this season will be at Imola, In Italy, with race day on Sunday the 12th of May. Manuel Gonzalez, stated: "Again victory, but it was so difficult. Last week it was in the last corner and here again in the last corner. We did really good work in all the practice and qualifying sessions. The bike was very good but it was difficult for me to overtake in the corners. In the straights I could manage to pass and in the last sector I wanted to be first! So thanks to the team for all the work they have done."Scott Deroue, stated: "It is always special to be at home and take a podium in front of your friends, family and sponsors. Last year we were strong in Imola as well but in the last lap we crashed. In the other races we were strong so I think the rest of the season we can do the same, and that is my goal. Aragon and Assen are really slipstream races but in Imola and Donington, for example, it is more about pace and corners. There are not so many straights. So I am really looking forward to the other races to see how fast we are there." Ana Carrasco, stated: "We are all very close this year but the race was very similar to last year, only we have been a bit unlucky in the last lap. I felt strong and I thought passing the leader in the slipstream would be enough to allow me to enter the last corner first, but in this class you never know! So finally we finished eighth but I felt very happy with my performance and I also felt very strong. I think I was the strongest in the group so that is really good; it gives me some confidence for the next one. The result is not what I wanted but we did a good job, so we will wait for Imola." #NinjaSpirit

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Apr 7, 2019

Rea Podiums Twice As Haslam Recovers Pace

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) took his eighth and ninth second place finishes of the 2019 season today, first in the 10-lap Tissot-Superpole race and then in the second full distance contest. His team-mate Leon Haslam recovered from a tough Saturday to record a seventh place in the sprint race and then fourth this afternoon, fighting for a podium all the way. Rea and Haslam have two points scoring races to compete in on Sundays in 2019 and in each of the races today Rea rode to what he feels were his best possible results - two runner-up places. In every race of the year so far Rea has finished second but in the final race at Motorland he really had to work for it, using all of his race craft and experience to make the most of a late opportunity to ensure his second place. Windy conditions did not help Rea's cause but he demonstrated why he is a four time World Champion by taking three second places away from the Spanish round. Haslam and his team were fully competitive for a podium finish in the final race of the weekend, pushing up to second place at one time and finishing just 0.454 seconds off another podium finish for his KRT squad. It was particularly satisfying result as it was a relatively tough weekend for Leon and his crew until the afternoon race, at a circuit which has not been one most favored by Haslam in the past. In the championship rankings, after three rounds and nine individual races, Jonathan has netted a total of 147 points and is 39 behind points leader Alvaro Bautista. Haslam is fifth overall and just five points from fourth place. The classic circuit of Assen, in the Netherlands, will host the fourth round of the championship next weekend, with track action running from the 12th to the 14th of April. Jonathan Rea, stated: "It was a tougher Sunday than I expected and the strategy was different. Especially in the sprint race, I lost a lot of rear traction at the end. We think it was a consequence of being so fast in the beginning. During the 18-lap race I decided to be calmer in the beginning but when Alex Lowes came through he had a good pace with Chaz Davies. I started to panic a little bit that maybe these guys had an extra gear. And then Leon came past, so I had to step up and really use the tire that I was conserving. My body language was a lot different at the end of the race because I really put my head down and maximized where we were strong. It looks like our bike is really creating a lot of traction in the long corners, which is positive. Our corner entry is not so bad. It was nice to see Leon in the front as well because our data becomes more relevant to compare and we can try to move the bike set-up forward together." Leon Haslam, stated: "Starting from the fourth row was not ideal in the first two races so we used the sprint race to get back into it. The team has done mega-well from really struggling on Saturday morning to being able to battle for second place for Johnny. What a turnaround. I am really happy about what we have done here and I feel quite positive. In the sprint race I did not get the best of starts but it got me a better grid position for the final race. We made some steps in being able to pass people in the last race as well." Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) ran out a remarkable eighth in the sprint race and an even better seventh in the final full distance contest today. He ended his home race weekend inside the championship top ten, with 35 points. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) was unfortunate to retire from the final race, having finished the sprint race today in tenth place. He sits 12th overall. Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) could not ride on Sunday after breaking his wrist yesterday. 2019 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017 & 20182019: Races 9, Wins 0, Podiums 9, Superpoles 1Career Race Wins: 71 (56 for Kawasaki)Career Podiums: 143 (101 for Kawasaki)Career Poles: 17 (13 for Kawasaki) Leon Haslam:2019: Races: 9, Wins 0, Podiums 2, Superpoles 0Career Race Wins: 5 (0 for Kawasaki)Career Podiums: 41 (3 for Kawasaki)Career Poles: 3 (0 for Kawasaki) 6 x Riders' Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Tom Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018), 1 x EVO Riders' Championship (David Salom 2014)4 x Manufacturers' Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017 & 2018)4 x Teams' Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018) Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship StatisticsTotal Kawasaki Race Wins: 127 – second overallTotal Kawasaki Podiums: 391 – third overallTotal Kawasaki Poles: 82 – second overall #NinjaSpirit

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Apr 7, 2019

Gonzalez Wins As Carrasco Finds No Luck At Home

The opening round of the new-look WorldSSP300 championship took place this weekend at the Spanish circuit of Motorland Aragon, with a win for Kawasaki and two podium places for the Ninja 400 in total. Spanish rider Manuel Gonzalez, only 16 years of age, took his Kawasaki ParkinGo Team to the very top step of the podium at his home race. Last year he scored three podiums in this exciting class, designed around young riders, but to record his first WorldSSP300 race win at home left the teenager from Madrid almost speechless. He had also taken pole position after Superpole Qualifying, with a new best lap of 2'06.938. Title challenger in previous seasons, Scott Deroue (Kawasaki Motoport) had a remarkable ride from 14th on the grid to third place, picking off rivals at just the right time to get him into the leading bunch in the final lap. Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec), the reigning champion, was well in the multi-rider fight for the podium places but was unlucky to fall on lap six after being hit from behind, losing the chance to start her title defense in style. Like all her competitors she will have eight more chances to go all-out for race wins, in a season that runs from Motorland in April to Losail in October. Ana, the first woman to win a full FIM World Championship in roadracing, does not leave her home round without any reward. She set a new lap record on lap two, with a 2'07.487 on her impressive run through to the leading positions. With over fifty young hopefuls trying to take ultimate glory in the FIM Supersport300 World Championship in 2019, qualifying has to be split into 'A' and 'B' groups, with the fastest few from each group being joined on the final starting grid for the race on Sunday afternoon by the top riders from a 'last chance' race on Saturday. A few talented riders needed to qualify for the grid via that last chance race route, and even some others like Deroue and Carrasco found it relatively tough in qualifying. No less than 36 riders started the 11-lap race today. Bruno Ieraci (Kawasaki GP Project) was another top ten rider at Motorland on a Ninja 400, in eighth place. Robert Schotman (Motoport Kawasaki) just missed out on the top ten places in 11th. No fewer than 11 of the top 20 riders were on Kawasaki's today. Proof of just how competitive this class is can be found in the fact that the top seven riders were covered by just 0.891 seconds at the checkered flag in Motorland. In the current championship standings, with just one race gone, Gonzales leads with 25 points, Hugo De Cancellis has 20 and Deroue 16. The next round will take place in a few days time, at Assen in the Netherlands, with race day on Sunday the 14th of April. Manuel Gonzalez, stated: "I do not have words for this race win because it was so difficult - but I enjoyed it a lot! The last lap was so tough because the slipstream in the main straight was difficult to manage. But I overtook De Cancellis in the last corner. Thanks to all in the team for the hard work they have done here. See you all at the next races."Scott Deroue, stated: "Yes it was incredible to come through for a podium. This weekend was quite hard and in qualifying I was not really good. I was not in the best place on the grid so I knew we had to something. I was just pushing, pushing - like unbelievably hard. I think this is one of my best races ever. I already won some races in this class but I think this race was the best ever." Ana Carrasco, stated: "It is a pity to not score. We had some issues in the practice sessions and I started the race from the fourth row. In the race itself I felt myself to be very fast, and comfortable, so much so that we actually set a new lap record. Some bikes had better acceleration but in braking and top speed I was super strong. In the crash two guys in front of me touched and I had to close the throttle - then someone hit me from the back. It is a shame because I am sure I could have finished on top. I just want to say thanks to all people that came to see me here at Motorland, to my team and Kawasaki. I am on the bike again in only four days, at Assen - I can't wait!" #NinjaSpirit

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Mar 17, 2019

Podiums For Rea As Haslam Fights On

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) took two more podium places today to remain in a strong second place in the WorldSBK Championship rankings after two rounds. His team-mate Leon Haslam battled hard in his return to the Chang International Circuit and recorded another two fifth places today, keeping him sixth overall. With two Sunday races to compete in at the 4.554km-long Buriram circuit, one ten lap sprint race and a second full distance contest just like the opening race on Saturday, Rea and Haslam stuck to their tasks well on their official Ninja ZX-10RRs. In finishing two seconds behind Alvaro Bautista in the early Tissot-Superpole race Rea scored nine points. He again scored a second place, by ten seconds in the final race, meaning Rea now has six runner-up spots on his 2019 record. Being hampered by a trapped nerve in his lower back all weekend Haslam, as well as having to re-learn the secrets of the Chang circuit, also scored three identical race finishes this weekend - fifth each time. The short race today was even shorter than planned, when a two-rider incident saw the red flag thrown to stop the action after two riders fell. The planned ten-lap contest became a six-lap event in the final classification. In the second 20-lap race of the weekend Rea again tried to stay in the slipstream of Bautista but ended up riding to make sure of second place, after Alex Lowes ran close behind him early on. Rea maintained his strong pace to the end and he crossed the finish line with a 2.3 second margin of advantage over Lowes. He headed Lowes by 0.4 seconds in the sprint race. In the championship rankings, Jonathan has scored 98 points and is 26 behind the lead after six individual races. Leon's overall sixth place comes thanks to his total of 51 points, 11 more than the next closest rider. There will now be a run of six European-based WorldSBK events, starting with the Spanish round at Motorland Aragon, which will be held between the fifth and the seventh of April. Jonathan Rea, stated: "The best we could hope for today was a brace of second places and we managed to achieve that, albeit with a lot of pressure from Alex in the final race. He kept really pushing, as he had in the sprint race, but I just had that little bit extra in the end of race three to go away. I want to thank my team for giving me a good bike this weekend and there is always some work to do to improve the package. I felt this weekend we struggled a little bit with front end stability, especially when the front was moving a little bit in that second part of the final race, in the sectors where I was strong. Behind my visor I was giving it 110% especially in those early laps to try and keep in the slipstream as long as I could. As soon as I lost that it was back to managing my own race. I am taking home 49 points again and we will try to build on that in Europe." Leon Haslam, stated: "It was more consistent for me in the second race today. We were running the bigger brake discs, which I did not have the best of feelings with this weekend, but in general we made a big step with the bike. I can say now that I have been suffering with a tapped nerve in my back, which flared up just before I came here, and I have had to take painkilling injections. I struggled a lot this weekend and I am glad it is over, in some ways. I need some rest and then we can start again in Aragon. I had not been to Chang for four years. It was always going to be tough with just two 50-minute sessions and going straight into it. So to get three fifth places, I am quite happy." Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) once again won a final lap duel in the long race today, with fellow Kawasaki rider Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki). Toprak was ninth in the 20-lap contest, Torres tenth. Razgatlioglu was also ninth in the sprint race. Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) placed 12th in the sprint, one place ahead of Torres, but had to retire from the final race of the Thai weekend. In the championship Toprak is ninth on 24 points, Jordi 12th with 18 and Leandro 15th with 11. 2019 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017 & 20182019: Races 6, Wins 0, Podiums 6, Superpoles 1Career Race Wins: 71 (56 for Kawasaki)Career Podiums: 140 (98 for Kawasaki)Career Poles: 17 (13 for Kawasaki) Leon Haslam:2019: Races: 6, Wins 0, Podiums 2, Superpoles 0Career Race Wins: 5 (0 for Kawasaki)Career Podiums: 41 (3 for Kawasaki)Career Poles: 3 (0 for Kawasaki) 6 x Riders' Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018), 1 x EVO Riders' Championship (David Salom 2014)4 x Manufacturers' Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017 & 2018)4 x Teams' Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018) Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship StatisticsTotal Kawasaki Race Wins: 127 – second overallTotal Kawasaki Podiums: 388 – third overallTotal Kawasaki Poles: 82 – second overall #NinjaSpirit

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Mar 17, 2019

Okubo Sixth And Mahias Eighth In Thailand

Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider Hikari Okubo finished the Buriram WorldSSP race today in a fighting sixth place, having been up as high as third in the early laps. His team-mate Lucas Mahias was eighth even though he had to start from the back of the grid at the tough 4.554km long Chang International Circuit. Equaling his career best race result of sixth for the second weekend in succession Okubo was competitive with the leading riders for most of the 17-laps, especially in the tighter sections. He dropped back slowly as the race wore on to end up only 4.599 seconds from the winning rider. After being unlucky to suffer a time penalty in the opening race in Australia recently, Lucas had to start the Buriram race from the very back of the grid. His rear tire was found to be fractionally under the minimum permissible pressure and he was made to give up his third row starting spot. The 2017 champion's pace as he made up 12 positions in one lap, and then tried to get back into contention with the leaders was such that could have achieved a stronger finishing position. He got up to eighth on lap six, and remained there until the flag, taking eight valuable championship points for his efforts. After the second race of the 12-round championship Hikari is an impressive fifth overall, with 20 points. Lucas is currently ninth with 12 points. The next round of the championship takes place at the Spanish venue of Motorland Aragon, with race day on Sunday the seventh of April. Hikari Okubo, stated: "I rode in third position for the first time in the early laps with some very strong top riders. It was very difficult to stay in that group and I had to drop behind as the race went on. A sixth position I am not happy with because my target was the top three, but the time gap was just 4.5 seconds from the winner. In the last race I was 17 seconds behind. I finished sixth there too. That is a big improvement. I need more good training and better thinking but I feel I am at a different level from the last two years. I hope I can push hard in the next European rounds." Lucas Mahias stated: "The bike was not so bad today but it was the rules that held us back after my tyre pressure was measured to be too low. I started at the back of the grid and I finished eighth. So it was impossible to finish in the front group today. I made up a lot of places, pushing for three or four laps but the group in font was two or three seconds ahead and it was finished for me." Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Against Cancer Kawasaki) finished 14th and scored two points today, while Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team Kawasaki) was 16th and Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was 18th. Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was put of contention after another rider crashed into him in the very first turn, causing Ayrton to crash. #NinjaSpirit

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Mar 13, 2019

Kawasaki Official WorldSSP 300 March Test Report

In the second week of March, Kawasaki Motors Europe (KME) exclusively hired the Almeria track in southern Spain for an official manufacturer test event welcoming the majority of its supported teams in the fiercely contested WorldSSP 300 category of WorldSBK.Playing host to six teams and an impressive 15 riders - all of whom receive support from Kawasaki Motors Europe - the two day test was designed to give each team and its riders a chance to make ready for a nine round series that is being seen as one of the closest and most exciting on the WorldSBK schedule.With no less than four Italian based teams at the event, the other two slots were filled by the Netherlands based MTM Kawasaki team who will field four riders in 2019 and the newly formed Provec team from Catalonia who have 2018 WorldSSP300 Champion, Ana Carrasco, as their pilot.Enjoying good weather and favourable track conditions across the test, the teams plus riders familiarised themselves with their race machines developed within the predicted strict guidelines laid down the series promoter, Dorna. Based on the highly popular Ninja 400, that can be purchased from any Kawasaki road bike dealer, the test was targeted byKME as an environment where the transition from road bike to racer that the teams had spent the past few months undertaking would be near completion.Ludo VanDerWeken, Manager of the MTM team commented; "It's a good start to the season and very good to have an open track situation for full days to complete our heavy testing schedule. Plus our riders can do many laps before season starts. I'm happily surprised by the already good pace of our two rookies and their serious attitude across the test"Provec team manager Jordi Caparros said the team used the test to look at a wide range of parameters. "This test has been so interesting. It has been a warm up test to know how to work together in the new team. The bike is same base last year but we forced Ana to ride with extra kilos and rev limits to learn to ride in tough regulation conditions. She has been working and training so hard in the last weeks and she feels so good on the bike; this is the most important feedback we got. We dedicate test to help her to get on-bike feeling and, of course, enjoy."For Fabien Raulo, the KME coordinator for Kawasaki teams in this fast evolving race series, a chance presented itself for teams to liaise on and off track as he explained. "We wanted to see what the riders could do for sure but also we created this official test so that teams could compare notes on things such as machine set up, team structure and the overall approach to racing with the Ninja 400. In that regard it was a great success and the riders really appreciated the chance to benchmark each other in a controlled environment."Alessio Altai of the Italian GP Project team endorsed this saying: "This was good experience for us and a good comparison with some of the best teams in WorldSSP 300. It's good to build confidence and link in the team with others. The event was well run and weather conditions were also with us so we could use this as the best way to prepare for the season ahead".A sentiment echoed by Gianluca Ruboli of Maranga Scuderia : "This test is a good chance to evaluate our level compared to more experienced teams here with the Ninja. It's also good to be in touch with other teams. For sure it's good to get a useful feedback from riders about bike preparation. We still need to work on a base set-up but this helped us make a good step in the right direction".For Eduardo Rovelli of the ParkinGo team and Marco Lobelli of the BWG by Puccetti squad the test was positive while they waited for final confirmation of the category regulations:"We came here to try the 2019 configuration even though regulations are not 100% confirmed yet, giving us some challenges in preparation of the bikes" commented Rovelli. "But otherwise, we could make some good race simulations and the riders are really bonding with the team and we got some work done on the base set-up".The sentiment was echoed by BWG by Puccetti's, Lobelli; "This test was positive. We could identify and already fix some issues. We make only 40 laps but quite efficiently and we could work on the base set-up. A good step was made here. Our next test is in Aragon. Hopefully by then we can have regulations confirmed."For the riders this was a chance for them to blow away winter cobwebs and start the business of matching themselves to other riders joining them on a packed grid for 2019."It's good to be back on the bike after winter break", said Scott Deroue of the MTM team. "I felt good immediately. After a small crash early on I was back on the bike quickly and we could catch up with the busy testing schedule. I didn't push too much. Most important was to understand potential new rule influences even though they are not fully confirmed yet and to work on our base set-up".Current World Champion in the class, Ana Carrasco declared herself: "Happy with all testing done. We worked on suspension and settings to make me feel comfortable on the bike. I think we improve again from last year".Mika Perez of Maranga Scuderia detailed his progression during the test commenting "Overall, it was very positive test for us, we improved a lot from the first day the feeling on the bike with a big step on suspension set up. On the final day we were consistent and fast, it's encouraging for the season".Looking towards the season start, Race Planning Manager for KME, Steve Guttridge was enthusiastic about the programme saying: "The Ninja 400 has to be the machine of choice in this class again for 2019. Ana took the title on the bike along with Perez and and Deroue claiming the other top medal positions in last season's World Championship! We created this supported teams test so that our official teams that could be present there, could focus on their machine and rider preparation as well as get to know one another and look forward to the season possibilities ahead. Despite not having the rules in place for sure the teams benefited from the extra investment and initiative from Kawasaki".

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Feb 24, 2019

Rea And Haslam Earn Podium Finishes

Kawasaki Racing Team riders Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam scored two podium finishes apiece in the new-look WorldSBK Sunday format at Phillip Island in Australia, with Rea second on two occasions and Haslam third each time. The first race of the final day of action was the innovative ten lap Tissot Superpole race, which gives points to the top nine riders. The result of the race also determines the top nine riders' grid positions for the final race of the weekend. Rea was second on two occasions today, and Haslam third each time, but they will only be credited with one more podium each on their official records, not two. The second Sunday race was held over 22-laps, like race one, and for full points. Rea was again second and Haslam third after an entertaining and close contest between the official Kawasaki riders, which went all the way to the flag. The new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR took Rea to the top of regular Superpole qualifying on Saturday, a new track best of 1'30.075 in the ten-lap Superpole race today and three second places in all. Jonathan has earned 49 championship points after round one, and sits 13 points behind the lead. For Haslam, two third places today were a real reward after his unlucky crash and single point score in the opening 22-lap race on Saturday. His competitive and rewarding Sunday sees him rise up the championship ranking to sixth overall, on 24 points. The second round of the 2019 WorldSBK Championship will be held at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand, with race weekend running from the 15th to the 17th of March. Jonathan Rea, stated: "We made a little change from yesterday, to make the bike a little bit calmer, and I feel we achieved that. Our race time was faster than yesterday and I am happy with the results of the weekend. I am a little bit disappointed in the classification because the gap to the front is too much. We expected a really difficult race here. I have always had to fight for results here, so to come away with three second places, a pole position and an outright fastest lap in the Superpole race; I am satisfied. Of course, there is definitely still work to do. We could not risk a bit more today than yesterday. After race one, in Parc Ferme my tire was almost the best, but I rode a slower race. Lots of other guys were having issues, so today with the temperature going up in the final race I had the same frame of min, to just trying to get to the end of the race and not abuse the tire." Leon Haslam, stated: "It was good to get on two podiums today. In the ten-lap sprint race I was a little cautious and I got caught behind the Yamahas, so I settled. I thought I had a little bit in hand to catch Jonathan in the final race. I tried to make my own rhythm for the first four laps. After this I tried to save the tire and which then created a group of five riders. It was a nice easy rhythm and I was feeling good with my pace. Johnny and I had some good passes; good battles. My plan was to go away with two laps to go, then he passed me into turn one and I ran a little wide. At the same time he went 0.4 of a second faster. I went with him and caught him up on the last lap but I felt like I had been caught out a little bit. To battle with Jonathan in my first race weekend of the year, with his record in this class, I am happy. " In the short Superpole race today Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) was 15th, and Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) 17th. Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) did not finish, after all three Kawasaki riders crashed at the same time, and only two could make it to the end. In the 22-lap final race of the weekend a strong ride from Mercado put him 11th. Torres placed 14th, for two championship points, while Razgatlioglu had a technical issue and was forced to retire. 2019 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017 & 20182019: Races 3, Wins 0, Podiums 3, Superpoles 1Career Race Wins: 71 (56 for Kawasaki)Career Podiums: 137 (95 for Kawasaki)Career Poles: 17 (13 for Kawasaki) Leon Haslam:2019: Races: 3, Wins 0, Podiums 2, Superpoles 0Career Race Wins: 5 (0 for Kawasaki)Career Podiums: 41 (3 for Kawasaki)Career Poles: 3 (0 for Kawasaki) 6 x Riders' Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018), 1 x EVO Riders' Championship (David Salom 2014)4 x Manufacturers' Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017 & 2018)4 x Teams' Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018) Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship StatisticsTotal Kawasaki Race Wins: 127 – second overallTotal Kawasaki Podiums: 385 – third overallTotal Kawasaki Poles: 82 – second overall #NinjaSpirit

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Feb 24, 2019

Sixth For Okubo At Opening Round

Kawasaki Puccetti Racing's Japanese challenger Hikari Okubo scored a career best sixth place in today's flag-to-flag WorldSSP race at Phillip Island in Australia. His new team-mate Lucas Mahias was on course for a good finish but eventually left Australia with a 12th place result in his first race for the team, after suffering a time penalty. After concerns were raised about potential tire life over the planned 18-lap race in the WorldSSP class, the teams and riders knew from early in the weekend that they would take part in a two-part race, over 16 laps, with a mandatory tire change at mid-race distance, sometime between lap six and 10. Okubo, who had qualified eighth, and top Kawasaki rider, was also to finish top Kawasaki rider in the race. He took a sixth place for the second time in his career. This being the first round of the championship, he is also in sixth place overall in the points table. Unfortunately for Mahias, his strong ride ended with a time penalty for exiting pit lane too early after his mandatory tire change. With tougher penalties in place this year he was finally given a 19.565 second penalty, putting him down in 12th place. Without this penalty he would have been fighting for at top six finish. The Kawasaki Puccetti Racing duo now head to the Chang International Circuit in Thailand for round two, to be held between the 15th and the 17th of March. Hikari Okubo, stated: "I was not so bad today because sixth position is our best finish so far. It was a very strange race because it was in two parts, with a tire change in the middle - and the conditions were hot. The high track temperatures may have caused some chattering from the bike. During the previous sessions my position was always between around fifth and eighth, so the race result was pretty much in line with the pace in practice." Lucas Mahias stated: "Today's race was a difficult one. I expected to finish in the top five and tried to do my best. I was doing OK and understanding a lot more about the bike. But I'm very angry about the penalty. I've lost a lot of points because of a small mistake. Anyway, it is Buriram next and the Thai track is normally a good one for the bike. The event is a good one with lots of fans, so we need to look ahead and focus on the next round." Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team Kawasaki) also received a time penalty for leaving pit lane too early but he finished up 14th, scoring two championship points. Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) took a single point for 15th place. Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was 17th today. #NinjaSpirit

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Feb 16, 2019

KRT Launches Official WorldSBK Team In Australia

Kawasaki unveiled its official 2019 FIM Superbike World Championship machinery and graphics at the team launch today, shortly before the opening round at Phillip Island takes place between the 22nd and the 24th of February. Kawasaki Heavy Industries' effort will once again field record-breaking four-time champion Jonathan Rea aboard the latest race specification Ninja ZX-10RR, Joining him is new signing for the new season, Leon Haslam.The new season livery and sponsor line-up was confirmed as the covers came off the Ninja ZX-10RR, with Motocard, Elf Total, Monster Energy and Showa logos prominently displayed, alongside other valued commercial and technical partners. Having won four straight championships for rider Jonathan Rea, Manufacturer Kawasaki and team Provec Racing, the overall Kawasaki heavy Industries WorldSBK effort is determined to meet the challenge of maintaining its high standards. In launching its final line-up and image in Australia this year, rather than at their home base in Barcelona as in previous seasons, KRT has already put a fresh spin on its approach as the excitement builds towards another new season at the highest level of production-derived racing. Mr Shigemi Tanaka, Managing Director of Kawasaki Motors Australia, led the speakers on the night as the latest product of KHI's passion for racing was unveiled to a waiting world, both on site and to the world through live streaming via the Internet. With winter testing ended in Europe at the end of January, there will now be two days of official tests for all WorldSBK competitors, at Phillip Island between Monday the 18th and Tuesday the 19th of February. With a new format to race weekend in 2019, featuring three WorldSBK races and not two, the first round of the new season will be truly historic even before it wraps up on Sunday the 24th of February. Jonathan Rea, champion for the past four seasons, stated: "KRT always push the boat out when it comes to launching the new colors and it is the first time you see your final bike in the flesh. Everything is real and now we turn the page to 2019. Alpinestars have done a great job with my leathers as well. I changed my number 1 plate a little bit too, incorporating some new logos. It is nice to do the launch here in Australia, and so close to the first race weekend." Leon Haslam, stated: "To be part of such a professional team, and to see the manufacturer itself and Kawasaki Australia putting on such a massive show, is fantastic. They are really getting behind it. I just want to get going now. The launch and all the things around it are exciting but now I just want to get on track to ride the new bike." Mr Shigemi Tanaka, Managing Director of Kawasaki Motors Australia, stated: "It is indeed an honour to have the unveiling of the 2019 Kawasaki Racing Team here at Phillip Island and for Kawasaki Motors Australia to be hosting this important event. Three times in the past it has been my pleasure to speak at these launch events on behalf of both Kawasaki Motors Europe and Kawasaki Heavy industries. Now with Jonathan Rea as a four-time world champion on the Ninja ZX-10RR it is a nice coincidence that this is now my fourth time to speak, this time on behalf of Kawasaki Motors Australia and Kawasaki Heavy Industries. The theme today is Ganbarou – we will face our challenges and try harder. In 1995 a devastating earthquake hit Kobe, close to the Kawasaki manufacturing plant in Akashi. It was a difficult time but we said "Ganbarou" – we will face our challenges with a smile and we will rebuild we will try harder and do our best. For the Kawasaki Racing Team 2018 was one of our most difficult years so far. We were under huge pressure. The fans and media naturally expected more championship success, yet our Ninja ZX-10RR was a victim of its own success as new rules were adopted to help other teams reach the high level of Kawasaki. Our Ninja Spirit – and the dedication of the team, loyal fans and riders – saw us prevail with a fourth consecutive world title for Jonathan Rea plus another manufacturer and team title. This is the racing definition of Ganbarou – we will compete and, whatever the circumstances, we will try our best." Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, stated : "Last year we faced the challenge of new technical rules that we feel constrained our performances. Nevertheless, we succeeded in winning the Riders', Manufacturers' and Teams' world titles in a very successful year. For this year these rules are still maintained but we're prepared. We have a bike with a new more capable engine and we have reinforced our technical and human assets to take advantage of this. We also welcome a new rider in Leon Haslam, who has been making big steps in the Winter Tests. We think makes a great pairing with Jonathan Rea, who has offered us so much in all terms. At KRT we think riders are the spearhead of our effort. All the team is geared towards bringing them the best weapons because, once the lights go out, it's all in their hands. They are the magicians that make dreams possible. Together, we'll do our best." Biel Roda, KRT's Marketing and PR Director, stated: "The support of our main partners has been crucial. Showa now joins our main partners list along with Monster Energy, Elf and Motocard. Motocard has been supporting Provec Racing since the very first days, back in 2006. It is, one of the biggest online shops for motorcycling gear in Europe and they have always funded the sport. The same goes for Elf: you all know the large racing heritage of this lubricant brand, which has very strong commercial ties with Kawasaki and supply us with magnificent products to increase our performance since the very beginning of the KRT adventure in Superbike racing. Monster Energy joined us in 2015, you all know Monster, more than just an energy drink, it's a lifestyle; thanks also for making us part of this cool attitude to racing."

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Jan 28, 2019

Rea Fastest As Haslam Goes Fourth

Kawasaki Racing Team riders Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam have now completed the European-based legs of their winter testing program, with Rea setting the fastest lap and Haslam ending another successful test fourth overall. After a positive test at a partially resurfaced Jerez just a few days ago the entire KRT team arrived at Portimao ready for two more days of action, at what is a very different track design and layout from its Spanish equivalent. Undulating and featuring many blind corners, Portimao is an exciting track for the riders and almost unique in terms of its character compared to the other WorldSBK circuits. This outing was the first opportunity for Haslam to ride his official Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR at the 4.592km track near the Algarve coast. Portimao features as a round of the championship itself again this year, in early September, which added another layer of significance to the final days of the European winter test season. Rea tried out a qualifying rear tire to set a best lap earlier today and then went out again and bettered it, to leave with an untouchable 1'40.885 lap time. He was almost a second faster than the second quickest rider Alex Lowes. A late fall on his very last lap, shortly after performing a practice start, left Rea uninjured and fully ready to take on the next challenges in Australia. Haslam's best lap of the test was a 1'42.144, set on a qualifying tire. His impressive best time on a race tire was only just 0.1 seconds slower, after he got interrupted when going for a final quick lap on a Q tire. Rea and Haslam also had the first chance to use the new Pirelli SCX rear tire, designed for the new initiative of a ten lap Sunday morning 'sprint' race in WorldSBK, which will feature in addition to the traditional full distance races on Saturday and Sunday. With the new Ninja ZX-10RR having been tested by Rea and Haslam at three different tracks now, on four different occasions in all, the results have been positive for both riders and Kawasaki technical staff. The next track sessions will be the official organizers' tests at Phillip Island in Australia, shortly before the first round of the championship. The final preseason tests will take place on Monday the 18th and Tuesday the 19th of February. Jonathan Rea, stated: "It has been a super-positive test. We came from the Jerez and I was still understanding the bike and the asphalt there. It made it difficult to understand the work we had done over the winter. But coming here we had quite a neutral platform to work with and a lot of data. Although the temperatures did not get into a perfect operating window it gave us a consistent effort over two days. We confirmed the chassis items we tested at Jerez, and electronically we worked a bit better. We started to work on our race performance. I was really happy with how I felt with a lot of laps on the tire compared to last this time last year. I got to try a qualifier at the end of the day and that felt quite good and I was really fast with it. This test ticked every box, just a couple of little items we could have re-checked and gone over. But the priorities were done and we got to try some new Pirelli tires as well." Leon Haslam, stated: "A good test for us and we made a step with the lap time. I made a 1'42.2 with a race tire, which I was really happy with. I did not get any benefit from using the soft tire mainly because with the first chance to go faster there was a red flag and for the second one I got rained on. I never really got a chance to go for one lap again. That was a little bit frustrating but on the race tire times I was really happy. I made some good steps and tried a few things, including a different front tire for the first time, which I felt was a bit better. We only had one of them so I could not put it toward an even better lap time. But I was consistently in the 1'42s, so I am pretty happy with things." Pere Riba, Crew Chief for Jonathan Rea, stated: "I am really happy because we have been improving since yesterday morning. Here we confirmed some items that were on the list, mainly with the balance of the chassis. The new engine has a small difference in the character on corner entry or corner exit, and the revs are different, which also changes the character a bit. This also affects the chassis and we tried to put it all together. Honestly speaking we made a step forward and Johnny was flying. On the race tires we made a lot of laps and after many laps it was we were still doing very strong times. The tire wear was good and overall everything was very good." Marcel Duinker, Crew Chief for Leon Haslam, stated: "I am very satisfied because this was the final day before moving to Phillip Island. We managed to do a 1'42.2 on race tires, and not in the first lap, after a couple of laps. We made some progress on set-up for the Portimao race weekend but that is not just what we were here for. We are here to improve the base machine and introduce some items that we tested already in Jerez, and reconfirmed at this track. Leon feels happy with his bike. Of course we know that this is a very special track, not the average racetrack we face during the season. You can try to make a base set-up here but it is just a waste of time. A good lap and consistency on race tire means we are ready for Phillip Island and I am looking forward to it." 2018 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017 & 20182018: Races 25, Wins 17, Podiums 22, Superpoles 2Career Race Wins: 71 (56 for Kawasaki)Career Podiums: 134 (92 for Kawasaki)Career Poles: 16 (12 for Kawasaki) Leon Haslam:2018: Races: 4, Wins 0, Podiums 0, Superpoles 0Career Race Wins: 5 (0 for Kawasaki)Career Podiums: 39 (1 for Kawasaki)Career Poles: 3 (0 for Kawasaki) 6 x Riders' Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018), 1 x EVO Riders' Championship (David Salom 2014)4 x Manufacturers' Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017 & 2018)4 x Teams' Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018) Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship StatisticsTotal Kawasaki Race Wins: 127 – second overallTotal Kawasaki Podiums: 380 – third overallTotal Kawasaki Poles: 81 – second overall #NinjaSpirit

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Nov 15, 2018

First Winter Test Complete For KRT

New KRT riding line-up Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam completed their first winter test sessions on the 2019 Ninja ZX-10RR at Motorland Aragon, with Rea going fastest of all and Haslam working well during his first contact with his new team.On a dry first day of testing, on Wednesday the 14th of November, four-time WorldSBK champion Rea demonstrated some serious pace to set a best lap time of 1'49.668, drawing an impressive early line in the sand for others to match. New inductee to the KRT squad Leon Haslam was in confident and positive mood on his full-time return to the WorldSBK paddock, improving with every session on day one before wet weather prevented any track action on day two. Rea's technical crew used this test to make back-to-back comparisons between the 2018 and 2019 official WorldSBK machines, with Rea stating that he feels there is a lot of potential in the new bike already. Rea set his fastest lap times on the 2019 machine. BSB champion Haslam worked between two base settings on his 2019 WorldSBK spec machines, making one clear choice of direction but then losing some track time to a minor technical issue just after lunch. Leon still set an impressive 1'51.479 lap on his first day back in the paddock he knows well from his earlier WorldSBK career. Rains arrived early today and continuing throughout, so the decision was made not to take to the track. Jerez de la Frontera in Spain will be the venue for the final KRT test before the winter break, with track sessions scheduled for the 26th and the 27th of November. Jonathan Rea, stated: "Day two of our test was cut short by wet weather so we were not able to refine the base set-up of our new 2019 Ninja ZX-10RR - but first impressions were positive after back-to-back tests with the 2018 machine. It is clear that the potential of the 2019 bike is much higher. To achieve that potential we need to delve into more set-up changes and that will require more time. It needs a bit more of a base setting because the new engine character has more power and more potential, especially under acceleration and on the brakes. That requires a little bit of a different riding style, so I need to understand that together with all my crew, in the next weeks. It was a simple back-to-back test here but in Jerez we can start to test more items with the chassis, electronics and some engine components." Leon Haslam, stated: "The test was positive and I am getting to know all the guys in the team. We missed some track time on the opening day, but even then it could have not gone any better. We got quicker each time we went out and the pace was quite competitive, considering we were not looking for that. We were just evaluating and understanding things. We are taking it step-by-step and we have another two days at Jerez to test again before the winter break. So far, so good." Pere Riba, Crew Chief for Jonathan Rea, stated: "Our test was good. With our new engine upgrade we have some new parts and it 'talks' differently to the rider. That needs time for us to understand how to give the best to Johnny, especially in terms of feeling. Apart from that, his lap times were really fast and we have already collected positive information. It is a shame that is was raining today and we decided not to test in the wet. All the items we needed to try need dry conditions, or else you cannot understand them properly." Marcel Duinker, Crew Chief for Leon Haslam, stated: "I was very happy and confident from the very beginning of the tests. We have a BSB champion in our house with a lot of experience on different bikes, different championships and different tyres. Day one went very well. We had two different bike set-ups to put us in the correct direction for chassis development. He clearly chose one of them and with some minor changes towards the end of day one, Leon was in the ballpark with our closest competition, who had won several races in the past few years. So from this point of view I am very happy, but unfortunately day two was wet. After this single day on track and with the positive results, we are confident we will continue doing well in Jerez." 2018 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017 & 20182018: Races 25, Wins 17, Podiums 22, Superpoles 2Career Race Wins: 71 (56 for Kawasaki)Career Podiums: 134 (92 for Kawasaki)Career Poles: 16 (12 for Kawasaki) Leon Haslam:2018: Races: 4, Wins 0, Podiums 0, Superpoles 0Career Race Wins: 5 (0 for Kawasaki)Career Podiums: 39 (1 for Kawasaki)Career Poles: 3 (0 for Kawasaki) 6 x Riders' Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018), 1 x EVO Riders' Championship (David Salom 2014)4 x Manufacturers' Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017 & 2018)4 x Teams' Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018) Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship StatisticsTotal Kawasaki Race Wins: 127 – second overallTotal Kawasaki Podiums: 380 – third overallTotal Kawasaki Poles: 81 – second overall #NinjaSpirit

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Sep 29, 2018

Rea Takes Four Of A Kind Championship Win

Jonathan Rea (KRT) secured a famous fourth FIM Superbike World Championship title at Magny Cours today by winning his 13th race of the season on his Ninja ZX-10RR. Rea is the second rider to have won four WorldSBK titles, but the only rider to have won four in succession. Tom Sykes (KRT) was a strong second in the 21-lap race, having earlier set a new track record while earning his 47th career Superpole win. With Sykes and Rea 1-2 after Superpole, and both well under the existing lap record, the KRT duo took the race to their competitors from the start line. Rea passed Sykes early in the race, into the Estoril corner, and he ran up front from then on, sometimes at lap record pace. Rea set a 1'37.152 on his eighth tour of the 4.411km circuit to score his new lap record. Rea's win gave him 130 podiums in WorldSBK, bringing him level to the all time record, which he now shares with Troy Corser. On the slowdown lap Rea celebrated his championship win with a game of cards against three of his own 'alter egos', wearing his racing suits and crash helmets representing each of Rea's championship winning season with KRT, from 2015 onward. Sykes, who has now recovered well from a training injury in the long summer break, pushed as hard as he could to stay in contention with Rea. He had to settle for second place after almost losing the front more than once, but recorded his first podium since Brno in July. In the current championship points, Rea has 445 points, Chaz Davies 315, Michael van der Mark 293 and Sykes 260. One more race remains at Magny Cours, on Sunday the 30th of September. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was eighth today, Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) 14th, Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) 15th and Jeremy Guarnoni (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) 17th. Jonathan Rea, stated: "It is absolutely incredible to win four. Sometimes even after winning back-to-back championships, or three in a row I have to say it is hard to find words to speak about what you have just done. It is like we are riding the wave now with our Ninja ZX-10RR, with incredible people around me. Whilst I always dreamed of being in this position I never thought it to was realistic. It was so fitting that Guim, the team manager, allowed my dad to come and collect the team award on the podium. I got really choked up when he came up because it just reminded me of growing up in Northern Ireland and traveling all round with my parents to motocross races. Then getting my first pro ride in roadracing, and my parents letting go. But they have always had my back. So that was super-nice. Pere and my team gave me a great bike this weekend and the target was clear. We have been in this position before, so there was no kind of nervousness or anxiety around, it was really positive energy. On track Fabien has been analyzing what we can do and the team worked super-hard all weekend to get the best out of the bike when the tire was dropping. In the hot conditions, at the end of the race, that is what we worked towards today. The feeling with the bike just kept coming and I was able to knock it off on the last lap and take it all in. I was aware of the crowd there and what I was about to achieve so that last lap there I thought about winning the championship. It is incredible, and incredible journey." Tom Sykes, stated: "Not a bad day but I am slightly disappointed that we suffered a little bit during the race. I settled into a good rhythm but when I wanted to attack, we missed it. I have spoken to the boys and I think we know what it is. I certainly enjoyed that race. When I tried to push I lost the front a couple of times. I am happy with the way the race went today, with this in mind. I am excited and motivated for tomorrow. I think we can improve our set-up a little bit. We need to start from the third row so it is all about a little bit of aggression. Today is a day for Jonathan Rea. He has had four fantastic years, kind of flawless years, and he has pushed very hard and made a very good job. Congratulations to him, his family and his side of the garage. Tomorrow we will have a go and try to win." 2018 KRT Rider StatisticsJonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016 & 20172018: Races 21, Wins 13, Podiums 18, Superpoles 2Career Race Wins: 67 (52 for Kawasaki)Career Podiums: 130 (88 for Kawasaki)Career Poles: 16 (12 for Kawasaki) Tom Sykes: World Champion 20132018: Races: 21, Wins 1, Podiums 7, Superpoles 5Career Race Wins: 34 (34 for Kawasaki)Career Podiums: 107 (106 for Kawasaki)Career Poles: 47 (47 for Kawasaki) 6 x Riders' Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018), 1 x EVO Riders' Championship (David Salom 2014)3 x Manufacturers' Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017)3 x Teams' Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016 & 2017) Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship StatisticsTotal Kawasaki Race Wins: 123 – second overallTotal Kawasaki Podiums: 374 – third overallTotal Kawasaki Poles: 80 – second overall #NinjaSpirit #RE4CH4MP

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Aug 24, 2018

Rea And KRT On Top After Portimao Test

Jonathan Rea proved to be the fastest rider after two days of testing at Portimao, having secured the quickest lap time of 1'41.192 on his Ninja ZX-10RR. Rea rode on his own inside the official Kawasaki WorldSBK team at this test after his fellow KRT rider Tom Sykes was forced to withdraw due to a recent ankle injury. Under varying track conditions across both days, from the relative cool of the morning to over 50°C in the afternoon, Rea and his crew worked on both preparations for the forthcoming race at Portimao and new set-up ideas and options for the future. The team also worked with new Pirelli tires, with both the larger diameter rear and front options, to help continue the overall development program with WorldSBK's single tire supplier. Rea's sheer speed was unmatched at this official test, with the three-time champion going 0.948 seconds faster than the second-placed rider. He also went under both the Superpole and race lap record lap times. With the mid-season testing program now complete the tenth round of the 2018 FIM Superbike World Championship will take place between the 14th and 16th of September. Rea will be aiming to extend his already impressive championship lead. Tom Sykes is working to be fit in time to compete at Portimao. Jonathan Rea, stated: "It was super-hot at this test but we were able to finish with a good lap time and still put in a consistent level of pace even in hot conditions. It was 53°C on track yesterday and the air temperatures was in the mid 30s. It was good to get re-acquainted with this bike after riding in the Suzuka 8-hour race in Japan. We did not get as many laps in yesterday as we did today, as we made a big change in the middle of the session. We tried some chassis balance items, to create more stability when entering corners. We started at 9am this morning, when they opened the track, and we also got through some Pirelli tires that we had to test. We finished all the work we had to do before the end of the sessions. The finer set-up details for a race weekend can always be dependent on the grip levels of the track, so we will do that when we come back here for the next round." Pere Riba, Jonathan Rea's Crew Chief, stated: "This was a very good test for us. Maybe it sounds like we always say that, but it is true. Even though Johnny came here from the Suzuka 8-Hour race, where he was using a different spec of bike and tires, he jumped straight onto his WorldSBK bike and right away he was very good. In Portimao he is always very fast as he really likes this track. Pirelli brought some rear tyre options, and we also worked with new big front tyre we used in Misano. In addition, we worked to understand our best set-up for the Portimao race weekend, some new set-ups for this year's championship and for 2019. There were some upgrades that made us go forward and Johnny showed that he is at a very high level also."Other KME-supported teams were in attendance at the Portimao test, with Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) 12th fastest, Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Racing Kawasaki) 14th, Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) 16th and Yonny Hernandez (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) 17th. 2018 KRT Rider StatisticsJonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016 & 20172018: Races 18, Wins 10, Podiums 15, Superpoles 2Career Race Wins: 64 (49 for Kawasaki)Career Podiums: 127 (85 for Kawasaki)Career Poles: 16 (12 for Kawasaki) Tom Sykes: World Champion 20132018: Races: 18, Wins 1, Podiums 6, Superpoles 4Career Race Wins: 34 (34 for Kawasaki)Career Podiums: 106 (105 for Kawasaki)Career Poles: 46 (46 for Kawasaki) 5 x Riders' Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016 & 2017), 1 x EVO Riders' Championship (David Salom 2014)3 x Manufacturers' Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017)3 x Teams' Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016 & 2017) Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship StatisticsTotal Kawasaki Race Wins: 120 – second overallTotal Kawasaki Podiums: 370 – third overallTotal Kawasaki Poles: 79 – second overall #NinjaSpirit

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