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Sep 20, 2016

Podium for Staring and the Ninja ZX-10R at a Wet Lausitzring

Press release provided by Kawasaki EuropePodium for Staring and the Ninja ZX-10R at a Wet LausitzringAt a wet and cool Lausitzring on Sunday afternoon Bryan Staring (Agro-on Benjan Kawasaki) recovered from 19th place on the grid to take magnificent second place in the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup race. On what proved to be a less than ideal overall set-up for the wet conditions, pole position starter Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) slid down the order and crashed out on lap four.The 11-lap Superstock race proved to be a tremendous return to track action for Australian Bryan Staring after a motocross training accident broke his leg before the Imola round in May, causing him to miss the majority of the season. His comeback ride found him on a strong wet set-up which he used all his experience and the wide capabilities of the Ninja ZX-10R to the great effect for second place. His German result equaled the best result of the season for a Kawasaki rider and put him up to 13th overall in the standings.Jeremy Guarnoni (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was the top rider in the battle behind the podium places and secured fourth in the tricky weather conditions. He left Germany in fifth place in the championship as the top ranked Kawasaki rider, with 46 points.As well as two of the top four machines in Germany being 2016 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10Rs, eight of the top 20 finishers at Lausitzring were also Kawasaki runners.Wayne Tessels (MTM / HS Kawasaki) got into the points for 12th place and the last point on offer was taken by local rider Toni Finsterbusch (BCC-Racing Team Kawasaki), for 15th. American Bobby Fong (Agro-on Benjan Kawasaki) just missed out on a point in 16th place.Two rounds remain in the championship, the first of which takes place on Sunday 2 October, at Magny Cours in France.Bryan Staring, stated: "This podium means a lot to me, for a lot of reasons. I am very happy as I came from 19th on the grid. The injury this year has been the most difficult of my life and there was a lot of time spent sitting on the couch thinking about racing, and what I could come back to. It has been a long time for me with no results but sometimes the weather, like today, can change everything and give you a result. It is really enjoyable for me and I am happy to have another podium. For what is going to be my last year in Europe I am happy to make this podium and a big result today. Thanks so much to my team who kept believing in me throughout the gap in my season and for giving me such a great bike in the wet.

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Sep 18, 2016

Contrasting Fortunes for Kawasaki Racing Team Riders Sykes and Rea

Press release provided by Kawasaki EuropeContrasting Fortunes for Kawasaki Racing Team Riders Sykes and ReaWith Tom Sykes finishing the first race of the Lausitzring weekend in second place, and his team-mate Jonathan Rea crashing out after finding a false neutral in the entry to a turn, it was a day of diverging fortunes for the official Kawasaki WorldSBK riders.Early in the 21-lap first race Sykes was sitting second and Rea third on their Ninja ZX-10Rs, having started second and sixth on the grid respectively. Rea had to qualify out of Superpole 1 in order to join the top 12 riders in the second Superpole contest, but did so with ease and ended up in a second row starting position.A dry race unfolded after a wet track surface had welcomed the riders in the final free practice session, and Superpole 1, earlier in the day. As Sykes set about trying to keep pace with runaway race winner Chaz Davies, Rea was settling into his rhythm behind.Sykes held a good pace to the end to make sure he kept second place from a closing Nicky Hayden but a gear change issue on lap seven saw Rea run wide on corner entry, at turn ten, and then crash out as his bike re-engaged gear, suddenly regaining rear traction.With Rea and Sykes 1-2 in the championship before the Lausitzring weekend had begun they enter the second and final day in the same order, but with Rea's points advantage now reduced to 26.In the Manufacturers' Championship Kawasaki still has a very healthy leading advantage, now set at 90 points.One more 21-lap race will take place on Sunday 18th, again at 13.00 CET, before the championship heads to France for the 11th round at Magny Cours in early October.Tom Sykes, stated: "I feel we have had an acceptable race. For sure not perfect but second position compared to many others is fairly good. I would like to say a big thank you to Marcel, Danilo and my side of the garage because I feel we achieved the best we could in the short time available. We had no previous data reference here and we were able to make a good race. We had to experiment a lot and I think we found an acceptable set-up. Not perfect, because ten seconds to the lead is quite a gap, but I was able to react to my pit board with Nicky Hayden sitting behind me. Tomorrow we need to find a bike set-up where I can do the lap times a little bit more easily. Today I was missing some apexes and tomorrow we need to try and iron that out. There is a lot of pressure at this time of the season and we have seemed to find some kind of momentum, so we have to build on that."Jonathan Rea, stated: "It is a very disappointing way to end the first race. After a difficult start to the weekend we had been managing quite well. I had a good start and settled into a rhythm behind Tom, but Chaz Davies' pace saw him in a different race. I found a false neutral entering turn 10 and tried to get it into first gear before the corner. Right at the exit of the track it went into first gear and highsided. I was not injured in the crash. This is the first time that my Alpinestars air-bag race suit has been called on to go off, so I was happy to be protected by that. Yesterday we did not have the pace but we made changes today. Now we will think about what we need to do to improve the bike a little again tomorrow. I need to understand what the bike needs now, especially under acceleration. It is a frustrating way to end the first race day but we still have the championship lead, which is important. We will come out and fight another day."Anthony West (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) came close to a top ten race ranking in 11th place on his Ninja ZX-10R. Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) also scored points as he finished 13th. Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Kawasaki) was one place away from scoring a point, 16th. A jump-start penalty saw Gianluca Vizziello (Grillini Racing Team) finish a lap down on the leaders and Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Racing Team) had a DNF today.

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Sep 18, 2016

Rea Makes Return to Winning Form as Sykes Finds Misfortune

Press release provided by Kawasaki EuropeRea Makes Return to Winning Form as Sykes Finds MisfortuneAfter experiencing very different fortunes on the first race day at the Lausitzring Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes once again posted a contrasting set of results on Sunday. Rea convincingly won a wet 16-lap race this time around but Sykes finished 12th, after falling and then restarting from the back of the field.As the KRT duo lined up for the start of race two, scheduled for 13.00 CET, the heavens opened and the start was delayed to allow for a change to a wet race set-up. Another delay came after standing water and visibility issues came to light on the sighting lap. The eventual start of the race, at 13.47, was for a 16-lap contest and not the planned 21.Both official Ninja ZX-10R riders made good starts in the rain but before the first lap was finished Sykes had slid off under braking, one of many fallers in the tricky conditions.Rea took his chance to lead with both hands and pushed on at a fast pace, one that none of his peers could match in the wet conditions. He was to win by almost ten seconds, even slowing up on the final straight to celebrate his ninth win of the year.Sykes set about moving back into the points scoring positions with great determination and pushed to the very last to make sure he got every available point after his early stroke of bad luck.In the championship Jonathan leads with 393 points from Tom's 346, making for a points differential of 47. Kawasaki is now 99 points in the lead in the Manufacturers' Championship.The next round takes place at Magny Cours in France, with race days on 1st and 2nd October.Jonathan Rea, stated: "It feels like probably the most important win of my career so far. I felt that after yesterday and Laguna our backs were against the wall. In morning warm-up I began to feel good with the bike again after we had made some positive set-up changes. When we saw the rain coming on the grid we had to completely change to a wet set-up. It was one of those positions that with me leading the championship I had a lot to lose - but a lot to gain as well. I took my chance and put my head down from the start. I really felt good with the bike so I have to thank all my crew because last night my bike was not in a great way. They worked really late, and meticulously, to make sure the bike was perfect. To reward them with this result means I am really happy. So this is for my mechanics that have worked so hard and also for Pere and Paolo, who gave me such a good wet bike set-up."Tom Sykes, stated: "I think it was probably a rider issue for my crash today, as the bike set-up was not working well and I think I overstepped the mark in the first race. We need to find a small set-up improvement in the dry but much more in the wet. That is not so good in one respect but I also know I can win races in the wet. It is just finding the correct balance and feedback for the rider and at this moment I do not have it in those conditions. I am sure we can find it. In racing everything is possible and everything turns on its head so fast. Yesterday I was 26 points from the lead and today 47. The positive is that over the last three races the points gap is now at 47 but three races ago it was at 71. We still have three rounds remaining."Other Kawasaki riders found both good and bad luck in the wet conditions that arrived for race two. Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) was ninth, which puts him 14th in the championship after ten rounds. Anthony West (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was looking good for a very strong finish until he fell from fifth place, on lap seven. West is 17th in the series. Gianluca Vizziello (Grillini Racing Team) was pipped on the line by Sykes and finished 13th. Neither Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Kawasaki) nor Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Racing Team) finished the second race.

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Sep 18, 2016

Fifth Race Win for Championship Leader Sofuoglu

Press release provided by Kawasaki EuropeFifth Race Win for Championship Leader SofuogluFIM Supersport World Championship points leader Kenan Sofuoglu moved even further ahead in the standings with his fifth race win of the 2016 season, and the 37th of his long WorldSSP career. Kenan's Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team-mate Randy Krummenacher was sixth today, pushing for all 19-laps but unable to challenge for a final podium position at the end.Starting from pole on his Ninja ZX-6R, Sofuoglu was quick away from the lights but young Finnish rider Niki Tuuli led the first two laps until Sofuoglu passed him and controlled the race from the front. Sofuoglu had Tuuli for company for almost the whole 19 laps but reasserted his leading position in the final few circuits, despite making a less than ideal tire choice in what were cool race day conditions.Kenan's final margin of victory was 1.757 seconds, placing him into an even more impressive championship lead over his nearest title challenger, and his own team-mate, Krummenacher.Krummenacher, starting from the second row of the grid, used up his rear tire in the early laps and as a consequence went from fourth to an eventual sixth.After the nine of 12 rounds Sofuoglu has 171 points and Krummenacher 118, for an advantage of 53. Randy is now nine points ahead of the third place rider, PJ Jacobsen.The next WorldSSP round takes place at the French circuit of Magny Cours, with race day on Sunday October 2nd.Kenan Sofuoglu, stated: "I had a very good pace but after six or seven laps I had a real grip problem, so much spinning and vibration. We chose a different rear tyre option, the harder one; to have an easier full race pace, but it did not happen the way we expected. But no problem. I think the change in temperature was our problem because we had not run in these cooler conditions before, so I think that is why we had a problem on the rear grip. It was important to manage this race well and we did today. It was important for us to take the 25 points and I kept pushing to the end. I was thinking that if I won today it would help a lot in Magny Cours, at the next round. It was very important to win this race so I am very happy and very proud to give my team another win."Randy Krummenacher, stated: "I felt very strong at the beginning. Then I think I really used the rear tire way too much, so I lost out in the last few laps. I had really zero grip any more on the rear. I just somehow managed to finish the race. Of course sixth place is not what I wanted but we have to analyse it and make it better in Magny Cours. Not testing here or not having ridden here for many years did not help me all weekend because it was in general one of the hardest weekends, but we look forward and will make it better in Magny Cours."ESS Kawasaki rider Illia Mikhalchik (DS Junior Team Kawasaki) scored points for 14th place in the race, winning the ESS race category. Axel Bassani (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) was 15th but his team-mate Alessandro Zaccone (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) crashed out of contention. Full series regular Christian Gamarino (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) finished in 19th place.

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Sep 13, 2016

Fong and the Ninja® ZX™-10R End the Season on Top

Foothill Ranch, CA (September 13, 2016) – Bobby Fong and the Latus Motors Racing Kawasaki team arrived at New Jersey Motorsports Park this weekend for the final round of the 2016 AMA/FIM MotoAmerica series looking to earn second place in the series championship aboard his Ninja® ZX™-10R.The No. 50 Ninja ZX-10R qualified second on the grid, a position that allowed Fong to execute his game plan to get out front early and stay there until the finish. The first race got underway in brutally hot conditions, but Fong was able to save himself until the fight at the finish. As he took the white flag Fong sat third. He immediately made the pass for second and then grabbed the lead just before the checkered flag, giving Fong the Superstock win and fifth overall. At the beginning of the second race Fong knew exactly what it was going to take to win, launching off the line and quickly cementing himself among the Superbikes, well ahead of the rest of the Superstock field. Fong held that position for the length of the race, comfortably taking the Superstock win and fourth overall. His double victory moved Fong into second place in the Superstock Championship."Bookending the season with another double win gives me a gigantic confidence boost," said Fong. "I didn't start the weekend where I wanted but I pushed through it and qualified second. The first race was a battle to the bitter end in sweltering heat, I can't tell you how good it felt to make two passes on the last lap and take the win. In the second race I was done messing around, got up front with the Superbikes and stayed there for the whole race. Taking my second double win of the season is great and it put me second in the championship which is even better. I had a great year and can't wait for 2017. Now I'm off to compete in this weekend's race at EuroSpeedway Lausitz in Germany, where I will be filling in for a Kawasaki Superstock 1000 team. My goal for the weekend is to be the top Kawasaki Superstock rider on the track and continue to show the world what an awesome bike the Ninja is."

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Aug 1, 2016

A Letdown for SRC and a Podium Place for Team Green

Press release provided by Kawasaki EuropeA Letdown for SRC and a Podium Place for Team GreenThe Suzuka 8 Hours threw up mixed results for Kawasaki. Team Green's factory Kawasaki finished second, but Team Kawasaki SRC, a world title contender, threw in the towel.Bad luck is dogging the heels of Team Kawasaki SRC, which was forced to withdraw after being in the top 10 for the first six hours at the Suzuka 8 Hours. Gregory Leblanc, Matthieu Lagrive and Jérémy Guarnoni were psyched to take on this challenging race with a ZX-10R 2016 still undergoing fine-tuning. Starting from their post-qualifying 21st place on the grid, they had steered their way skilfully up to 10th place when a rear wheel axle broke, bringing the Kawasaki SRC bike to a standstill and forcing them to withdraw."We're obviously very disappointed, because we raced perfectly for six hours with all the means at our disposal to fight it out at Suzuka," says Gilles Stafler, team manager of Team Kawasaki SRC. "But other teams who, like us, are in the running for the world title also had problems, so we won't lose ground in the provisional standings. The Oschersleben 8 Hours in end-August will be the clincher."Kawasaki did get on the podium at Suzuka, though, thanks to the Team Green riders Akira Yanagawa, Leon Haslam and Kazuki Watanabe. Team Green finished second behind the factory Yamaha. It's the first time since 2009 that Kawasaki has secured a podium at the Suzuka 8 Hours. Back then, Eva RT Trick Star was on the second step. This year the Japanese privateer finished 7th at Suzuka. Another Kawasaki also made it into the top 20: Team Bolliger Switzerland, with riders Horst Saiger, Michael Savary and Gianluca Vizziello, finished 15th.The final round of the FIM EWC championship, the Oschersleben 8 Hours, will be held on Saturday 27 August.

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Jul 11, 2016

Sykes Wins as Rea Retires from Second Laguna Race

Press release provided by Kawasaki EuropeSykes Wins as Rea Retires from Second Laguna RaceA battling and front-running win from Kawasaki Racing Team rider Tom Sykes gave him his fifth race victory of the season on the latest model Ninja ZX-10R, in what was a shortened 21-lap Sunday Superbike World Championship race. Championship leader Jonathan Rea (KRT) retired from the race on lap six after experiencing a technical issue, recording his first no-score of the season.After the first attempt at running the second WorldSBK race of the Laguna weekend was stopped by a red flag incident the shortened restart provided a spectacular contest for the fans. After Rea had dropped back from the lead after running wide, and then retired a short while later, it was a straight fight between 2013 world champion Tom Sykes and two chasing Ducati riders.Despite constant pressure from behind Sykes kept the lead from lap three onwards to record his fifth win of 2016, and the 31st of his career. He was 0.209 seconds ahead of Davide Giugliano and 0.786 seconds in front of third place rider Chaz Davies.Sykes has now won as many WorldSBK races as double champion Colin Edwards and is equal sixth in the all-time race winners' rankings.Rea, who won the first Laguna race on Saturday from his team-mate Sykes, approaches the long summer break with his championship lead reduced to a still-healthy 46 points. In the Manufacturers' Standings Kawasaki leads by 95 points, with four rounds to go.In the Riders' Championship Rea leads with 368, Sykes has 322 and Davies 260.The end of the Laguna Seca weekend will lead to the start of the long summer break in the WorldSBK calendar. The German circuit of Lausitzring will host the tenth round of the championship, which will be held between 16th and 18th September.Tom Sykes, stated: "That was quite exciting and I had a lot of pressure from the Ducati riders all race long. We struggled with edge grip today so I had to change my a little bit to defend my line. It destroyed the lap time but gave us the 25 points. Overall, it was good race for the spectators and a close one between three riders. I am happy enough but it was a difficult race in some ways. The restart was one more thing to think about and we made some changes, making the best of the situation. We never had the perfect set-up but I feel we made a good compromise. We have made a good weekend, with pole position, a second place and a win. We will go into the summer break on a high and try to learn from the information we took from the previous Misano round and this one, and then try to put the jigsaw together for the last part of the season."Jonathan Rea, stated: "To not finish is disappointing because up to that point I felt so good with the bike. Even when I got stuck in some traffic at the beginning I was able to close down the gap to the leaders. I feel it was one more race we could have really capitalised on, but this is racing sometimes. We need to analyse everything with the bike. When I went wide in T7 I rejoined the track and it seemed I had a problem. As soon as I closed the gas the rear was locking and I heard some noise. I carried on through some corners, arrived in turn one and it was really locking a lot. Then in T2 something was wrong so I pulled in. We have to take the rough with the smooth because we have had a really good run so far, but it is a frustrating way to go into the summer break. I wish the Lausitzring round was next weekend because I feel really good with the bike and that is a huge motivation for me."In race two Kawasaki riders Anthony West (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) and Roman Ramos (Team GOELEVEN Kawasaki) secured ninth and tenth place finishes respectively. In the championship Ramos is 13th overall with 60 points. Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) was 13th in today's race and Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) scored his first point of the season for 15th place. Gianluca Vizziello (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) rounded out the finishers in race two in 17th position.

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Jul 10, 2016

Rea and Sykes Secure First and Second Places After Saturday Race

Press release provided by Kawasaki EuropeRea and Sykes Secure First and Second Places After Saturday RaceThe first 25-lap FIM Superbike World Championship race of the Laguna Seca weekend was finally contested between eventual winner Jonathan Rea and his KRT team-mate Tom Sykes. Each had led the race on two occasions, with Rea upping his pace enough at the end to finish 0.819 seconds ahead Sykes. This was Rea's first race win at the 3.610km long American venue.From the start of the battle at the intense Laguna Seca circuit the action was close and combative. Overtakes were put in between the leading trio at the largely one-line circuit but on lap five podium challenger Chaz Davies fell and was unable to restart.When the shadowing figure of Davide Giugliano also fell from third place the fight was on between Jonathan and Tom for the victory on their new model Ninja ZX-10R machines. Rea eased out his lead after re-passing Sykes with five laps to go. Pushing on in the dry but windy conditions, Jonathan recorded his eighth win of the season and the 37th of his career. His latest victory kept his 100% podium finishing record intact in the best possible way.With Sykes close behind him at the flag Rea still extended his championship lead over his team-mate to 71 points - 368 to 297 - with one more race to come on Sunday at Laguna, before the start of the long summer break.Earlier on Saturday Sykes had won Superpole to earn his seventh pole position starting place of the year, and the 37th of his career. Rea had qualified only 0.055 seconds behind and was second on the grid.Jonathan Rea, stated: "I am super happy to have won here and now that we have had 25 laps on the bike in race conditions we have good information for tomorrow, to try and improve again. I am happy with the result but it was, honestly, not my most beautiful race because I made quite a lot of mistakes. I am sure when I watch it back I will be quite upset with myself but the most important thing is the 25 points for winning. That is good for everything - for the morale of the team and the championship. We have one more race tomorrow and it will be important to do a good job then before the start of the eight week summer break."Tom Sykes, stated: "I think overall we had a fairly good bike set up but we just struggled with the last part of the turns and over 25-laps it adds up. I had to compensate in some other areas and that was not ideal, especially in the windy conditions. I think I am happy enough and I could not do anything more. Jonathan rode a good race and we just couldn't get that extra little bit. We need to find a small change in the set-up tomorrow to improve in one area. Overall, I was happy with the performance at the start of the race and made some good lap times in the windy conditions. I think we have room for improvement tomorrow. Second is the best we could do today and second is not a disaster! We can build on this."Behind the KRT podium riders Anthony West (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was 12th and scored valuable points. Roman Ramos (Team GOELEVEN Kawasaki) was also in the points in 15th place, with Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) just one place behind. Neither Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) nor Gianluca Vizziello (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) finished the race; Vizziello with a technical issue and Sulaiti fell at the infamous Corkscrew corner.

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Jul 5, 2016

American Round Welcomes KRT’s Championship Leaders

Press release provided by Kawasaki EuropeAmerican Round Welcomes KRT's Championship LeadersAs Kawasaki Racing Team riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes sit 1-2 respectively in the FIM Superbike World Championship rankings the forthcoming Laguna Seca event in the USA offers them more opportunities to go for race wins and even greater championship advantage.So far in 2016 Jonathan has maintained his 100% podium finishing record having posted seven wins - including three doubles - where he has won both races on an individual race weekend.Tom moved confidently into overall second place in the championship after his double win at Donington Park and extended his advantage over the third place rider Chaz Davies with two second places last time out at Misano. Tom has scored four race wins in 2016.Both Tom and Jonathan were enthused by the results of a recent 'in-season' one-day test immediately after the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli round of the championship. Each found real improvements from the Ninja ZX-10R's race package and from some of the new Pirelli tires on offer.Now the focus returns, with enhanced confidence, to the business of gathering more points and podium success. This time at the truly unique and challenging 3.610km long Laguna circuit, located between the towns of Monterey and Salinas in the State of California.Laguna came back into the WorldSBK calendar in 2013 and since its return Sykes has scored two race wins there, one in 2013 and one in 2014. Laguna is one of the few venues that Jonathan Rea has not won at in previous seasons but he has great ambitions to do just that in a few days' time.With the Laguna event taking place outside Europe the WorldSBK races (one to be held on Saturday 9th July and the second on Sunday 10th July), will not start at the usual time of 13.00. Each race will start at 14.30, local time in California. As has become customary, there will be no WorldSSP round in the USA.After the Laguna weekend a long summer break will commence. The full WorldSBK paddock will reconvene for round ten at the German circuit of Lausitzring, with race weekend between 16th and 18th September.Jonathan Rea, stated: "I am so excited to go to Laguna because I really enjoy the fly away races. Last year the race weekend was quite nice because we were not so far from the race victories – two times in third place. In the past three rounds I have felt really good on the bike and I am looking forward to taking the Ninja there after two weeks of hanging out in Italy after the race and tests in Misano, just preparing for the Laguna race. There is a lot of enthusiastic support from the American side, especially for Kawasaki as well, and I am excited to go there and get amongst it."Tom Sykes, stated: "I feel we took a big step in the right direction at the Misano test so, considering that, I am really looking forward to going to Laguna. We have had great success there in the past and I love the track. I really, really love the country and the people. The track is quite a one off. When you go around the layout on a scooter at low speed, or even just walking, it is unbelievable. You go up towards the Corkscrew and when you look back not only does the track drop away, the world itself also seems to because the land just keeps going down and down. Laguna is unique, and quite testing, so I really enjoy it. It is special and I like the whole American experience from when I first land there."

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Jun 28, 2016

Pikes Peak: Bruno Langlois Repeats Victory

Press release provided by Kawasaki EuropePikes Peak: Bruno Langlois Repeats VictoryFrench Kawasaki rider Bruno Langlois won the prestigious Pikes Peak race on the 26th of June by reaching the 20 kilometer peak in a time just over 10 minutes and 13 seconds. This isn't the first time the Frenchman has been victorious, three years ago Langlois managed to take the title for the first time.On the way to the top, Langlois conquered 156 corners and a vertical height of 1440m onboard of his specially prepared Kawasaki Z1000 before crossing the finish line at a staggering altitude of 4302 meters. The stock Z1000 engine had been modified by French tuner Akira Technologies and in competition trim delivers an impressive 200 hp. Pikes Peak: The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the second oldest motor sports race in America and a long-standing tradition in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region. First competed in 1916 and this year marks the 100th Anniversary & 94th Running of the "Race to the Clouds." The race is run on a 19.98km course with 156 turns that begins at 2864m and finishes at the 4302m summit. As the drivers climb toward the summit, the thin air slows reflexes and saps muscle strength. The thin air also robs engines of 30% of their power at the summit.

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Jun 20, 2016

Sykes and Kawasaki Racing Team Continue Their Strong Partnership

Press release provided by Kawasaki EuropeSykes and Kawasaki Racing Team Continue Their Strong Partnership2013 FIM Superbike World Champion for Kawasaki, Tom Sykes, will continue his successful relationship with KRT and KHI for another two years after making a new agreement with the Japanese factory to be a key member of the overall Ninja ZX-10R racing project, both on and off-track.Having formed such a successful partnership with Kawasaki in the past few years, culminating in his championship win in 2013, Sykes will continue to be an integral part of the Kawasaki racing and development program around the awesome Ninja ZX-10R. Tom's commitment to the Kawasaki cause has been evident ever since he first rode a WorldSBK spec Ninja back in 2010, and he has collected an enviable list of achievements along the way.Sykes has now taken 30 race wins, and all but one of his 76 career podium finishes, on ZX-10R machines. Tom has also set the second highest ever record of Superpole qualifying wins, which reached 36 at the most recent round in Misano. He has also set 30 fastest laps during WorldSBK races and has been twice a runner-up in the championship, in addition to his headlining success in 2013.In making a new agreement with Kawasaki's official squad Tom is now intent on continuing his career at the highest level of production-derived racing, with the most successful WorldSBK team and machine of recent times. Once more Tom will join up alongside his current KRT team-mate Jonathan Rea, who also recently re-signed.Tom Sykes stated: "I am really excited to have made a further commitment with KRT and KHI. It's a great feeling to be back with such a great team for another two years. We have already shown the capabilities of the latest model Ninja ZX-10R this season and there is a lot of potential still to come from the bike. I think it is safe to say that we have the best all-round package in the FIM Superbike World Championship and I would like to thank KHI for showing their continued commitment to me as a rider. As well as the bike and the on-track performance I have been part of the Kawasaki family for seven years so it was really natural to continue that relationship. To carry on working with my dedicated crew - Marcel, Danilo, Mattia, Raul, Tambu and Ruben and all my other valued colleagues and friends in the team - was priceless as they are widely recognized as the pick of the crop in the WorldSBK paddock. I get so much support from the brilliant fans and passionate Kawasaki owners that it was also a positive decision to make to remain part of that. Another important thing is to continue the development program, for the road bike and the race bike side of things, which is something I feel an integral part of. The technical aspect of working with the team and KHI is deeply satisfying to me, not just the successes on track."Steve Guttridge, Racing Manager Kawasaki Europe, stated: "Tom has grown up inside our Kawasaki WorldSBK projects as have Kawasaki with Tom Sykes. The combination of Tom and his crew chief Marcel Duinker and data engineer Danilo Casonato, along with a great team of staff around them, has been invaluable to our Ninja ZX-10R's success and overall model feedback over the past several seasons. Both sides obviously value their relationship dearly and the continued potential of that relationship into the future. Given all of these things we are obviously very happy that we can look to the next two seasons with Tom."Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, stated: "Tom signing for two more years with Kawasaki is a very nice point to continue our project from, while also developing the latest Ninja ZX-10R until 2018. This is a part of Kawasaki's strategy - to have two top riders inside KRT project - and now we can say proudly that we still have the two best riders in the WorldSBK championship. It has been a longer negotiation with Tom because he has been with Kawasaki for seven years - two with PBM and five with KRT - and there's always some private and personal points we have to respect when a rider thinks about taking such an important decision. Tom always said from the beginning his first wish was to continue in the Kawasaki family, so we are happy he can trust in the new ZX-10R and KRT staff to get what he expects. I personally think that the best of Tom Sykes is yet to come. The level of competitiveness from KRT will be high and we will increase this even more, so I'm sure other manufacturers will have a tough job for the next two years."Ichiro Yoda, KRT Senior Engineer, stated: "I have been involved for many years in racing activities, since 1980, and I know how difficult it is to have a rider motivated and convinced to stay for a nine years with a brand. We have given Tom the option to think calmly and we are very happy that he has decided his future is with Kawasaki and KRT. His value as a rider has been proved through many years. He has been now, for five years, in the top two or three in the world. This is not easy to do. His experience and sensitive riding gives us good direction on the points to take care of to improve the Ninja ZX-10R in the next two years. I am personally very happy to again have two great riders in KRT." The final word goes to Mr. Yuji Horiuchi, General Manager of R&D Division, Motorcycle & Engine Company KHI, who stated: "To have not one but two WorldSBK Champions in our team is a considerable achievement. We are happy that the valuable work Tom has already done on the development of the 2016 Ninja ZX-10R and his enviable technical ability can continue to benefit us for the next two seasons and that our racing project with KRT has the talent and stability it needs to achieve even greater racing success in the years to come".

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Jun 19, 2016

Rea Doubles Up as KRT Riders Take Another 1-2

Press release provided by Kawasaki EuropeRea Doubles Up as KRT Riders Take Another 1-2Reigning FIM Superbike World Champion Jonathan Rea and 2013 champion Tom Sykes once more came out on top during the Misano race weekend, with Rea and Sykes replicating Saturday's race result of Jonathan first and Tom second, albeit in a different kind of race. Rea's latest win puts him 66 points ahead of his official Ninja ZX-10R team-mate in the championship table, with just one more round at Laguna Seca to come before the long summer break begins.The lead Ninja ZX-10R pairing had the field to themselves almost from the start once again after taking a clear 1-2 on Saturday but this time it was Sykes who did the front running. His lead lasted until lap 17, when Rea put in a pass entering the first corner and held the line on the way out of the chicane.Rea pushed on to create a gap that ended up being 2.963 seconds at the end of the 21-lap contest around the 2.226km circuit on Italy's Adriatic coast. Realizing he would not catch his team-mate before the end, Sykes had eased off slightly to make sure of his strong second place finish.Misano was Rea's seventh win of the year, and the 36th of his career. He remains the fourth most successful WorldSBK rider in history in terms of race wins.The second race was held in cooler conditions than Saturday's opening event, with Rea making a tire option change that he later said was an important part of his race two winning strategy - particularly when added to chassis set-up modifications that also helped his Sunday cause.Although Sykes' push at the front could not quite be maintained to the end of the race he still scored another 20 valuable points as he and his team-mate moved further away from their other competitors in the championship standings. Kawasaki leads the Manufacturers' Standings by 74 points after Misano.Rea has now scored seven wins this year, and has a total of 343 points to Sykes' 277. Five rounds and ten individual races remain, starting at Laguna Seca between 8th and 10th July 2016. Before then, the KRT squad will undertake a day of testing at Misano tomorrow, Monday 20th June.Jonathan Rea, stated: "My pre-race target was achieved so I am super-happy. For many reasons I really wanted to win here and to make it a double is incredible. I love racing here; it is where I had my first career WorldSBK race win. Approaching the mid part of the season I had said many times just how important the next two races would be before the summer break, so to make it count this weekend is really good. Race two was a little bit of a different strategy. I set off so fast yesterday but today we used the 377 rear tyre and I think that made the difference. I want to say big thanks to Pirelli because they also brought the 375 tire, the one we used in race one for the first time this weekend - and the 377, which we won race two with. That was the same tyre we used in Donington, so it is working in cooler and hotter conditions, which is big credit to them. Also credit to my crew because compared to race one we changed the bike quite a lot and we were able to conserve our tire a little bit better."Tom Sykes, stated, "I think today I was not as strong as I intended to be but probably Jonathan also found something extra, because that is how it looked. Two times second, and pole position, normally that would be an acceptable weekend so I am grateful for those things, but Jonathan is the one who we are challenging in the championship and we lost some ground. There are still five whole rounds to go, so we have a long time remaining. But my focus is not on that yet. We will test at Misano tomorrow and I hope we have clear conditions because I am very interested to find a solution for something. It is basically about turning and it was very clear in sector one of the track today. We will keep working to improve things because I want to win races."Behind the top two KRT riders Anthony West (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) placed 11th today, three seconds up on Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki). Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) just missed out on a point in 16th place and Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was 19th. Gianluca Vizziello (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) did not complete the race. In the championship Ramos is 15th and West 17th.

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Jun 19, 2016

Sofuoglu Extends Championship Lead With Misano Race Win

Press release provided by Kawasaki EuropeSofuoglu Extends Championship Lead With Misano Race WinThe fourth race win of the year for Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) came after a long waiting game for the most successful racer in WorldSSP history. He took the lead with two laps to go and was never headed afterwards. Kawasaki Puccetti Racing riders still sit 1-2 in the FIM Supersport World Championship as Randy Krummenacher finished fifth in the race, scoring valuable points.Having fitted a hard option tire just before the 19-lap race started at Misano, to suit the cooler conditions, Sofuoglu had to push hard for most of the race and hope that the race pace would come to him. His efforts were repaid with his 36th WorldSSP race win, part of a record total of 75 podium places for the Turkish star.Behind the podium fight Krummenacher had a tough and combative 19-laps, having been hit by another rider early in the race and then finding he did not have the physical power, due to a pre-existing shoulder injury, to stay in podium contention.After his latest race win Sofuoglu has the championship lead and 146 points in all, 40 more than the second placed rider Krummenacher. PJ Jacobsen is third on 92 points, 14 behind Randy with the long summer break coming up before the next round at Lausitzring in Germany on September 18th.Kenan Sofuoglu, stated: "The warm-up session was very cold under the clouds and we decided at the last second to use a hard tyre. When we did this I was hoping everyone else would too. But Jacobsen and Caricasulo chose the SC0. At the beginning of the race they just went away because that is almost a qualification tire and capable of a much better lap time. I was surprised that all race long they were really constant. I just did not give up and I was sliding a lot. There was one moment where I thought, 'What do I have to do? Do I accept third or not?' Then I said to myself 'no, no, no, keep pushing to the end.' In the last two laps I saw the chance, I passed them both and we won the race. It was a very important win and I am very happy for the result. I have to say a big thanks to Kawasaki, Puccetti Racing and WP suspension. The worst track for me this year was going to be Misano, because we had a lot of chatter problems on this track before, but the new suspension definitely helped me to have no problem. The championship is not over yet and still I will go for wins. I need a couple of wins and then I can say it is OK - but not yet. There is still time to take wins and not just relax for the championship."Randy Krummenacher, stated: "This was my toughest race this season, for sure. Many things came together and it was really hard for me so at the end fifth was the maximum we could do. I wanted to go for the win but it was just not possible today. For sure the first lap did not help, when I got hit by Gamarino and lost easily one second. Then I was on the limit myself. I am looking forward to having surgery on Tuesday on my shoulder. It just does not work anymore like I want it to. My mind says yes but my shoulder does not have the power anymore and I made a few mistakes because of this. This surgery has to be done now but I am looking forward already because I will prepare myself in the summer break very well and go on full attack for the last four races."

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Jun 18, 2016

Rea and Sykes Put on A 1-2 Show for the Ninja ZX-10R

Press release provided by Kawasaki EuropeRea and Sykes Put on A 1-2 Show for the Ninja ZX-10RKawasaki Racing Team Rider Jonathan Rea took his first race win since Assen in the opening 21-lap FIM Superbike World Championship race at Misano today, holding off his race long companion and team-mate Tom Sykes by only 0.090 seconds over the line. The sixth KRT 1-2 finish of the season keeps Rea and Sykes out in front in the championship, with Rea extending his overall lead once more.From the start, and after some of their main rivals had run off track into the first chicane, Rea and Sykes made an escape from their peer group as they kept up a pace that none of their rivals could match.At halfway distance Rea slowed to allow Sykes to take the leading duties but Sykes refused the offer and maintained his track position right behind Rea for all 21 laps, looking for a way past in the final two laps. Unable to find a gap, despite a strong attempt into the penultimate right hand corner, Sykes drew himself from behind Rea's slipstream to close up to within 0.090 seconds for a class leading 1-2 finish.Rea has a 61-point lead over his team-mate Sykes and with Chaz Davies finishing fourth today Sykes extended his advantage down to third place in the table to 13 points.Earlier on Saturday morning Sykes had taken his sixth Superpole win of the year and the 36th of his career. He has won all of the last five pole position qualifying contests at Misano. Sykes set a new best lap of 1'34.037 to win Superpole, with Rea just behind in second place on the grid.With the first race of the weekend completed in front running fashion for the lead Kawasaki duo they now head into race two on Sunday full of confidence.Jonathan Rea, stated: "Getting back on the top step was the clear target here, and to get both race wins, so we are halfway to accomplishing that. To be honest it was a little bit surprising how much we struggled towards the end because yesterday our pace was so strong at the end of my long run, staying in the low 1'36 laps. I am not sure how much the track temperature increase has affected us today, because it seems to be a lot. We need to sit down tonight and understand how we need to improve. Tom was strong in some areas of the track, we were strong in some areas of the track, but overall our lap times were quite similar. I am really happy to win again."Tom Sykes, stated, "Nearly there, but not quite. Overall I am relatively happy with our performance, and consistency, but I am just a little bit disappointed that I did not win because I certainly feel that Marcel and Danilo and the boys have worked hard. We lost a little bit of time yesterday but we made up for it today and felt we had a good set-up - so I have to be happy. It was just not able to make a clean pass in the last couple of laps. I know on the last two laps when I tried I was not able to put the nose of the bike in a good position. We were less than one tenth of a second from the win and we have to take some positives. We have been fast and consistent in recent rounds and we have come to another completely different circuit, where Jonathan has been really strong and winning in the past, and we had a good potential to win the race. We just were not able to get into the right track position on the last lap."Behind the podium places the top Kawasaki rider proved to be the consistent and determined Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki), in ninth place after strong-starting Anthony West (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) lost pace as his rear grip started to drop. 'Westie' finished tenth. Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) finished 17th, Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was 19th and Gianluca Vizziello (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) 20th.

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Jun 6, 2016

HICKMAN AND GBMOTO JOIN EXCLUSIVE 132MPH CLUB AS THEY SECURE BEST EVER TT RESULT

Press release provided by Kawasaki Europe 4th June 2016 – After a difficult week of practice at the iconic Isle of Man TT, the GBmoto Racing Kawasaki team and Peter Hickman proved their credentials in the opening RST Superbike race, taking a hard-earned fourth place finish as Hickman joined the elite 132mph lap club – only the seventh man to do so in TT history.It was a tough week of practice for Peter Hickman and GBmoto Racing Kawasaki, as despite a strong showing early on, which saw Hicky set the third fastest time in both the Superstock and Superbike category on Tuesday evening, the team were plagued with problems with the electronics. Working late into the night on Friday evening to resolve the problems, switching from Motec to kit electronics, the team were hopeful of a strong showing in the opening RST Superbike TT Saturday. Leaving the Glencrutchery road fifth, Hicky quickly settled into seventh place on the opening lap, before progressing through to sixth place as he gained more miles on the Ninja ZX-10R Superbike. Following the first pit stop at the end of lap two, Pete moved into fifth place on the third circulation of the Mountain Course, 18 seconds behind fourth placed Dean Harrison. Chipping away over the following two laps, Hickman took fourth place at the start of the final lap just 0.3s ahead of Harrison. Getting his head down on the final circulation, the 29 year old stunned the crowd with a 132.465mph lap – becoming only the seventh rider in the history of the Isle of Man TT to set a lap in the 132mph bracket – to cement his fourth place finish and claim both his and the team's best ever TT result. Pleased to secure his best result and fastest lap, Peter Hickman said, "It was a really tough practice week, the bike was great but we just had a consistent problem with the electronics. This is the first year I've ridden a Superbike over here and on my third lap I set a 129mph so we knew the potential was there but despite the team changing everything, the problem persisted and we struggled to get a lap in again after Tuesday. Last night we made the big decision to change the Superbike to the kit electronics used on the Superstock machine. It's no easy job to do, so huge credit to the team who were still working late into the night last night to get it ready in time. The kit electronics are very different to the Motec system we were using, so It meant starting today with a bike I hadn't ridden before. I did a 129mph opener which is a really fast lap but comparatively to the front guys it was a steady one! It took that first lap to get a feel for the machine, and after that I got my head down and chipped away. That final lap is still only my ninth lap around the course on a Superbike so to join the 132 club is mega and to get my best result with it is absolutely fantastic. It's a great way to repay the team for their hard work, the problems we've had have been entirely out of their hands but they've kept working and I'm confident we can continue this form for the rest of the week!"

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Jun 1, 2016

Tom Sykes Presented with 2013 WorldSBK Championship Winning Ninja ZX-10R

Press release courtesy of Kawasaki EuropeTom Sykes Presented with 2013 WorldSBK Championship Winning Ninja ZX-10ROn a weekend when Tom Sykes dominated the UK round of the WorldSBK Championship his celebrations were given an added edge with the surprise presentation of his actual 2013 Championship winning machine.In the season where Tom and the Ninja ZX-10R took 18 podium places including nine race wins and eight Superpoles, the popular Yorkshireman amassed an unassailable 447 points on a machine which could trace its roots back to 2011.Developed into a championship winning machine thanks to KHI, KRT and the many technical sponsor partners of the racing project, the final part of the jig-saw was the formidable partnership between Sykes and his Crew Chief, Marcel Duinker. Together the duo not only created the platform for success but laid the foundations for the machine which now stands as the current Kawasaki Superbike benchmark, the 2016 Ninja ZX-10R.Previously on display at various shows and events across Europe and then in secure storage at the KRT workshops in Barcelona, the UK round of WorldSBK was seen as the most fitting location for the presentation as Biel Roda of KRT explained:"On behalf of KHI, KRT and the many technical sponsors who were part of creating this historic machine we were delighted to pass this title winner over to Tom in recognition of not just his amazing 2013 Championship season but also his ongoing commitment and success on Kawasaki Ninja machinery".For Tom the surprise came just after the podium celebrations of his back to back wins over a stunning weekend at Donington Park."Wow, what a fantastic surprise, this really is the icing on the cake of an amazing weekend. There has been a lot of hard work put into this bike by countless people and companies. I feel honoured to now be trusted to look after her. I am not sure if my wife Amie will allow me to keep the bike in the house but let's see shall we!"

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May 29, 2016

Battling Win for Sykes as Rea Earns Third Place

Press release courtesy of Kawasaki EuropeBattling Win for Sykes as Rea Earns Third PlaceAs the 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship season reached the halfway point today there was reasons for celebration for both Donington Park race one winner Tom Sykes and his third placed KRT team-mate Jonathan Rea. Sykes' win gave the new model Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R its eighth the win of the season and Rea continued his immaculate 100% podium finish record in 2016.With Sykes having taken his 35th career Superpole success just a few hours before the first race of the Donington weekend he lined up at the head of the front row, with fourth place qualifier Rea one row behind.From the flag the action started early, with a few hard passes being put in during the first few laps, helping to leave Sykes fourth on lap two. Rea was up to second by lap seven but he ran on, for the first time, after finding a false neutral.As the race progressed Sykes moved forward, despite having some small issues of his own to deal with, and ended up passing long-time leader Davide Giugliano on lap 17. He fought with the Italian rider for a while but extended his pace to win by a clear 2.889 seconds after 23 busy laps.This was Tom's seventh straight win at Donington and his third race victory of the season on the new model Ninja ZX-10R.Rea ran out third, 9.808 seconds down, after his earlier issues and despite having the pure pace to challenge all the way to the flag.With championship second place runner Chaz Davies crashing out of the race, Rea has a 58 point lead as he approaches tomorrow's second day of Donington race action, while Sykes is still overall third and now only three points behind Davies at the halfway point of the year.The second Donington 23-lap race is scheduled for 15.00 local UK time on Sunday 29th May.Tom Sykes stated: "I have no real reason why I have won so much at Donington Park but what makes it more rewarding today is that I had to fight for it. I got a good start but a couple of the guys really made some strong passes to get in front. I am sure if we could have had some good steady laps at the beginning we also would have had good pace - but I am happy that I had to fight for it. I had some issues myself from the bike, which is unusual, but the good thing is that even considering these I dug deep and came out with 25 points. After six laps I could understand what was going on and I thought it would be very difficult, maybe impossible to win. We kept plugging away and I had to manage the bike a bit differently in some areas to compensate. Overall I am really happy to win and the plan tomorrow is to be stronger, safer and more consistent."Jonathan Rea stated: "My bike felt really good in the beginning of the race but near the end I started to lose some grip from the rear and suffered a little bit turning into the corners. I found neutral five times in the race and two times at the final corner I ran onto the gravel, and then had to turn around on the access road. Also in the Melbourne loop I used all of the track surface just to stay on the track. It was affecting my confidence a little bit so I started to roll of the gas and make sure I did not make any more mistakes. It is frustrating for me because at some points of the race I could see my pace was even faster than the front two guys. I was closing in on them after my first mistake. I consolidated my podium so I am happy for that but a bit frustrated that we could not fight at least Tom and Davide at the front at the end of the race."Anthony West (Pedercini Racing Team Kawasaki) placed tenth after a tough but rewarding race, with returnee from injury Roman Ramos (Go Eleven Team Kawasaki) also scoring points in 13th place. For the second time in 2016 Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) took a point for 15th place. Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Racing Team Kawasaki) was 17th and Sheridan Morais (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) was unable to race through injury.

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May 29, 2016

Sykes Doubles Up at Home With Rea Second

Press release courtesy of Kawasaki EuropeSykes Doubles Up at Home With Rea SecondThe remarkable winning record of Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) and the Ninja ZX-10R at Donington Park continued today as Sykes won his second WorldSBK race in as many days, and his fourth of the year. Fellow KRT rider Jonathan Rea was a close second for much of the 23-lap second race, continuing his 100% podium finishing record in 2016 at the end and maintaining a strong championship lead. He now leads his own team-mate in a KRT 1-2, as Sykes went second in the overall standings after his race two victory.After the official Kawasaki riders shot into an early lead - Sykes from pole and Rea from the second row - there were only two riders competing for the win and each was on the new model Ninja ZX-10R. Rea set a new lap record of 1'27.605 to get himself back into the slipstream of a fleeing Sykes on lap two, as the race settled into a high speed game of cat and mouse between the KRT team-mates.With a handful of laps to go Rea made a pass on Sykes but in finding a false neutral into Goddards he lost ground that he would never quite make up as Sykes maintained a high and consistent pace right to the end. Feeling the effects of arm pump close to the end of the intense 23-lap race Rea eased up in the final few laps, with third place finisher Chaz Davies safely over two seconds behind him, and 4.437 seconds behind Sykes.Sykes' celebration over the finish line was obvious for all to see as he continued what has become a legendary run of race wins at Donington – eight in a row. A Superpole success and then a double race win made Donington yet another almost perfect race weekend for Tom, topped off by regaining second place in the championship.Tom is now 56 points behind Jonathan, who has 293 points to Tom's 237. Rea has five race wins this year, Sykes now four, with Davies and Nicky Hayden the only other race winners so far.In the Manufacturers' Standings Kawasaki has a commanding 53-point lead thanks to the exploits of the new model Ninja ZX-10R and the official KRT pairing of Rea and Sykes. The next round of the championship will take place at Misano, between 17 and 19 June.Tom Sykes stated: "Eight in a row at Donington feels fantastic and I am over the moon. I had a good start to race two and had good pace. For sure it was not perfect and for sure that is why we had a lot of pressure. We did a very good job and had to fight again, so it is more rewarding when you win like this. I am grateful to Kawasaki, Marcel, Danilo and all the boys in the garage because we have won three of the last four races, which is quite promising. We have won on some difficult circuits this year, physically and from a point of view of the types of tracks. Thailand, Sepang and two-times here – which is a circuit of two halves. Consistently, I think we are getting better. I am going to bed tonight thinking we have had a perfect weekend."Jonathan Rea stated: "I got another neutral going into the final hairpin corner, just as I had made my pass, so I was a little bit frustrated with that. In the end of the race I did not have much for Tom. I feel my bike was working really good, so I want to thank my team, especially as we have been working close with Kawasaki and all the crew to get the bike suited to me. It seems we are getting there now. In the last few races we have defined the engine character that I really like, so now it is the balance of the bike that seems to be working. To be so close to Tom, in a circuit that he is so strong at, is good because he is riding really strongly now. I am happy for that and happy to come here and make a big margin in my championship lead as well. That is the priority - but it would have been really nice to cap it off with a win in race two. My bike was feeling really good but near the end I just suffered a little bit with arm pump in my right arm."Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, stated: "It was another great day for KRT and we were especially pleased to be joined at Donington Park by Mr Horiuchi, the General Manager of the Technology Division of the Motorcycle & Engine Company at KHI. For him to be with Tom and Jonathan on the podium was a fitting end to another successful weekend."Anthony West (Pedercini racing Kawasaki) was 12th in race two, Roman Ramos (Go Eleven Team Kawasaki) 13th and Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) placed 18th. Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Racing Team Kawasaki) was a non-finisher.

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May 29, 2016

Sofuoglu Wins Again as Krummenacher Takes Third Place

Press release courtesy of Kawasaki EuropeSofuoglu Wins Again as Krummenacher Takes Third PlaceThe seventh race of the FIM Supersport World Championship season was won by championship leader Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), after 20 front-running laps of the 4.023km Donington circuit. Kenan's team-mate Randy Krummenacher moved up from fifth in qualifying to third place in the race, his third podium in what is his first ever WorldSSP season.Starting from pole position Sofuoglu had PJ Jacobsen pass in front of him as he entered the first corner but he soon got by his American rival and led across the start/finish line every lap from then on.Kenan's pace eased off in the final part of the race, allowing the advancing Jacobsen to draw closer for a time. Despite a well-used rear tyre Kenan upped his pace at the vital time and held on for a clear margin of victory of 1.569 seconds. This was Kenan's third race win of the year.In his first ride at Donington Park for some years, and his first on a Supersport machine at the English venue, Krummenacher found most of the pace he had just missed out on in qualifying. He ended raceday in third place, just 3.775 seconds from his team-mate Sofuoglu.In the championship itself Sofuoglu extended his lead to 26 points over Krummenacher, with Kenan now on 121 points and Randy on 95. Randy is 19 points ahead of overall third place rider PJ Jacobsen, who was second in the Donington race today. Kawasaki leads the Manufacturers' Standings by 25 points.The next round will take place at Misano in Italy, with raceday on June 19th.Kenan Sofuoglu stated: "Today was a good day and everything worked very well, except for the cooler conditions. I immediately took the lead because PJ was slow in font of me. I passed him and tried to pull a gap and the plan worked very well. With the last five or six laps to go I started to slow down a little bit because the left side of the tyre was worn. I saw that PJ was coming closer so I started to push again and it worked out well. I am very happy to win again. I think PJ had less of a problem than me with the tyres because he was spinning a lot and when you spin you heat the tyre. My riding is too smooth to heat the tyre but I am very happy because we took a Superpole win, a winning race and 25 points. You cannot ask for more so a big thanks to my Puccetti team as they did a really great job without any mistakes and we won."Randy Krummenacher stated: "I am happy to be back on the podium because the last time was in Motorland Aragon, which feels like a long time ago. It was good to be back up there after Imola and Malaysia which were not that good, and so I can be really pleased with a third place. At the end of the race I missed a step to find Kenan and he was really strong, especially at the beginning of the race. I was pushing hard and at the end I also tried to stay with PJ and attack him but he was so strong at the end. I said, 'Ok, let's take the third and bring it home.' This is a good result and I have more confidence for Misano. I know this track in Italy a bit better. Here, I have to say my riding is not at its best. Some racing lines I could do better but I gave my best. On other tracks I can be faster."The next best Kawasaki riders were both part time ESS riders, who only race at the European-based rounds. Alessandro Zaccone (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) was 12th while Illia Mikhalchik (DS Junior Team Kawasaki) was 13th. Another ESS rider, Axel Bassani (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki), was 17th, just out of the points.

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May 27, 2016

Sofuoglu Re-signs With Kawasaki For 2017

Four-time FIM Supersport World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu has re-signed for the 2017 season with Kawasaki and the Puccetti Racing team. The current championship leader stands a strong chance of being champion again this season, but his renewed commitment will see the 31-year-old Turkish superstar go for even more success next year aboard the Ninja ZX-6R.In his long WorldSSP career, which has been studded with success almost throughout, Sofuoglu has made 110 race starts before the Donington Park weekend. Kenan, a record breaking four times world champion in the Supersport class, has taken two of those titles with Kawasaki.His podium record is a quite astounding 73 from his 110 starts, with 34 of those podiums being race wins – easily a record for this category of racing. Never one to worry much about being the absolute fastest on any day but race day, Kenan has nonetheless made 26 starts from pole position. His record of 88 front row starts to date shows his consistency and pace in a clear fashion.Sofuoglu's 2016 season began with bad luck in the first round with a tyre issue that prevented what looked like a certain podium finish, but since then he has moved to the championship lead, scoring two race wins along the way.Kenan Sofuoglu stated: "I am very happy to continue racing with Kawasaki and the Puccetti Racing team. I have one year more, which is good for us. The bike is at a very good level and the Puccetti team is doing a very good job and this is why I have signed so early in the season. I am looking forward to the work and after a few years with Kawasaki now there are always good results. I am happy to stay in the paddock another season with Kawasaki."Manuel Puccetti, Puccetti Racing Team Manager, stated: "We are very happy with Kenan and he is happy with our crew and our bike. He is also happy with the change we made this year to WP suspension. This season we made a very good step in this area and he said in Malaysia recently that we had the best bike and the best package. It is a very positive moment in Kenan's career, and his season, and we are happy to be together again. My team and all of our crew are pleased to work with this great champion and I think we can do another season on top, for sure."Steve Guttridge, Racing Manager Kawasaki Europe, stated: "Kenan has found his home with our Puccetti Racing team and our Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R. When situations are looking difficult on a race weekend Kenan is a rider that can find the best outcome possible. It's why he's a champion. We all appreciate his intelligent feedback, hard work rate and outright desire to win. So we are obviously very happy that he has accepted to continue the winning relationship into the future with our official team in WorldSSP."

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May 15, 2016

Race Two Podium Extends Rea’s Championship Lead

In a wet second Superbike World Championship race at Sepang Kawasaki Racing Team rider Jonathan Rea secure third place and a strong points score to extend his championship lead to 42 points. Tom Sykes (KRT) could not replicate his race one victory in the wet of day two and he finished up eighth. He is still third in the overall championship standings.With no previous wet experience to call on at the resurfaced Sepang circuit both official Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R riders had little time to find a good set-up on full wet tyres. Starting from pole in the case of Tom and third place in the case of Jonathan they made good launches from the startline in search of more podium success.Rea led early on and was able to hold onto a good pace for most of the race, even fighting back in the later stages to reclaim third place and a podium from his nearest championship rival Chaz Davies. In doing so he managed to keep his points total moving ahead once again and he now has 257 points to Davies' 215, after six rounds.Soon after the start Tom realized his set-up was not going to allow him to challenge and despite fighting for every point he dropped back to finish eighth, on a drying track surface that made his set-up issues more profound. He is still a healthy 62 points ahead of the fourth placed rider in the championship and leaves Sepang with another race win on his record thanks to his Saturday performance.Today's wet race was won by American Nicky Hayden; his first victory since joining the WorldSBK championship from MotoGP. The next round will be held at Donington Park in the UK, over the weekend of 27-29 May.Jonathan Rea stated: "It is so difficult in a weekend when you have all dry sessions, a dry race one - and then two hours before race two a monsoon comes in! I am proud of my team because they were so reactive to the changing conditions. I feel we got it quite close and my bike was giving me quite a lot of feedback out there. The strategy in the wet was just to do the rhythm. It was important to keep the corner entry traction off the tyre, as normally that is the first area that suffers. So when I set off it was just about managing everything. Nicky was too far in front for me to want to really grit my teeth and go for him. I was happy with our performance and that was the maximum we could do. Maybe if I had the race again I could have gone with Nicky in the beginning but third was the result we got today and we achieved our target for the weekend. That was to increase our championship lead, so I am happy we did that."Tom Sykes stated: "It was a big shame after the strong run we have had over the other parts of race weekend. I looked at a small change for the dry conditions today but heading into the wet we took on some experience from the Assen weekend and then went racing. But when the water cleared the grip from the surface was quite high. Unfortunately we did not have the perfect set-up for the grippy surface. I was not able to push the tires onto the ground and get the traction we needed. Other than that, I felt if we would have made some changes we could have been stronger. I am disappointed not to capitalize on our momentum from yesterday's win, but this is racing sometimes."Replacement rider for the injured Sylvain Barrier, Anthony West (Pedercini Racing Team Kawasaki), had a great ride to fifth place on his privateer machine despite having no previous experience of riding this machine in wet conditions.Josh Hook (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) once more scored a point for 15th place with stand-in rider Gianluca Vizziello (Go Eleven Team Kawasaki) 16th. Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) was 19th and Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Racing Team Kawasaki) 20th.

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May 15, 2016

Wet Track Decides All for Battling Kawasaki Riders

After heavy rains and high winds caused the delay of the start of the FIM Supersport World Championship race at Sepang until after the Superbike race, Kawasaki Puccetti Racing riders Kenan Sofuoglu and Randy Krummenacher finished sixth and eighth respectively. Local rider and series regular Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was second in a thrilling fight for the race win.The rain that struck the circuit with such force on Sunday meant that the WorldSSP race got underway at 17.16, not the scheduled 14.20.Such conditions held back any plans for a race long push for the lead by Sofuoglu, despite running second for a time. He used all his skills to defend his championship position and in finishing sixth he slightly extended his advantage over his own team-mate in the points rankings.Krummenacher pushed as hard as he dared in the wet conditions early on but with some other riders taking their chances earlier in the 14-lap race he was to finish eighth, scoring eight championship points.Local star Khairuddin had the crowd on its feet on many occasions, making a last corner move to try and win the race but losing out by just 0.050 seconds to race winner Ayrton Badovini.Kenan and Randy remain first and second in the championship table, with Sofuoglu on 96 points and Krummenacher on 79 after six rounds. Khairuddin is now tenth overall, with 40 points.In the manufacturers' standings Kawasaki has a 20 point advantage over the next closest rival.Kenan Sofuoglu: "We had quite a lot of bad luck today. We were in pole position, and the fastest, but just before the race we had rain. It was OK but they delayed the race. The final race was wet but when it rains you know it is really wet on the track. This was somewhere between wet and drying. It was very slippery and you could see on the podium people who were just going for a top three, because this was a chance for them. They took their chances but we have to take care of the championship. This is why I looked who was in front of me and all except PJ Jacobsen were not my championship competition. He made just a few points more, so not a problem."Randy Krummenacher: "I was very surprised at the speed the others went at early on. This race was a big learning process for me. For sure around halfway through the race I started to trust more and push more and did similar lap times on the front guys. It took too much trust for me to push more. The bike was very, very good but my mind said it was impossible to push so hard."Christian Gamarino (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) was 11th and well in the points. Ondrej Jezek (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) placed 17th. Lachlan Epis (Response RE Kawasaki) was 19th and Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) 21st.

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May 14, 2016

Sykes Wins From Rea in Kawasaki Racing Team 1-2 at Sepang

The first race of the FIM Superbike World Championship weekend in Malaysia belonged to front running winner Tom Sykes and the latest model Ninja ZX-10R, with second placed Jonathan Rea (KRT) closing out a strong 1-2 for Kawasaki at a hot and sunny Sepang.On a day when the top two Kawasaki riders and the Ninja ZX-10R proved to be untouchable the front-running tactics of Sykes worked to perfection as he won his second race of the year and narrowed the gap to the second place rider in the championship to 23 points.Sykes led across the start line on every single lap, setting a new lap record of 2'03.637 to go with his new track best of 2'02.246 which he had set to win Superpole just a few hours before the first race got underway. Sykes now has 34 career Superpole wins, and 28 race wins, to his credit.In second place in the 16-lap Sepang race Rea achieved his main goal or the day, extending his championship lead over second ranked rider Chaz Davies. In keeping Davies in third place today Jonathan now has a 39 point lead to take into race two on Sunday. Rea had finished Superpole in third position, for a front row start.Overall, the all-new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R has won seven of the 11 races run so far in 2016, with Sykes and Rea aiming to add to that total in race two tomorrow. Kawasaki's lead in the Manufacturers' Standings has grown to 43 points. The second Sepang race will take place at 16.00, local time in Malaysia, on Sunday 15 May.Tom Sykes stated: "I really enjoyed the race. The bike was giving me plenty of warning, well in advance. We were able to respond in some laps in a good way and overall I am very, very grateful for all the hard work from Marcel, Danilo and all the mechanics. They have worked overtime. 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 need to look to try and improve in some areas for tomorrow, because the other guys are fast. 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."Jonathan Rea stated: "I was probably a little bit too conservative in the beginning because I was waiting for that crossover point, which never happened, so I could afford to be a bit more aggressive in the first laps. I think that looking at everyone's front tires in parc ferme that appears to be more of the limitation compared to the rear. I am happy because we achieved out target today, which was to further extend our championship lead. It was hard here because I had prepared my race in my head and followed the whole strategy right. Tomorrow maybe I can try to take some of the energy out of the front tire, change the balance a little bit, to not give the front tire so much of a hard time."Anthony West (Pedercini Racing Team Kawasaki) performed a great job in his first ride in WorldSBK, finishing ninth. Josh Hook (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) scored his best result of the year for 15th in the race, with his team-mate Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) in 16th place. Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Racing Team Kawasaki) was 17th and Gianluca Vizziello (Go Eleven Team Kawasaki) 18th from 19 finishers.

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May 12, 2016

Jonathan Rea and Kawasaki Together for Two More Years

Reigning FIM Superbike World Champion Jonathan Rea has re-signed with Kawasaki's official KRT effort to compete for two more years on the class-leading latest model Ninja ZX-10R.Committing to extend their mutually beneficial partnership into the future, both Rea and Kawasaki aim to continue the kind of success that delivered Rea the championship in his first KRT season last year.Jonathan leads the current WorldSBK championship standings by 35 points after five rounds of the 2016 season have been completed.Jonathan Rea stated: "I am so happy to extend this partnership with the Kawasaki Racing Team and continue the great relationship I have with all the Kawasaki engineers and fans. It is clear that our objectives and way of working are very well matched so it makes perfect sense to extend this for two more seasons. With all the incredible memories we have made so far and are now creating, I am 100% confident that we will enjoy working together and develop the Ninja ZX-10R into the future. I would like to thank Kawasaki and all the KRT staff for their full support and belief in my potential. With this in mind I am now even more focused than ever to win the World SBK Championship in 2016 to make it back to back wins."Steve Guttridge, Racing Manager Kawasaki Europe, stated: "The successes Kawasaki have enjoyed with Jonathan and his relationship with our Kawasaki Racing Team over a relatively short time has been phenomenal to witness. Finding that complete chemistry in racing is very difficult. Team, bike and rider all need to be in harmony together and for sure with JR we have found that magic mix, so it's only logical to continue the great relationship. Jonathan is a racer who understands well the importance of the entire team around him; the full package. With Johnny wanting to stay for two more years inside our team and riding the new Ninja ZX-10R, we have a full package."Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, stated: "We have now two great riders in KRT. Two World Champions and the goal is to keep them for the next two years. Rea is an experienced rider with a young spirit and big motivation, open to learning and improving race-by-race. This gives us even greater potential to have an even better rider in two years' time. His big credit in this KRT project is to give us the pressure to give the best to him. I know clearly that the mechanics, crew, technicians, team staff and all KHI engineers will do our best to cover his expectations."Ichiro Yoda, KRT Senior Engineer, stated: "The KRT project is based on development and information for KHI engineers to improve their knowledge and improve the development of future machines, working closely with the R&D department. We have re-signed a rider with commitment and skill who can push the limits of the bike to explain to the engineers his feelings. Jonathan has a good talent and speed, and we are very happy to use this energy to understand how the Ninja ZX-10R works at on-the-limit conditions. I'm sure in 2016, 2017 & 2018 we will have a strong package with him."The final word goes to Kenji Tomida, President of Kawasaki's Motorcycle and Engineering Company."We were delighted to host the recent visit to KHI for 2015 WorldSBK Champion, Jonathan Rea. Our Ninja brand has been further enriched with the launch of the new Ninja ZX-10R on which Jonathan has already had much success this year. The whole Kawasaki family are understandably delighted that he has extended his relationship with the Kawasaki Racing Team and we wish him success both now and in the future."

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May 1, 2016

Sofuoglu Wins at his Team’s Home Circuit

Kawasaki Puccetti Racing's Kenan Sofuoglu took his second race win of the 2016 season with a start-to-finish domination of a shortened 11-lap race at the classic circuit of Imola - his team's home round. His team-mate Randy Krummenacher hit misfortune when his bike started to leak water and Race Direction eventually prevented him from taking part in the restarted race. In the championship Sofuoglu is now first and Krummenacher second despite Randy's Imola no score.Another dramatic day in the history of WorldSSP racing unfolded at Imola after heavy overnight rain. A dry contest began at a high pace but after a leak of water from Krummenacher's machine, and then another rider's machine falling and being left in a dangerous position, the red flag was hung out to stop the race.With Krummenacher not allowed to make the restart Sofuoglu was the lone Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider and he rode a near faultless race to score a clear win, by 1.429 seconds from Jules Cluzel.Sofuoglu had missed the Superpole win on Saturday by a small margin but had been on strong form since the first day of action at one of his favorite circuits. He has won three of the last four Imola races and has now grown his class leading total of WorldSSP career race wins to 34.Kenan's latest win lifted him to the championship lead today, with 86 points to his credit. His team-mate Krummenacher is second, with an unchanged 71 points. The next nearest championship challenger is Cluzel, 13 points behind Randy.The next round takes place on Sunday 14 May, at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.Kenan Sofuoglu stated: "I really believe we deserve this result. It was a very, very good weekend for us as we were always fastest, even in the wet. Only in Superpole was I not the fastest but I was just one lap late with my final push. We did a good job today at the home race for the team in Italy. I love Imola and I cannot say more because I am leading the championship again. We lost 25 points in Australia because of bad luck but this can happen in racing. Anyway we are back in the championship lead and I am very happy with today's result."Randy Krummenacher stated: "The bike was running very well and I did not smell oil on the bike. The black and orange flag I saw without the number. Then I saw it for half a lap with the number 21. If I felt that I would bring the other riders in a dangerous position I would stop. But I did not feel that I would put them in danger. No one crashed because of me and they did not have to clean the track, because the water that was lost was a few drops – but it might have looked like a lot. I accept the Race Direction decision and let's look forward to Malaysia."Alessandro Zaccone (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) impressed again as the top ESS (part time) rider in the WorldSSP class; fifth overall today. GoEleven team rider Ondrej Jezek was seventh but his team-mate Christian Gamarino ended up a dramatic day out of the points. Illia Mikhalchik (DS Racing Kawasaki) was 13th and second in the ESS rankings. Another ESS rider, Axel Bassani (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) placed 14th and scored two points at his home track.

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May 1, 2016

Both KRT Riders on the Imola WorldSBK Podium Again

Jonathan Rea and his KRT team-mate Tom Sykes stood on the podium for the second time in two days at Imola, with Rea once more second and Sykes again a close third on their all-new Ninja ZX-10Rs. Jonathan now has a championship lead of 35 points while Tom is third, 32 points from overall second place.Rea and Sykes rode in tandem at times in the second race of the Imola weekend, which was finally held in dry conditions after heavy overnight rain. Neither KRT rider could get into contention with double race winner Chaz Davies today, despite each making changes for the second race that indicated a positive direction in overall set-up.Like the first race of the weekend, held on Saturday 30 April, Sykes was just too far back at the end to make a challenge on Rea. Jonathan had to overcome an issue with his electronics cutting out and also almost falling as he ran wide when exiting the slow final chicane in his early pursuit of Davies.For Rea his two runner-up places keep him in a clear championship lead, 35 points ahead of Davies. Jonathan also maintained his 100% podium record today, having scored ten from ten (including five wins) as he defends his reigning champion status. Rea has now scored 75 podiums in his WorldSBK career.With two third place finishes at Imola Sykes has now scored seven podiums from ten starts in 2016 and 71 podiums over his career, which includes a world championship win with Kawasaki in 2013. Sykes extended his lead over fourth place in the championship to 48 points today – equivalent to almost two full race wins.The next round of the championship takes place at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, with racedays on May 14 and 15.Jonathan Rea stated: "Chaz made a very good first lap and broke me a little bit but then I felt like I was managing the same pace and maybe even faster. Then I had a huge moment on the exit of the last chicane. I ran onto the Astroturf, which had held moisture from last night's rain. A few laps later, when I was in fifth gear and on full gas, my bike just cut out on the straight. I lost two or three seconds in one lap. It fired into life again but it took me a few corners to relax again. It feels like when we can't win we should finish second and we did that at Imola. It is clear now that there are three guys now at the top of the championship. Every dog has his day and today was not ours."Tom Sykes stated: "We made some improvements from yesterday but we suffered after losing almost one hour on Friday in practice. Considering the race yesterday I felt a little bit more comfortable with the bike today but when there was a bike in front I was not able to do a good lap time. I was dropping back into the 1'48s and on a clear track I could bring it into the 1'47s. Even on the last lap there was a 1'47.7 and that was with making a mistake out of the final double lefts. So there are positives to be taken from this weekend. You are never happy with third but you also have to be realistic and sometimes be happy with that. Even when we are struggling we are on the podium."Despite crashing then being struck by another rider's machine in warm-up on Saturday, Swiss rider Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) took to the track in race two and scored his first point of the season for 15th place. Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Racing Team Kawasaki) finished one place behind and just missed his first point score since he joined the WorldSBK championship. Aussie rider Josh Hook (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) fell in the middle of the final chicane early in the second race, at almost exactly the same time as stand-in rider for the injured Roman Ramos (Go Eleven Team Kawasaki), Gianluca Vizziello.

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Apr 30, 2016

Rea Second and Sykes Third After Race One at Imola

After a shortened 18-lap WorldSBK race one at Imola Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes placed second and third respectively, only separated by a few tenths of a second as they chased the podium places. Rea now takes a 40-point championship lead into the second race on Sunday, after a tough but rewarding battle around the undulating circuit in Italy. Sykes is a clear third overall approaching Sunday's scheduled 19-lap race.The Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari dished up two podium places for the all-new Ninja ZX-10R in the opening lunchtime WorldSBK race, despite the start being delayed after a collision between two riders on the warm-up lap.At the start Rea and Sykes formed an early top three with eventual race winner Chaz Davies, with Rea continuing to keep pace just behind Davies as he pushed hard while the race developed.'JR' was forced to drop back after experiencing an electronics issue under braking at times, running wide and off track at turn 7 at one point, but coming back onto the track surface just in front of his chasing team-mate Sykes.With the two Kawasaki riders in close company for the final few laps, gaining something on each other in some sections and losing in some others, Sykes was just too far back on the final lap to attempt a decisive and safe pass.Tom ended up just 0.323 seconds behind Jonathan after 18 laps at the intense and demanding 4.936km Imola parkland circuit.Now the KRT duo have a day to prepare for the second Imola race, which may be held in less favorable weather conditions than the dry first race day. Both riders feel there are areas for improvement in machine set-up as they now aim to take top spot in race two.Jonathan Rea stated: "In the beginning I felt good with Chaz and I managed to close the gap down to him. We have had some issues on the engine brake side and this caused me to run on. It was happening into the fast turn five and it took my confidence a little bit. When I made the mistake the gap changed. I am happy with my race because second is good as Chaz was on a different planet this morning. I was just happy to be there in the race at the beginning. I was the best of the rest today and now I'm happy to look forward to tomorrow, as I am sure we can improve the bike setup. I hear some mixed weather forecasts, and that we could have some rain, so I hope we can be prepared for whatever we get."Tom Sykes stated: "It is difficult to pass here at Imola because it is a track that does not leave much of a margin for error. The only possibility to pass came in two areas and it would have been difficult to make a clean one. Considering the amount of practice time we lost on Friday we were probably not at a bad level. Consistency-wise the Ninja ZX-10R was good in the race but we just missed a bit of pure lap time, even in Superpole, and that will be our priority for tomorrow. We lost one maybe two seconds in the first laps and you do not close that kind of gap down very easily at this level. If I am able to ride the bike how I like I am sure we can be strong. We will keep working for this and hopefully make some improvements."Josh Hook (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) was the only other Kawasaki race finisher in the opening contest at Imola, in 17th place. A crash and subsequent collision with another rider's machine for Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) put him out of action for race one as he underwent medical checks. Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Racing Team Kawasaki) retired in the race. Ramos (Go Eleven Team Kawasaki) was injured in practice yesterday, as was Lucas Mahias (Pedercini Racing Team Kawasaki), and they did not start.

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Apr 29, 2016

Top Three Qualifying Positions for KRT Runners After Imola Day One

At the fifth round of the 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship at Imola in Italy Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea were second and third fastest respectively on their all-new Ninja ZX-10R machines after the first day of qualifying had been completed.Although he lost some track time due to technical issues with his rear brake in the second one-hour long practice session today, Sykes improved his previous morning session best time with a 1'47.347. This put him second, and 0.097 seconds ahead of his team-mate Jonathan Rea, with one more 15-minute practice session and then Superpole qualifying to come later for both KRT riders.Sykes could not get a planned long run/race simulation completed this afternoon but is confident that his machine set-up is already good, with just some final adjustments to be done in Saturday's short third practice session.With more track time available to him on Friday Rea completed a long run and will now make some small adjustments before Superpole on Saturday, which will be followed shortly afterwards by the first race of the weekend.Rea and Sykes will hope to get their winning totals moving on again in Italy, starting on Saturday in race one and then finishing with the second race, which will be held on Sunday 1st May.Dry weather conditions blessed the 4.936km long circuit all through day one's practice sessions, despite some darker clouds appearing overhead at times.Tom Sykes stated: "It was good to get second place in the time sheets, even though we had two problems with the rear brake. This also disturbed our pace but we have potential and for this I am happy. When I had the issue in the second run I was a little bit nervous but we still improved our lap time. I am happy with that. Overall I wanted to put a long run together but I think the bike is quote close to where we wanted to be. This is something positive. To improve the lap time in the afternoon session means that, all things considered, we have to be happy that we are second fastest. Chaz Davies has been unbelievably fast so we need to pay attention to that and see if tomorrow we can improve the bike a little bit over distance. I feel we are close enough to start race one now."Jonathan Rea stated: "We did a long run and we are working step-by-step this weekend, not making too many massive changes. We have been concentrating on electronics with Paolo. Both Paolo and Danilo, the other electronics engineer, have worked really strongly to give us a good engine brake strategy that we are developing. Today felt like a lot of testing had been done, so to put a race simulation on top of that gives a lot of information to help fine tune things. It looks like we can improve even further with that information and I am quite happy. I feel I have a got good rhythm and tomorrow is the big job. I felt like we ticked the boxes and we tried two options of race tires. For me I feel quite clear that one of them will work better. It has been a good day and we really needed the track to be dry. I am making good progress and there are quite a few areas where we feel we can improve. Today we learned a lot."Roman Ramos (Go Eleven Team Kawasaki) qualified 13th on the opening day at Imola, with stand-in rider Lucas Mahias (Pedercini Racing Team Kawasaki) once more substituting for the injured Sylvain Barrier, and going 18th fastest. Ramos was later declared unfit because of a fall and fracture to his first left metacarpus. Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) placed 19th. Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Racing Team Kawasaki) was 21st and Josh Hook (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) 24th.

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Apr 18, 2016

Podium for Guarnoni and New Ninja ZX-10R in Superstock

After only two rounds of the 2016 Superstock 1000 FIM Cup the all-new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R took its first podium finish in the hands of Frenchman Jeremy Guarnoni (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) at Assen. Guarnoni was second, for what was his 12th career Superstock top three finish.After two attempted race starts the third and final one developed into a nine lap race. Guarnoni led the chasing group behind the eventual race winner at the right moment and scored 20 important points. After an unlucky no-score in the first race in Aragon two weeks ago Guarnoni has risen to fourth in the championship, with a seven rounds to go.MTM / HS Kawasaki rider and local competitor at Assen Wayne Tessels was next best Kawasaki finisher at Assen, in seventh place. His British team-mate Gregg Black was one place behind.Rob Hartog (Team Hartog Jenik Against Cancer Kawasaki) was tenth, placing four Kawasaki Ninja machines in the top ten despite a sometimes-difficult weekend for all, due to weather factors and red flag stoppages. Bryan Staring (Agro-on Benjan Kawasaki) opted for what turned out to be the wrong tire choice and finished his race 19th, one place behind his team-mate David McFadden.The next Superstock round for the new Ninja ZX-10R comes along at Imola, Italy, with race day on Sunday May 1. Jeremy Guarnoni stated: "I am really happy for this race because I had some difficult moments in Motorland Aragon and earlier this weekend. We made a great job and the bike worked well. I had a difficult start but I think if I had started near the front I could have fought with Raffaele De Rosa for the win. I am happy for Kawasaki and Team Pedercini because they work so hard and never give up. Nine laps were a sprint so you have to be very aggressive and pass as quickly as possible."

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Apr 17, 2016

Rea Does the Double as Sykes Takes Second Place

The second 21-lap Assen race provided a double win for Jonathan Rea (KRT), with his team-mate Tom Sykes second this time out, as both riders continue to find success on the new model Ninja ZX-10R. The Sunday race was started in wet conditions but rapidly dried out, meaning all the riders pitted to change tires at some stage.Once again Rea proved to have the magic touch at Assen, winning his second race of the weekend, his 9th race in total at the Dutch track and his fifth race victory of the season in eight attempts. He now has a career total of 34 WorldSBK race wins, placing him a clear fourth in the all time race winners' rankings.At the start of the race, in fully wet track conditions, Sykes took the lead from his pole position grid placing. The changing weather and drying track surface saw him drop back and soon pit to change tires but in the heat of the tyre change process he went out on intermediate tires, not the front intermediate/rear slick he intended to use.When Rea, who was one of six riders to lead the race at some stage as the competitors entered and left the pits at will, stopped for dry weather tires he returned to the fray at strong pace, after finding the grip level for a lap. He and his team-mate Sykes, who had pitted for new rubber first, finally competed for the race win in the final laps.Rea ran out the winner by 2.442 seconds, extending his championship lead in the process with his second double win of 2016.Sykes' intermediate rear tire had an effect on the outcome of his race but in finishing second, after a day one crash and no score, the 2013 world champion recovered in great and scored 20 highly valuable championship points.In the overall championship table Rea leads by 45 points, from today's race two fifth place rider Chaz Davies. Sykes is third overall, now 32 points ahead of the fourth place rider. Kawasaki leads the Manufacturers' Standings by 44 points with the new model Ninja ZX-10R.Jonathan Rea stated: "Our target this weekend was to increase our championship lead and we did that. I said to Pere my crew chief before the start of the race that the track should dry out pretty fast. We have had previous experiences like that. I have no idea why I go so well at Assen. It is nothing to do with the track itself. We got a double victory but it was not like Australia where I had more pace than the rest. We controlled the situations this weekend when we had to, we were calm and clever when we had to be, and as a team our strength shone through to get two strong results. We got the maximum from what we could achieve here so I am super, super, happy with that. Our stars aligned this weekend and it worked out, so I am just happy."Tom Sykes stated: "At the start of the race I just wasn't able to get the lean angle and the power down using the wet tires, because of the mixed conditions, so I came into pit lane early. I went for the intermediate front and we managed that front tyre well. With the mistake made for the intermediate rear, that cost us. Even considering this, our pace was very strong and second position is not too bad. Yesterday we were in the gravel and today finishing in second place is a good result. We have had strong pace all weekend, in the wet and the dry, and in warm-up we found a good rhythm this morning. It has just been one of those weekends where the results do not fit what we deserve - but that is racing. Now we can focus on the next round and build on the bike set-up that we have been working on.."Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) ended up 12th in race two, and is 14th overall in the points. Lucas Mahias (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) led the race for a spell as he stayed out on his wet tyres for some time, but finished up 13th as he stood in for the injured Sylvain Barrier. Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) was 20th and Josh Hook (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) was unable to start after a collision with another rider in morning warm-up.The Italian circuit of Imola will host the fifth round of the championship, with track action starting on 29 April and ending on 1 May.

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Apr 17, 2016

Podium for Sofuoglu as Krummenacher Keeps Championship Lead

Weather issues affected many aspects of the Assen FIM Supersport World Championship round but Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team-mates Kenan Sofuoglu and Randy Krummenacher performed strongly in the eventual six lap wet race to record third and fourth place finishes respectively. Randy still leads the championship, with Kenan second in the points after four rounds.The wet conditions found during Friday practice proved to be useful in the final six-lap WSS race at Assen. The scheduled 18-lap race had started dry but at around half race distance heavy rain appeared and the red flags were brought out to stop the race. A re-run was called, of only six laps duration, with that 'second' wet race being the only one that counted in the results. Full championship points were awarded.Krummenacher led the race for the first two laps until Sofuoglu went past him. Krummenacher was to lose track position at the chicane and run off track, dropping back and finally matching the leading pace. Just too far back to try and get back into contention for the podium places Krummenacher posted a positive fourth place finish, and with it he remains on top of the championship rankings.Not finding the feel from his rear set-up in the wet race that he expected Sofuoglu led from lap three until the final lap, when he had to run wide after locking the front momentarily, getting passed by the two following riders. In finishing third he moved to within ten points of his team-mate Krummenacher and 20 points ahead the next nearest challenger in the standings.Kenan Sofuoglu stated: "When the very hard rain came on the track the grip levels were unbelievable. I never saw anything so slippery in the rain. I do not know if something was wrong but I was sliding so much from the rear. The good thing was that I could brake really hard which meant that I could control the race and hold the pace. On the last lap, under braking, I locked the front and missed the next right and lost the two riders who got ahead of me. One mistake and lost the win but I wanted to stay on the bike. Today was difficult, but I still took 16 points and I am happy. It is a long season. You will have a good race, a hard race, and wet and dry races. You have to balance those out if you want to win championships."Randy Krummenacher stated: "I dropped back and then got pushed straight at the final chicane. That's OK, that's racing. I was as fast as the front group after that but I could not go any faster than them. Sure, this disturbed me a bit in my race rhythm. It was a very positive day because first of all I improved my set-up a lot in the rain compared to Friday. Also now in the rain I was also at the front, which is very positive for me. I still lead the championship and I only lost three points today. We made a lot of points compared to some others so now I am 30 ahead of third place. That is very good so we have to keep this feeling and go to the next one."Part-time rider Ilya Mikhalchik (DS Junior Team Kawasaki) was the next best Kawasaki rider in sixth place overall. He was top ranked ESS rider this weekend. Fellow ESS rider Axel Bassani (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) was eighth, with series regulars Ondrej Jezek and Christian Gamarino, both from Team GOELEVEN Kawasaki, completing the top ten positions.Alessandro Zaccone (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) was 19th and Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki), 20th.

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Apr 16, 2016

Rea Wins Again but Sykes Finds Misfortune

KRT rider Jonathan Rea took his fourth race victory of the 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship campaign today, enjoying a 1.662 second margin of victory after 21 windy and competitive laps at Assen. Tom Sykes was in contention for the top spots in the early laps but fell after missing a gear on the approach to the final chicane on lap nine.Rea had started well from his second row qualifying position after finishing this morning's Superpole contest just one place from a front row start. With significant changes to his machine's set-up for the dry first race, after a fully wet Friday in qualifying, Rea put himself in position to win on raceday. He found challenges to his eventual lead from all directions, as five riders formed a breakaway group from the start, in a race where the lead changed hands several times.Tom also had good pace despite both Friday practice sessions being fully wet and was looking to score heavily once again. After missing a downshift shortly after being passed into the final sector of the track he fell, after running out onto the dirty part of the circuit while braking heavily.In Superpole qualifying, held shortly before race one, Sykes had taken his third pole of the year on the new model Ninja ZX-10R, and the 33rd of his WorldSBK career. Rea had qualified fourth.In giving the 2016 model Ninja ZX-10R its latest race win Rea extended his championship lead to 31 points, from second place Assen race finisher Chaz Davies. With one more WorldSBK race to come on Sunday 17th each KRT Rider has another chance to go for a win at the classic Dutch venue.Jonathan Rea stated: "It was great to win another Assen race. Our bike set-up was new because we changed the bike just for the race after warm-up. I put my head down with a few laps to go. It is really hard to lead but I was so-so happy because I feel we have been a bit on the back foot now since Aragon and before so to score 25 points here is great. I think the potential of this bike is huge but I have yet to get it into a really good window I am comfortable with. This race has given us a lot of information and to score 25 points when it really matters is incredible for me, for my strength inside, and for my championship. I want to thank all the Dutch fans because they give me a great reception every time we come here and thanks to my team for their hard work and keeping my spirits up. After Aragon I felt we were a bit deep in the sea and now I feel our heads are above water."Tom Sykes stated: "It was windy out there but I was able to enjoy some great speed in some areas of the track. On one corner I was missing some confidence and unfortunately that was on the run back to the pits. That was slowing me up into where I was good in the next part of the track. It was a difficult race like that but I was just getting settled down and really understanding where everyone was good. I was not necessarily thinking about the pass into the final chicane but unfortunately when I braked and went to backshift, I missed the initial backshift, which meant the engine was quite free. I just tried to get it stopped and get the gear selected. Any other day I would have been OK but unfortunately because we have had some bad track conditions it was really, really dirty and I lost the front. That was a small mistake on my behalf but it was unfortunate that we had such a dirty track off line. That is the way racing goes and there are positives to take from it as we were strong in some areas."Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) placed his privateer Ninja ZX-10R into a strong ninth place while substitute pilot Lucas Mahias (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was tenth, scoring six points as he rode in place of the injured Sylvain Barrier. Josh Hook (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) just missed a point by one position, finishing in 16th place.

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Apr 16, 2016

First Superpole Success for Krummenacher with Sofuoglu Third on the Grid

2016 FIM Supersport World Championship leader Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) had to get through Superpole 1 to even start Superpole 2 but he used his experience of a dry track surface to help him win his first Superpole contest since joining WorldSSP at the start of the year. Four-time world champion Kenan Sofuoglu was third quickest on his officially entered Ninja ZX-6R.With both Friday sessions proving to be wet for the massed ranks of the WorldSSP riders, Sofuoglu was in second place but Krummenacher was 16th after day one. Randy recovered pace in morning warm-up today even as the track was not in perfect condition.Having to complete Superpole 1, which saw him fast enough to join Superpole 2, Krummenacher used his dry track experience to set the fastest lap of all and win his maiden Superpole.Kenan, who had qualified straight into Superpole 2, had no experience of a fully dry track surface to evaluate his final set-up. Because of this he found a less than perfect suspension set-up at the beginning of his final push to earn a good starting position. He still took the last place on the front row in some and like his team-mate Krummenacher will now start the race from a strong position.The WorldSSP race will take place at 11.20 on Sunday 17th April, over 18 laps.Randy Krummenacher stated: "It was awesome today. I had the 15 minutes more in Superpole 1 so I could already make some adjustments on the bike. The final adjustment was really good because we had a better corner exit. I really used it after the first sector. I knew that final lap was going to be my lap. I am very happy to finally have my Superpole winner's watch."Kenan Sofuoglu stated: "The two guys in first and second came to Superpole 2 from Superpole 1 so they made some extra laps and they could set their bikes set up a little bit. When I went to the track with new suspension settings for the dry I had a bit of a surprise but we still managed to make it onto the first row, which is always important. The team is working well but in the dry we will have to improve our set-up. If it is wet for the race we should be one of the fastest. I am just waiting for tomorrow, hoping for good weather so we can fight to win the race."Ondrej Jezek (Team GOELEVEN Kawasaki) was sixth in Superpole 2, for a second row start. ESS rider Ilya Mikhalchik (DS Junior Team Kawasaki) placed 11th. Alessandro Zaccone (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki), another ESS part-time championship competitor, was 16th with series regular Christian Gamarino (Team GOELEVEN Kawasaki) 18th.

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Apr 15, 2016

Sykes Second and Rea Top Six After First Wet Day at Assen

In the first day of action for the fourth round of the 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship KRT riders Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea were second quickest and sixth quickest respectively, experiencing what were wet track conditions throughout.In the first wet race weekend for the all-new Ninja ZX-10R the 4.542km Assen circuit's weather conditions changed from fully wet to slightly drying out at times during the opening day. Full wets were required for the first session, which started well for Sykes and Rea. They took the all-new Ninja to first and second places in the opening hour of on-track action, despite a lack of previous information about the new machine from their largely dry winter test experiences.In the afternoon Sykes was leading until close to the end of the final hour, putting in a succession of fast and consistent laps as he learned the limits of what was an always cold and wet track surface. He was only displaced from the top spot in the overall times close to the end of the second hour, as heavier rains re-appeared for the final few minutes. The heavier rain prevented him from improving his time yet again.Reigning champion Rea started well in the morning and was also making advances in the second session when a technical issue intervened and he pulled over, having completed five laps during the afternoon practice hour. He had already improved his first session best time, which was good enough for a top six placing from 25 riders, but he was not in a position to fight for a higher position near the end of the session.On Saturday at Assen Sykes and Rea will face a final third practice session, Superpole 2 and then the first race of the weekend, to be held over 21 laps.Tom Sykes stated: "Overall, the nature of the circuit and the track conditions means that being second fastest on day one is quite promising. The guys are working well on the Ninja ZX-10R and considering everything together I am happy with our performance. Today has been wet but the biggest problem is the low track temperature. Because we have quite low temperatures it is difficult to keep heat in the left side of the tyre. The left side is very critical here. You always have some issues with pure grip in these conditions but it is something we are working on, in case we have these conditions again tomorrow. We have some good information to sleep on and we will see what the conditions bring for Saturday."Jonathan Rea stated: "It has been strange today, especially with the weather conditions. It looks unpredictable all weekend and already on Friday we have had no dry track time. It is the same for everybody but it seems we have a good wet set-up. We did not get any wet testing during the winter time so this was the first time we rode the new bike in the wet and the first feelings were not so bad. We played around with the balance of the bike a little bit, understood how it is on track when it is both fully wet and when it is drying out, just to cover our bases for tomorrow. I got up to speed in the second session, went in to make some changes and when I went out we had an issue, which the mechanics will analyse overnight. I just hope the race conditions for Saturday are one way or another, not halfway between. Wet or dry, we should be competitive."Track conditions made it a challenging opening day for all Kawasaki riders and teams with replacement rider for the injured Sylvain Barrier, Lucas Mahias ((Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) 15th, Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) 16th and Josh Hook (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) 19th.Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) and Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) have yet to score qualifying times in the difficult track conditions.

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Apr 14, 2016

KRT Pairing Aim to Return to Winning Ways at Assen

With four of the first six races in the 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship won by the combination of KRT competitors Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes – riding the new model Ninja ZX-10R - the goal for this coming weekend at Assen is to take full points scores once again.So far in 2016 Jonathan Rea has won three races on the latest Ninja ZX-10R, helping put him in a clear championship lead, by 26 points. Third overall in the rankings is Buriram race two winner Tom Sykes, who is only three points from Chaz Davies in second place. In terms of previous results at the iconic Assen circuit Rea's pair of successes last season gave him his sixth and seventh wins in the Netherlands, making 'JR' the second most successful rider in the history of WorldSBK competition at the famous 'TT' Circuit.Sykes has also been successful at Assen in the past, winning the first race of the day during the 2013 Dutch event, before going on to win the championship itself for KRT later that same year. During the most recent round of the championship, at the Spanish circuit of Motorland Aragon, Jonathan and Tom swapped second and third places in the races but the aim for both this weekend is to push for race wins again. As per the new race schedule adopted for 2016, race one will take place on Saturday 16th April at 13.00, with race two on Sunday 17th, at the equivalent time.Reigning champion Rea approaches his happiest of hunting grounds with 32 career race victories and a total of 71 podium finishes to his credit. Sykes has 27 career race wins and 68 podiums to date.The 4.542km-long Assen circuit will play host to the WorldSBK championship for the 25th year in 2016. The layout of the Circuit van Drenthe, which started life as a real roads circuit, has been much modified and periodically shortened over the decades. Sometimes the changes have been to improve safety and sometimes to modernise the amenities and paddock space that have grown with Assen's stature as one of the best motorcycle racing venues imaginable.Laid out over a flat site and devoid of real elevation changes, the unique elements of Assen include heavy positive cambers on many of the fast corners and sweepers, plus the much slower final 'Geert Timmer' chicane. This as been the scene of a vast number of last lap incidents and dramatic passes over the years. A popular venue for riders and teams alike, the stature of Assen in motorcycle racing mythology is such that it is regarded as the 'Cathedral' of Motorcycle racing by most - and is also knows as the 'University' by some. The latter description alludes to the old adage that a racer's education cannot be said to be complete until the intricacies of Assen have been truly mastered.Jonathan Rea stated: "Assen is a good circuit for me and our bike works quite well there. We learned many things in Motorland Aragon during round three, mostly that the base set-up we found with the previous bike worked quite well with the new bike. Hopefully the weather can be consistent throughout the weekend at Assen so we can build a rhythm and some consistency in our package - and with my riding as well. We did a good job in Motorland but we need to start getting back to winning ways again. We could be in for a great season especially as we are entering Assen, a track I enjoy racing at. I have no idea why I go so well there but I really enjoy the place. It is a real riders track that - when your bike set-up is not working just perfectly - you can still make a difference. There are a lot of corners there that require different techniques than just the finding the brake point, apex and exit. There is quite a lot of technique to Assen. I also think it is just experience of the track." Tom Sykes stated: "Assen is a track where we have had success in the past and had good speed and consistency. We know after Motorland Aragon we have some work to do. My crew chief Marcel and I have had some quite lengthy conversations, and we will see how it goes this weekend, but all-in-all I have certainly had a stronger start to the championship than I had last year. Everything feels quite positive. There are a couple of things on the set-up that we need to improve but these are things we can work on in the near future. Assen is a track that, as a rider, is always a great pleasure to ride around. It is quite special because you have banked corners with positive camber, so it is always that little bit extra special. We have good points of reference from previous visits and I think the whole Kawasaki Racing Team can have a potentially good race weekend."Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) is the next closest rider to the KRT official pairing in the current standings, 14th overall but with the same 25 points total as the rider ranked above him. Regular Pedercini Racing Kawasaki rider Sylvain Barrier will be replaced by fellow Frenchman Lucas Mahias for the Dutch round after Sylvain suffered a hand injury in a crash at the previous round in Spain. Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki), Josh Hook (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) and Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) complete the Kawasaki rider who will be competing this coming weekend in the Netherlands.After the Dutch adventure the WorldSBK paddock moves to the very different host venue of Imola, in Italy, for the fifth round of the championship, between 29 April and 1 May.

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Apr 14, 2016

Popular Assen Venue Next for Sofuoglu and Krummenacher

Having both won races already in the 2016 FIM Supersport World Championship Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team-mates Randy Krummenacher and Kenan Sofuoglu will arrive in the Netherlands for round four sitting first and second respectively in the overall points standings.It has been a great start to the year for class rookie Krummenacher, who has recorded a win, a fourth place and most recently a second place to keep hold of the championship lead he seized at the very first race. Randy will be riding his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R at Assen for the first time in his short WorldSSP career this weekend but he has great experience of the classic Dutch circuit from his days in 125cc GP and Moto2 racing.Assen is a well-known quantity for WorldSBK legend Sofuoglu. The four-time world champion has won three previous Assen WorldSSP races, the most recent for Kawasaki last year, after an epic battle that went down to the wire. Kenan has won 33 WorldSSP races in total, making him by far the most successful rider in the class.Two Kawasaki riders have won WorldSSP races at Assen. Kenan was the most recent, last year on his way to the championship title. The first was Iain Macpherson, way back in the first full season of the FIM Supersport World Championship's existence in 1999.As a race venue the 4.542km Assen circuit is a challenge to all riders, featuring fast sweeping corners, frequently with banked sections, plus slower hairpins and chicanes. The latter threaten to break up the rhythm of the track but also offer several exciting passing opportunities.After their first outing at the recent Motorland Aragon round the FIM Europe Supersport Cup (ESS) competitors will return at Assen, running on track with the full WorldSSP grid again but only at the European rounds. The race at Assen will take place at 11.20 CET on Sunday 17 April.Randy Krummenacher stated: "I have prepared well at home so I should be in good shape. I feel I can get closer to the first, to be on top and get closer to it. The race at Motorland Aragon was another good lesson for me. I really can't wait for Assen because I love the track and it suits me well. I have enjoyed riding there with the Moto2 bike and the 125GP bike in the past. I am really looking forward for a good weekend. To get back on my bike on Friday will be a lot of fun. Assen is a special place and they seem to get a lot of spectators there, so it should be a really nice race, I think."Kenan Sofuoglu stated: "After our win at Motorland Aragon last time the bike should work very well at Assen. I was very strong there last year and we won the race. Especially with our new suspension for 2016, I think we can work well at Assen. I am very confident in the bike and team and I have to say thanks to them for all the good work they are doing."Series regular riders include eighth placed overall rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) and ninth placed Christian Gamarino (Team GOELEVEN Kawasaki) who is only one point behind Zulfahmi. Ondrej Jezek (Team GOELEVEN Kawasaki) is placed 13th right now.ESS riders Alessandro Zaccone (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) and his team-mate Axel Bassani had a strong introduction to the WorldSSP class at Motorland last time. Zaccone is leading the ESS rankings and is 14th in the overall WSS points. Bassani is second in the ESS rankings and 16th overall. ESS rider, Ilya Mikhalchik (DS Junior Team Kawasaki), has also secured points and is currently 23rd overall. Regulars Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) and Lachlan Epis (Response RE Racing Kawasaki) have yet to score points in 2016.

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Apr 11, 2016

Kawasaki SRC Makes a Clean Sweep

Team Kawasaki SRC dominated the 24 Heures Motos. Gregory Leblanc, Matthieu Lagrive and Fabien Foret were in full command of the race, with a 9-lap lead over April Moto Motors Events and F.C.C. TSR Honda.After leading the race for 680 laps, Team Kawasaki completed a clean sweep. Gilles Stafler's squad picked up the winner's 40 points plus the 20 bonus points awarded to the leader in the standings at the 8-hour and 16-hour mark. The win spotlights the qualities of the new Ninja ZX-10R, and has got the team off to a flying start in the FIM EWC world endurance championship. After some tricky test sessions in the rain, the ZX-10R#11 started the race with a minor crash involving Gregory Leblanc on a still- damp and treacherous track, but that was Kawasaki SRC's only scare. During the first two hours, Gregory Leblanc beat the lap record 12 times. Throughout the night, despite the freezing cold weather, the Kawasaki SRC was the quickest bike on the track, and the handovers w like clockwork. As the hours slipped by, Gregory Leblanc, Matthieu Lagrive and Fabien Foret established a comfortable lead, and wer 9 laps ahead by the early hours. "Our Pirelli tyres work particularly well on a cold track," says Gilles Stafler by way of explanation. This is Gregory Leblanc's fifth win at the 24 Heures Motos equaling the record held by Alex Viera. And Kawasaki has now notched a record number of wins at the 24 Heures Motos. Two other Kawasaki bikes finished in the Top 10: AM Moto Racing Compétition finished 7th, and Racing Team Sarazin was 9th at t finish line. Bolliger Switzerland Team was also a key player in the race. After starting out 9th from the grid, Horst Saiger, Michael Savary and Gianluca Vizzielo ran a superb race up to 2nd position in the early hours. Mechanical failure forced them to withdraw around 9.30a Kawasaki Louit Moto 33 Traqueur was in the running for a Superstock win, but was forced to retire during the night due to electrica problems. Gilles Stafler, team manager of Kawasaki SRC "We couldn't have hoped for a better start with the new ZX-10R. Now we'll have to get back to work. We still need to fine-tune the electronics; we're only using 75 to 80%." Gregory Leblanc, Kawasaki SRC rider "I really want to thank Pirelli, because they gave us the tyres we needed to tackle very cold track conditions. We had grip even at nig Matthieu Lagrive, Kawasaki SRC rider "I'm obviously feeling emotional because after racing a few seasons, it's my first win at the 24 Heures." Fabien Foret, Kawasaki SRC rider "Two great teammates, a good bike and the right tyres: that was the recipe for victory."

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Apr 11, 2016

Bobby Fong and the Kawasaki ZX-10R Earn the Double Win at COTA

Irvine, CA (April 11, 2016) – The Latus Motors Racing Kawasaki team pulled into Austin, Texas for Round 1 of the MotoAmerica series ready to do battle in the Superstock class at Circuit of the Americas. Bobby Fong, a veteran to the sport but rookie on a litre bike, started off the weekend by coming to terms with his new Kawasaki Ninja® ZX™-10R and his new competition. When it came time to qualify he silenced the critics by putting the No. 50 Latus Kawasaki on pole position, with a lead of nearly three tenths of a second. Fong proved that both he and the all new Ninja ZX-10R were serious championship contenders by battling his way to a Race 1 win and dominating Race 2, taking the checkers with an over 15 second gap, over his Superstock competitors. Teammate David Anthony leaves Texas with an 8th and 6th in Race 1 and 2 respectively. "I had a great first weekend on the Kawasaki ZX-10R," said Fong. "The bike performed really well all weekend and my team worked hard to make it the best handling motorcycle possible for both races. I started off a little slow during the first race, but as the race went on became more and more comfortable. I made a last lap, last corner pass for the lead and took the win! After a few small adjustments we headed into the second race with confidence. For the opening laps I was tracking with the Superbikes as closely as I could and maintaining consistently fast lap times. I'm excited to have put the Kawasaki on the podium twice this weekend but now it's time to focus and stay humble as we head to Atlanta for Round 2."

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Apr 3, 2016

1-2 For Kawasaki as Sofuoglu Wins From Krummenacher

A perfect race day for the official Kawasaki WorldSSP team saw Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) win the 16-lap contest at Motorland Aragon, from his team-mate and championship leader Randy Krummenacher. In winning today Sofuoglu moved to second in the overall championship standings.Sofuoglu's margin of victory, by 1.486 seconds from Krummenacher, was enough to give him his first full point score of the FIM Supersport World Championship season. This was his third race win in a row for Kawasaki at the 5.077km long circuit in the north East of Spain.Sofuoglu had qualified on pole position on his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R on Saturday and made a start-to-finish leading race that went perfectly to plan. He has now scored 33 race wins in his career. Krummenacher had to fight hard for his second place at times but once he had got clear of the pack he pushed on as his pace improved, chasing Kenan on the final laps but not quite able to make enough ground on him to contest the win on the final corners. This was his second podium finish in three career WSS races, after winning first time out in Australia.In the championship standings Krummenacher has 58 points, Sofuoglu 45 and today's fourth placed rider, Jules Cluzel, is now third overall with 38 points. In the Manufacturers' Championship, Kawasaki leads by 19 points after three races.The next round takes place at Assen in the Netherlands, with raceday on 17 April.Kenan Sofuoglu stated: "I wanted to lead and keep going because yesterday and the day before I had good pace. The team made incredible adjustments on the bike on Friday night and I was getting faster and faster. We did a good lap and took pole position in Superpole and in the race the goal was to make a good start and take the lead. When I saw a two second gap I said I should just keep a good pace. On the last two or three laps the gap was getting closer. I just decided to keep the pace, take 25 points and the plan worked very well. Now, step-by-step, we are coming back in the championship and hopefully soon we can lead it."Randy Krummenacher stated: "I can be really satisfied with my second podium this year. It feels great and the championship is going well for me. At the beginning of the race Kenan was pushing so had and I did not want to push that hard, but then I got a great rhythm and I felt myself coming closer to him again. Not enough at the end. Or sure I have to keep on working but I felt that I rode better than I did in Australia and Thailand so we keep improving and that is a really good thing. Thanks a lot to the team, I think it is great for them to have a first and second place – and to Kawasaki."A great day for Kawasaki in general saw six Kawasaki riders inside the top ten places. FIM Europe Supersport Cup (ESS) riders also made an impact, with Alessandro Zaccone (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) fifth and his team-mate Axel Bassani sixth. Both were only just over four seconds from race winner Sofuoglu and also gave Kawasaki a 1-2 in the internal ESS rankings.Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) was eighth in the Motorland race and GoEleven Kawasaki rider Christian Gamarino tenth. Ilya Mikhalchik (DS Junior Team Kawasaki) placed 13th and was followed by two other points scoring Kawasaki riders, Ondrej Jezek (GoEleven Kawasaki) and Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura). Lachlan Epis (Response RE Team Kawasaki) was 21st.

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Apr 3, 2016

Double Podium For KRT With Sykes Second and Rea Third

In the second race of the FIM Superbike World Championship weekend at Motorland Aragon Tom Sykes (KRT) and Jonathan Rea (KRT) finished second and third respectively. The official Ninja ZX-10R riders are now first and third in the championship, with Rea leading on 131 points and Sykes third overall with 102 – only three points from second place. From pole position Sykes attacked the lead of race two and held his strong pace even after eventual race winner Chaz Davies had passed him on the second lap. After Rea overtook his team-mate, Sykes continued to follow close behind. He was thus in a perfect position to take advantage when Jonathan ran wide and lost time and track position.Tom managed his second place to the end and secured 20 points. He finished the Motorland Aragon weekend with two podium finishes to his credit. Rea was pushing hard throughout race two but was forced wide on lap 15. After taking to the run-off area and rejoining he could not regain ground on his team-mate.Set-up changes from day one to day two did not have the full desired effect and grip issues did not help his cause in the final result of the second race of the weekend. Rea and Sykes scored identical points totals at Motorland Aragon, with a second and third place finish apiece.In the current championship rankings Jonathan still enjoys a clear lead, some 26 points ahead of Davies. Sykes, in third, is 29 points from Jonathan and only three points behind Motorland double race winner Davies after three rounds and six races have been completed.The next round is at Assen in the Netherlands, with races on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th April.Tom Sykes stated: "In terms of race position it was an improvement on yesterday and that is what we need to focus on. I think the gap to the front is bigger than it should be but it looks like yesterday, after the information we took from race one, our rear tyre was not performing to its best and today we did not have as much spin. We have more information now and I hope we can use this to our advantage. My guys are fantastic and I am lucky to have them but we could not close the gap to the win compared to yesterday. We cannot be downbeat because sometimes it happens that you have a circuit that is great for a certain package and Chaz is always on form here. We will come back in Assen and try to be stronger again."Jonathan Rea stated: "It was a difficult race because straight from the off we did not have so much grip in the rear and I was having to pick the bike up. When I back-shifted going into turn one with a few laps to go the rear locked and I could not stop, that was end of the chance to fight for second position today. Being second or third today is not the issue it is being so far from the fight for the front. There were some areas where we were struggling today. We just need more time with the new bike and it is a step-by-step process. When a tough weekend is second and third it is not so bad!"Roman Ramos (GoEleven Kawasaki) took a 12th place again, his fourth such finish in a row. He is now 14th overall, on 25 points. Sylvain Barrier (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) crashed out of contention today. Dominic Schmitter was 21st on his Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki, his team-mate Josh Hook a retiree. Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Kawasaki Racing) placed 21st.

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Apr 2, 2016

Rea Second and Sykes Third After First Motorland Race

The first of two FIM Superbike World Championship races at Motorland Aragon this weekend saw official KRT riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes go second and third respectively, after 18-laps around the impressive 5.077km circuit.Having taken pole position after this morning's Superpole contest Sykes led for the first three laps but was passed by eventual race winner Chaz Davies, and then fellow Kawasaki rider Rea, who would then hold onto second place.Rea had evaluated some new set-ups on Friday but went back to a more conventional setting today, using Superpole to make his final selections for the first race itself. After finding feel and feedback in the early laps he moved forward to his eventual second place result and finished 4.168 seconds from the win. Sykes found early pace but could not hold onto the leading two as they passed, with Tom finishing only a fraction of a second from Jonathan but unable to push to challenge for second in the final laps. Sykes was 4.948 seconds from victory after 91.386 kilometers of hard racing. With only 15°C air temperatures and 30°C track temperatures the race was held in dry and conditions throughout.This fifth race of the season delivered podium finish number five for Rea, who has not finished lower than second so far. It was three podiums in a row for Sykes, who has now taken a second, a win and a third place. In the overnight championship points table, before race two plays out at 13.00 local time tomorrow, Rea has 115 points, Sykes 82 and Davies is now third with 80.Jonathan Rea stated: "I am satisfied because if you cannot win you should finish second. Today we did that at a track that has been really strong for Chaz in the past. In the beginning of the race I was still understanding the bike because the first time we had used our complete race set-up was in Superpole. I was learning in the early laps. This morning we went back to more like what we had before. Now we need a bit more grip and to improve things under braking for tomorrow. We can go back and understand my rhythm now and take things from there to make the bike even better. I know we can be closer tomorrow."Tom Sykes stated: "I knew that one fast lap was easy from earlier in the day but I knew the race pace may be difficult. I was suffering a little bit with the balance, as it is not quite letting me do what I wanted to do. That means when the tyre drops I cannot keep the level I want to. I am also happy to be on the podium and we are blessed to still be able to do that even when it is not our best day. I just did not have enough to be able to close and make a pass on Jonathan at the end so that is something we need to work on but both Kawasakis seemed to be at a very similar level. We need to be stronger tomorrow and work hard again."Roman Ramos (GoEleven Kawasaki) put himself 12th in his first home race of the weekend but Sylvain Barrier (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) just missed out on points with a 16th place finish. Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Kawasaki) was 18th in a race with 20 finishers. Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Kawasaki Racing) and Josh Hook (Grillini Racing Kawasaki) did not finish the race.

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Mar 13, 2016

1-2 For KRT Again as Sykes Wins From Rea in Thailand

Another electrifying 20-lap race between KRT's Superbike World Championship competitors Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea saw Sykes win his first race of the year on the all-new Ninja ZX-10R, with Rea just 0.190 seconds behind at the flag. Rea leaves Thailand with 95 points and the series lead while Sykes moved up to second overall today, with 66 points to his credit. The weekend at the Chang International Circuit will go down as a double 1-2 event for Kawasaki with Rea winning race one on Saturday from Sykes, and that order being overturned after a combative contest around the 4.554km circuit in the heat of the afternoon on Sunday 13th March.Rea set the fastest lap of the Sunday race, on lap five, as he chased early leader Sykes. Rea was to lead for a time, and then pass Sykes again at some points, only to be re-passed on the way out.Sykes and Rea looked to have the race between them for most of the race distance but Chaz Davies arrived towards the end and made the battle for the podium places even more complicated.There was more than one attempt from Jonathan to pass Tom at the end but Sykes defended his position and ended up winning the short run to the finish line from the final right hand corner, with a small advantage of 0.190 seconds to his credit. With Rea second Davies was third, by only 0.314 seconds from Tom, in another thrilling WorldSBK contest for the fans trackside and at home on TV to enjoy.The second 1-2 in two days for Kawasaki's official entrants also gives the KRT riders a 1-2 in the championship, with Rea in the lead by 29 points and Sykes a point clear of Michael van Der Mark after four races.Kawasaki riders have won all of the 2016 season races so far, making a perfect total of 100 points in the Manufacturers' Championship. Yesterday Jonathan Rea moved to a lone fifth in the all-time race winners' tally, with 32 career wins. Today Tom drew himself seventh equal in the same ranking, with 27 career victories.The KRT squad's European home base in Spain is where the championship will relocate for the next round, at the magnificent Motorland Aragon circuit. Race weekend will be held between 1st and 3rd April.Tom Sykes stated: "The first win of the year for me and I really had to fight for it. I am happy because Jonathan is at an incredible level in this circuit and we have much such a big step from last year - so I really have to thank all of the boys. They have worked really hard in the winter and even now we are still learning. It was a great race, a great battle. It makes it more satisfying because from about lap six I was struggling with under steer from the front so my corner speed was lower than I wanted. I saw on the big screens at one stage that there were some great riders behind, giving me great pressure, so I had to re-think how to manage the race. To hold on to the win after so-so long is such a great feeling."Jonathan Rea stated: "We made a small improvement today in the bike set-up and from ten laps to go I feel I had a much higher pace than Tom. I really wanted to win and I tried two or three times but to win a race against Tom when he is strong, and defending very well, you have to go really deep. Massive credit to him; he did a good job today and beat us flat out. It is good for Kawasaki to have a 1-2 although I would prefer to be the guy in front. Fair play to Tom because I was over my head to win the race yesterday but today I tried my best and got beat. I am sure it was a nice show to watch. We increased our championship lead from Phillip Island and it has been a good day, but I just wanted to win the race. To get beaten is really great for my motivation."Roman Ramos (GOELEVEN Kawasaki) placed himself 12th in today's race and also in the championship points standings. Sylvain Barrier (Pedercini Kawasaki) was 17th in race two and Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Team) 19th. Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Kawasaki) retired.

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Mar 13, 2016

Sofuoglu Second and Krummenacher Fourth in Thai WSS Race

Kenan Sofuoglu scored second place for his first points and first podium of the season after 17 hard laps around the 4.554km Buriram circuit in Thailand today. His team-mate Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) took a close fourth place in the second round of the FIM Supersport World Championship. In the points table Krummenacher still leads with Sofuoglu now fourth.The hot raceday air temperatures of 36°C meant that the work was hard for both men and machines in a combative race; a race in which experience finally told for Sofuoglu. His second place finish, just 0.812 seconds behind winner Jules Cluzel, came after it looked like he may have to settle for an off podium result.The four-time world champion reasserted himself in the final stages and went from fourth to second in three laps, holding that position across the line at the end.Krummenacher, who won first time out in round one with his Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Team, looked bound for a podium again during his first visit to the Chang International Circuit. Randy finally took an important point scoring finish as he held onto the leading group for fourth place, just 1.237 behind the winner.In the championship standings the 13 points Krummenacher earned for fourth place today keep him in the lead, with 38 points in total, while Sofuoglu is ranked fourth, on 20 points. Spain is the next stop for the 13-round WSS Championship trail, with Motorland Aragon hosting the next race weekend between 1st and 3rd April.Kenan Sofuoglu stated: "It was very difficult especially in the beginning of the race where I was losing time. I said to myself not to give up and that we were going to fight and at least make a podium. On the brakes I could come back but I was losing some time. But if we look at that, and consider that we were very close to the winner, it means our overall package is very good. We need to work and we are going to fight. The temperature was high but it was OK, the same for everybody, so there was no big difference."Randy Krummenacher stated: "Fourth place and more important points today. The race was quite hard for everybody but I was just not able to take the risks that Kenan did. He did a really good job today. I was for sure able to go faster than Jules and Jacobsen but on the brakes I was just not able to go for that extra risk to pass them. I just said, OK, for the moment I cannot do it. That is a point I have to work on but of course in a race like this, where it is hard, means I learn more than I did in my victory in Australia. So that is quite positive and for sure I can use this experience in Aragon."Malaysia's Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) was the next best Kawasaki finisher behind the Sofuoglu and Krummenacher combination, in seventh place. GOELEVEN Kawasaki rider Ondrej Jezek was up to tenth in the race, from 17th on the grid, while Christian Gamarino (GOELEVEN Kawasaki) just missed out on a point for 16th place. Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) was 19th and Lachlan Epis (Response RE Team Kawasaki) was 22nd.

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Mar 12, 2016

WSS Superpole Sees Krummenacher and Sofuoglu on the Front Row

Kawasaki Puccetti Racing riders Randy Krummenacher and Kenan Sofuoglu qualified second and third respectively in Superpole 2 at the FIM Supersport World Championship round in Thailand, leaving them in ideal front row starting positions for Sunday's 17-lap race.On his first visit to the 4.554km Thai circuit Phillip Island race winner Krummenacher worked at finding a strong pace and race set-up, having been fastest man in today's earlier third free practice session. On his Ninja ZX-6R he finished just 0.094 seconds from pole man Jules Cluzel after the final pre-race Superpole 2 session had been completed.Four-time world champion Sofuoglu used all his experience to make improvements in his overall machine set-up, having been 13th in Friday's first track outing, then second on Friday evening. He currently leads the Tissot Superpole Award points table, after taking pole position in Australia and being third in Superpole in Thailand. Track conditions slowly improved over the two days of practice and qualifying, but slippery parts remain where the circuit was recently resurfaced at some points. The WSS race is scheduled to start at 14.20 local time in Thailand on Sunday 13th.Randy Krummenacher stated: "A front row starting position is always something good. I improved one position over where I qualified in Australia so that was also a positive. Qualifying was still pretty hard and I had a few mistakes, maybe too many to go first, so I am very pleased with second. Our pace is very constant so I am very confident for the race. It is going to be a long race! I think we can still improve a little bit for tomorrow. Thanks to the team and Kawasaki and for the great support here from the spectators; they are unreal."Kenan Sofuoglu stated: "It is coming better and we are starting from the front row, which gives you extra motivation as a rider. For sure at the moment we are still working at going faster and faster. Racing is a completely different story from qualifying. The race is over 17-laps and I can push very hard. Let's see who is going to fight for the win in the race. The track is coming better, but of course compared to last year we are one second slower. I think this is because of the high temperatures and there are some parts of the track that are slippery compared to last year."Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) was 13th on the grid, Ondrej Jezek (team GO ELEVEN Kawasaki) 17th and his team-mate Christian Gamarino placed 20th.

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Mar 12, 2016

Rea and Sykes Dominate the First Thai Race

KRT challengers Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes shared the lead for all 20 laps of the first FIM Superbike World Championship race at Buriram in Thailand between them, with Rea finally running out the winner by only 0.222 seconds from his teammate. A strong showing from the new Ninja ZX-10R saw championship leader Rea and now third ranked Sykes finish over nine seconds from the next closest rider.With high air temperatures of 34°C evident during the contest at the 4.554km long Chang International Circuit the race was hard work for all, but it was the KRT pairing who held the advantage after all the laps had been completed.Despite the slippery track surface in some areas, causing the riders to take unusual lines at those points, Rea's race time was better than his equivalent 2015 season win. He set the fastest lap of the race on lap 14, as he chased down Sykes and then passed him.This was Rea's third win in succession on the new Ninja, giving him a perfect 75 points after three races, with one more 20-lap race in Thailand to go tomorrow, Sunday 13th.There was a glimmer of a chance for Sykes to pull back and pass Rea on the final laps today, particularly when a backmarker impeded Jonathan. Despite Tom drawing close to Rea on an inside line into the final corner Jonathan had done enough to make sure the race victory would be his.Sykes led for 14 laps as he and his machine showed a marked level of race-long improvement in pace compared to the opening round in Australia last month. This was Tom's first podium of the year and the 20 points he earned today put him third in the overnight championship order, with 41.Both Kawasaki riders feel that there are even more improvements to come from their Ninja ZX-10R machines over race distance for race two tomorrow, based on their positive experiences today.Jonathan Rea stated: "The pace was fast; I did not expect it to be so fast as all weekend we have been slower than last year. So it was a good, fast race. I put my head down and with four laps to go I got a small gap of about 0.7 or 0.8 seconds on Tom. On the final laps I got caught out in the first turn by another rider but it was not so much. I had done all my work by then as I had completely emptied my tank with about four laps to go to try and get away. I am a little bit tired now because I went full gas in those last four laps. We were able to capitalize on that work and I feel like I rode for a stronger win than I have had for a long time. Tomorrow, I expect my bike set-up will be much stronger."Tom Sykes stated: "I am quite happy with that because compared to last year we made a much stronger race. Unfortunately I was struggling in two or three corners, which gave away a lot of advantage. Jonathan was riding very well and on the last laps he was strong but we were also strong at that stage compared to previous races. This is a positive and the gap was not so big to the winner. We have a much better feeling, so this is a good step. The Ninja ZX-10R was working consistently and we had some great lap times, so we'll see how it goes next race. We need to try and improve for tomorrow but as a start that was quite acceptable. I am disappointed not to win on one hand but we have had a big improvement on the other hand. We are working in the right direction."Roman Ramos (Team GOELEVEN Kawasaki) placed 12th in race one, while Pedercini Team Kawasaki riders Sylvain barrier and Saeed Al Sulaiti were 16th and 17th respectively, just missing out on championship points. Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Team) was 19th.

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Mar 11, 2016

World Superbike Champion visits Kawasaki Factory

Reigning World SBK Champion, Jonathan Rea, recently visited the Kawasaki's Akashi plant near Kobe in Japan as a VIP guest. A tour was organized so that the 29 year old Irishman could meet, greet and thank as many Kawasaki executives, managers and staff as possible for their assistance in helping him and the Ninja ZX-10R equipped Kawasaki Racing Team achieve the top ranking in the World Superbike Championship. This is the story – in words and pictures – of his tour.KHI – Jonathan what does a visit like this represent to you?JR - I lead a busy life with my racing and testing commitments plus my wife and I have recently celebrated the birth of our second child. That said, I relish any chance I get to meet people from the Kawasaki family – especially those at the factory who play a part in making the dream of racing success become reality.The link between KHI and the Kawasaki Racing Team is close in terms of development and feedback. Anyone can see how strong that bond is and the evidence for Kawasaki fans is the new Ninja ZX-10R created as part of that partnership. We see perhaps one or two KHI engineers at each race. They represent a much larger group of people that create racing engine parts and chassis components and also special one-off assemblies for either my machine or that of Tom Sykes, my teammate. I saw this visit as a chance to thank everyone in person for their efforts and to share the pride of Kawasaki achieving rider, team and manufacturer world championship honors in 2015.KHI – You met Mr. Kenji Tomida, President of Kawasaki's Motorcycle and Engineering Company– tell us about this meeting.JR – It's not every day you meet someone so senior at Kawasaki and I know he is a really busy person. I was honored that he took time out of his day to talk to me. He displayed a deep knowledge of racing and how important the overall program is in terms of success at the racetrack. He also stressed the importance that our racing program has to customers along with its engineering benefits. I only started racing the Ninja ZX-10R in 2015 and achieved my goal of winning the World Superbike Championship. To be invited to KHI and then meet Mr. Tomida reinforced the feeling that I am now part of the global Kawasaki family.KHI – You also visited parts of the Akashi complex during your tour and did some work in the wind tunnel, tell us about that.JR – The Akashi plant is huge, in fact it's hard to imagine how vast it is and the area it covers. Just one of the many buildings houses the wind tunnel. It's a place I am familiar with having tested various possible upgrades and aerodynamic solutions there in the past. As part of this visit I helped test some new ideas as well as having the time to thank the wind tunnel staff for their work. The room itself is very large and the motorcycle is rigidly mounted in front of a flume that produces the charge of air. In racing we are always looking for that extra edge – however small – to gain an advantage. In the case of aerodynamics we need to find ways of making the rider and motorcycle cut through the air with the least resistance possible. This can mean small differences in how I position my feet, how I adopt a racing crouch when attacking a long straight on the track or even the depth of the seat foam I sit on; they all make a difference and combined could add up to more speed and the ability to make a pass for position so the reward is very tangible. The cowling of the 2016 KRT Ninja ZX-10R and road going model were developed here and the value of the wind tunnel cannot be underestimated.KHI – It's rare for guests to visit the motorcycle production line, what sort of feedback did you get from the Akashi production line staff?JR – I love engineering so I really appreciated the factory tour. I was with my KRT crew chief, Pere Riba and we witnessed the whole production process from start to finish. That began with robots and automated vehicles selecting or transporting parts to the production area and then seeing motorcycles being made. The number one priority is quality control and efficiency so we had to be careful and respect the fact that the production line was a working environment. When we got a chance to speak to assembly team supervisors and production line staff I was really pleased that so many of them recognized me. They knew so much about racing and many spoke really good English. We got close to a Ninja ZX-10R at the end of the production line and gave staff there some T-shirts as gifts which they really appreciated. After this we went to one of the quality control areas to see some completed motorcycles being checked and tested. It was really impressive, the standards are so high and the quality control is amazing. The story of how a motorcycle starts as parts and is then assembled and made ready for delivery to a customer is fascinating. The quality level is so high.KHI – You were the guest of honor at several gatherings at the Akashi plant, tell us about those.JR – Yes I was lucky enough to meet many people in these informal gatherings. It was great to speak to staff from the Racing and R&D departments. The people I met all follow racing closely and I now know a lot of engineers by name. They understand that I am a real motorcycle enthusiast and love riding motocross too on my KX450-F. It was a fun occasion and I made a speech along with Mr. Ondo of KHI and my crew Chief Pere Riba. I really appreciated these gatherings and also the special gift that I received from Mr Tomida.KHI - Tell us about this gift from KHI JonathanJR – I have to say I was not expecting a gift so it did come as quite a surprise I have to admit. Mr. Tomida very generously presented me with an authentic replica of a Samurai helmet in a presentation case in recognition of achieving the World Superbike title with KRT in 2015. The quality and workmanship is amazing and perhaps only fitting after what I witnessed in the factory in terms of precision and attention to detail. I have a plan to create a special place for my most treasured trophies and awards. This gift from KHI is at the center of that plan and will take pride of place in the display to remind me of a very special moment in my racing career so far.KHI – Finally Jonathan, please tell us about the other areas of KHI that you had some insight into during your time at Akashi.JR – To be honest it's is almost too much to take in during such a brief visit. I took the chance to see exhibits in a museum area that represented the breadth and heritage of Kawasaki shipbuilding enterprises that stretches back to the origins of the company. It does not stop there though; things like rolling stock, aircraft and civil engineering projects such as the Akashi suspension bridge nearby are evidence of the scale of KHI engineering skill. I stood next to a Boing 787 engine made in partnership with Rolls Royce aerospace, which towered over me. This made me realize that my efforts on the racetrack – along with the combined efforts of all the engineers, production line staff and countless others - combine to create the Kawasaki family that I am proud to say I now feel very much part of.-------Thank you Jonathan Rea, 2015 World Superbike Champion.

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Mar 11, 2016

Rea And Sykes Fifth And Seventh After First Day In Thailand

FIM Superbike World Championship riders for KRT, Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes, made their first laps around the Chang International Circuit in Buriram today aboard their new Ninja ZX-10R machines. On a track surface which proved inconsistent in places they placed fifth and seventh respectively after the first two qualifying sessions, being more concerned with race preparations in hot conditions than going for a fast time. Under the new rules for the 2016 season they now have just one more 15-minute session before Superpole 2 qualifying starts, and then race one is scheduled at 16.00 hrs local time on Saturday 12th March.With this new schedule in mind all preparations were on evaluating tyre choices and machine set-up, to face the first of two 20-lap WSBK races in what should again be high track and air temperatures.After track resurfacing work had been carried our recently there were three patched sections of track that proved to be more slippery than the rest, making for a reduction in pace relative to last year for all riders and modifying some aspects of pre-race planning.Rea concentrated his efforts on building for the races in three long stints. He even sat out the first 40 minutes or so of the first session as track conditions were so inconsistent.Sykes used some of his two hours of track time evaluate a few set-up items in preparation for the first race on Saturday and declared himself pleased with the outcome of this strategy.Jonathan Rea stated: "I made three long runs today and no in-outs. The difficult part about today is that the tarmac is so dirty in some areas. I am happy we did almost a full race simulation but I had to come back to the pits with four laps to go, which was not ideal. Aside from the grip level I am enjoying riding here, the circuit layout and just being back here. Last year the bike set up we brought from Phillip Island we did not have to change so much in Thailand. It seems that although the track is completely different here, the Phillip Island settings work quite well again. We have gone a little softer today to try and find grip in the slippy conditions but as more rubber goes down on the track it is going to get faster and faster. It is easy to get lost so we will be patient and check the conditions again in the first practice session tomorrow."Tom Sykes stated: "We have quite a good set-up. We were just trying two or three things in the last part of the second session and sacrificed lap time for this. Now our questions have been answered for tomorrow so we know where to go on the set-up and then we need to focus on pace. In the last ten minutes we kept the same tyre on the bike and tried some new things. We can go to sleep and know with 98% certainty what bike set-up we will go with in the race tomorrow." Sylvain Barrier (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was next best Kawasaki qualifier, in 15th place. Go Eleven Kawasaki rider Roman Ramos was 17th with Pedercini Racing Kawasaki rider Saeed Al Sulaiti 21st from 25 riders

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Mar 8, 2016

Round Two Approaches for KRT WorldSBK Duo

KRT's FIM Superbike World Championship challengers Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes had their first race experiences on the all-new Ninja ZX-10R at round one last month, with Rea winning both races and Sykes securing the Superpole trophy in qualifying. In a few days time the second round of the 2016 championship gets underway with anticipation of another strong showing for Rea and Sykes, at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand.With Rea on a maximum 50 points after round one in Australia he approaches the Thai round with a high level of confidence. He won both inaugural WorldSBK races for KRT at the 4.554km circuit in Thailand in 2015 and then went on to win the title by a near record points haul at season end. In 2015 'JR' scored the fastest lap in each race at Chang, in addition to winning Superpole.The combined efforts of Rea and Sykes helped make Kawasaki champions in the manufacturers' title chase and Sykes will be hoping for a repeat of last year's Chang experiences in one regard. He took his first podium finish of the season in race one in Thailand in 2015 and he aims to earn his first 2016 podium finishes this coming weekend. On the new Ninja he ran out front in each Australian race last month but dropped out of the final top three positions to finish fifth and then sixth.Rea made a new step up in his career statistics at Phillip Island. His first race win took him to a total of 30 and his Sunday success raised that figure to 31 – equal with double WSBK champion Colin Edwards. They now share fifth overall in terms of total race victories. Sykes is eighth overall in this ranking, with 26 race wins. Tom is additionally the second most successful qualifier in the history of the category with 31 Superpoles.The new-look 2016 race weekends in WorldSBK consist of two free practice sessions on Friday, Superpole qualifying and race one on Saturday and the second race – alongside the FIM Supersport World Championship contest - on Sunday.With a stadium design philosophy and a giant grandstand for the enthusiastic local fans to occupy, the Chang International Circuit is an exemplar of modern circuit design. It features three long straights allied to more technical sections, making it a difficult venue to find a truly ideal machine set-up for.After the Thai race weekend is completed the championship heads to Europe and the home base of the logistical base of the KRT team, in Spain. The Motorland Aragon round will be the third of the year and will feature races on the 2nd and 3rd of April.Tom Sykes stated: "Chang International Circuit, on paper, is a circuit that could really suit us so I am excited to go there again. I got a podium finish although it was not that good to us in one of the races last year, but it is a different prospect this year. I remember in 2015 that we had great spectators in the circuit and it was a layout that I enjoyed riding around. This year we have an even better ZX-10R so I am hopeful heading to Thailand."Jonathan Rea stated: "Going to Thailand off the back of an incredible start to the season, with a double win in Australia, just gives me a lot of satisfaction – and motivation as well. Motivation to keep the bike at the front.""Friday is the most important day to understand set-up because on Saturday we are already racing. With the new schedule we have a little bit of a different strategy for our race weekends. We were quite lucky in Phillip Island with our pre-event tests so in Thailand we need to make sure we can plan the weekend carefully. Hopefully, come Saturday and Sunday, we can have two good results again."After what is always a tough first weekend in the championship Pedercini Racing Kawasaki pairing Saeed Al Sulaiti and Frenchman Sylvain Barrier will be back out in force in Thailand, alongside potent Kawasaki runner, Go Eleven's Roman Ramos. Dominic Schmitter will take to the field on his Grillini Kawasaki machine, while Aussie rider Josh Hook (Grillini Racing Team) was injured in testing for his home event.

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Feb 28, 2016

Rea Doubles Up His Win Tally on the New Ninja ZX-10R

Once again Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes were well in the leading mix at the FIM Superbike World Championship round in Phillip Island. On the new Ninja ZX-10R Rea finally took his second win of the new season - and the championship lead of 14 points. Tom led for ten laps of the 22-lap race but two incidents pushed him back to sixth place, for sixth overall ranking in the championship.From their front row starting positions both KRT riders made good starts with Rea aiming for his second race win of the year and Superpole winner Sykes looking for his first.Rea led more than once and confirmed his pace in the final laps, winning the race by an eventual 0.831 seconds after Chaz Davies had fallen while trying to pass Jonathan on turn four. Rea made his escape count as Davies restarted to finish tenth, and the Kawasaki rider scored a second win of the opening weekend.Sykes pushed away up front in race two today but was unable to make a clean break, meaning Rea was right back with him by the end of the fifth lap, followed by a pack of riders. On lap 11 Sykes dropped three positions to fourth in one corner, running wide after missing a gear, with Rea taking the lead for the first time.After a tangle with eventual third place rider Davide Giugliano Sykes was dropped back again, regrouping and pushing on to a final sixth place, 3.320 seconds from the win.The second round of the new season will take place in Buriram, Thailand, between the 11th and 13th of March.Jonathan Rea stated: "It is incredible. We had two really composed races this weekend. I just did my thing and was very patient in both races at the beginning. Today I knew that Chaz would make a move again, a copybook story from yesterday, but he came through when there was no space, went completely wide and, unfortunate for him, he made a mistake. The set-up changes we made between yesterday and today means the team gave me a bike that was quite easy to ride and I was more ready for attacks. Not just in T4 but in many areas. I thank my team for that. We played the strategy game here in Phillip Island and it really paid off. I feel that we are working at around 85-90% of the potential of the machine and I am really proud to give Kawasaki these two wins on the new bike."Tom Sykes stated: "We are definitely knocking on the door in terms of our showings at Phillip Island. I felt really comfortable in race two up until lap ten. Going into the hairpin I struggled on the downshift. I missed gear and ran off the track. Unfortunately, on that lap I lost 1.6 seconds. A couple of laps later Giugliano and I came together and I lost another 1.6 seconds. Overall, we made a couple of small changes to the bike for today and I felt much, much more comfortable. Unfortunately I was not in the correct track position in the last five laps of the race. I am happy for the progress we have made and it something we can take forward. I have never been great here, for some reason, because I love the place."Roman Ramos (GO Eleven Kawasaki) scored another set of points for 12th place today, with the final point from the second race of the weekend heading to 15th placed Sylvain Barrier (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki). Dominic Schmitter was once again 16th and Pedercini Racing's Saeed Al Sulaiti 17th for the second time in two days.

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Feb 28, 2016

Krummenacher Takes Sensational ‘Rookie’ Race Win

In an astoundingly tough and combative WSS race, with 11-changes of the lead across the start/finish line in 18 race laps, occasional drops of rain complicated matters at times.With a vast group of leading riders in fighting mood both Sofuoglu and Krummenacher had to work hard to stay in front, with Kenan having to overcome traction issues compared to his practice experiences.After the race had reached just past the mid point, first Sofuoglu and then Krummenacher eased ahead on their Ninja ZX-6Rs, to sit 1-2 out front. When Kenan fell at Turn 6, after experiencing a rear tyre issue, Krummenacher just had to keep his pace and his cool head to win his first WSS race by 2.747 seconds from Federico Caricasulo and wildcard rider Anthony West.Both Randy and Kawasaki now lead their respective championships after one round with the next WSS round taking place in Thailand on March 13th.Randy Krummenacher stated: "It was really a special race because the conditions were different to anything before, any practice and any testing. At the beginning it was quite 'hot' because it was a big group and I think everybody tried to pass us. They were all looking for the Kawasakis. It made it really hard but when it started to rain a bit they were all a bit more scared than me and I went a bit away from the pack and behind Kenan. Then I made my best lap times. I did not expect that Kenan would crash, so I am very sorry for him. Then it was clear I had to bring it to the finish line and it was really hard because there was proper rain in some areas. I had to push or the others would have been coming but when I went over Lukey Heights I saw I had a big gap. I just had to manage the last two corners to bring it home. It feels great to win, unbelievable."Kenan Sofuoglu stated: "I think I got a wrong tyre but it was the same choice I made in qualifying, taking pole position and a fast pace in the warm-up. I put the same tyre in as then but the bike had little grip and vibration and mid-race it exploded, in the middle of the corner. When I exited the corner the tyre went and then I crashed. It was not overheating because I was much more aggressive on the same tyre in practice and the warm-up. It was almost impossible to ride from the first lap."Christian Gamarino from the GO Eleven Kawasaki team was in a strong fourth place and ended his 18-laps right behind the podium finishers. Ondrej Jezek was eighth after winning a duel with another rider. New WSS rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) earned a 13th place finish and his teammate Nacho Calero was 18th. Lachlan Epis (Response RE Team Kawasaki) ended up 21st at his home round.

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Feb 27, 2016

Rea and New Ninja ZX-10R Win First Race of 2016

Official KRT riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes took turns to lead the thrilling 22-lap Saturday race in the FIM Superbike World Championship on their all-new Ninja ZX-10R machines but it was 2015 champion Rea who emerged with the race victory, as Sykes finished an eventual fifth.With the two KRT WorldSBK riders starting from the front row after Sykes had qualified on pole and Rea had been third fastest after Superpole 2, the prospects were good from the start, in the first race at this level for the new model ZX-10R.Rea and Sykes did the early running up front, with Rea then Sykes and then Rea again leading every one of the 22 laps. With up to nine riders forming one leading group and podium challengers all around right to the end the pressure was intense throughout, with Rea finally winning by resisting the late challenge of Ducati rider Chaz Davies.'JR' was passed for a short time after Davies had went inside at the MG hairpin. Jonathan chose the best exit line to ensure Davies could not stay in front at the exit of the corner and won by 0.063 seconds. This was his 30th career win in this category.Sykes, who had taken his 31st Superpole success earlier in the day rode his new Ninja ZX-10R in the lead from lap three to lap six but had to drop back as he lost ground in two key areas of the circuit. He rallied to finish fifth and score valuable championship points.The second race of the weekend will take place at 3pm local time in Australia on Sunday 28th.Jonathan Rea stated: "We expected to be strong because I am so lucky with Pere and my guys. I put all my trust in them, we made a strategy for the winter tests in November and it is clear that it worked. To be strong in the race, to control the race from the front at this track, is so difficult. I had a look every lap on the big screen at MG and I could see the size of the group at the front. It eventually dropped to four guys and in the end three. I put my head down with six laps to go and upped the pace but it was still '+0' on my pit board. Then with three to go I made another push and Chaz was still there. I knew the only way to win the race was to close the door at MG, but he blew it completely wide open! I managed to stop the bike and fire it out. It was not a very pretty last sector but we won the race and have 25 points. I am really happy because all our work paid off."Tom Sykes stated: "I think no-one wanted to lead but Jonathan and I had good pace initially but unfortunately I lost a little bit of track position to some other riders. That disturbed my rhythm a bit but we had good pace in the middle and at three quarters distance. Really, it was just on two corners on the track where we struggled and I was able to take an advantage in many areas but I lost it all in two vital areas of the racetrack. I had to ride around this but on the plus side the gap to the front was smaller than we have had in the past here and we are improving the feeling all the time. I am not downbeat and it is a long season. Now we have another race tomorrow."Behind the official KRT duo Roman Ramos (GO Eleven Kawasaki) slotted in 11th place and Sylvain Barrier (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) took the final point on offer for 15th. Grillini Kawasaki rider Dominic Schmitter was 16th and Pedercini Racing Kawasaki rider Saeed Al Sulaiti was 17th in his first ever WorldSBK contest.

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Feb 27, 2016

New Qualifying Format Sees Sofuoglu First and Krummenacher Third

Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and his new 2016 teammate Randy Krummenacher earned starting places on the front row of the grid for the first round of the 2016 FIM Supersport World Championship at Phillip Island, after a new-look two-part Superpole-style qualifying.For the first time in its history the final qualifying session in the WSS class followed the template originally created for the Superbike class, with Superpole 1 for the riders who were ranked from 11th place to last in the previous qualifying sessions. Superpole 2 then took the two fastest Superpole 1 riders, and the quickest ten competitors from regular qualifying, who then fought it out for the first few grid positions.Both Kenan and Randy had qualified into Superpole 2 directly and in the 15 minutes of Superpole 2 they took their new-spec Ninja ZX-6R machines to first and third places respectively.For Sofuoglu his championship defense has been on track from the start of practice on Friday, finding little difference in the overall racetrack performance of his Ninja ZX-6R, even though the technical regulations of the class now limit engine tuning and the degree of electronic rider aids allowed.For Krummenacher his first race weekend experience of the WSS class has been positive and he now looks to Sunday to convert his strong seam of testing and practice form into real race results.Kenan Sofuoglu stated: "It is nice to have taken the first Superpole in Supersport history. It was good today because the track was very clean and the grip was good. We did some very good work in these two days of testing and honestly we did not use all our best until today. The team did a very good job. But still there is a possibility that we can go even faster because we keep pushing the bike to the limit and I am not taking risks with my riding. I could see I was 'P1' and I tried to stay there. Hopefully tomorrow we can go for 25 points – the first win of the season would be very nice."Randy Krummenacher stated: "Front row first time in WSS and I am happy. Kenan put in a really strong lap at the end. I was ready to do better than I did but we had a bit of traffic on the last lap and I did not take the risk to pass. Overall I have to be very happy as I am in a very good position for the race tomorrow. I am confident because my pace is really constant."Christian Gamarino from the GO Eleven Kawasaki team was seventh in WSS Superpole, and his teammate Ondrej Jezek was 14th. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) placed 17th and his teammate Nacho Calero was 21st. Lachlan Epis from the Response RE Team placed himself 27th.

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Feb 23, 2016

Testing Ends and New Season Begins Soon for KRT

It was a highly successful test for both of Kawasaki's official riders with Sykes fastest of all and Rea second quickest in a field of 25 machines. With ambient temperatures climbing to almost 40°C on the afternoon of the second day some of the fastest single lap times were set on Monday.Sykes did his best of test 1'31.097 on Monday afternoon. Rea set his personal best, a 1'31.249, on the morning of day two and got close to it once more in this afternoon's hot temperatures. With new rules allowing each rider to use only one bike at a time, but to have a spare machine ready to go in the event of trouble, Tom and Jonathan spent time making sure that both their bikes are ready for the coming weekend.The second and final afternoon of action was also complicated by high winds, gusting at times, which pushed the riders down the home straight but made turning for the first sections of the track a complicated affair.Several red flag incidents for incidents involving other riders interrupted the track action over both days but the KRT pit crews got through their final pre-season preparations in good order. Jonathan Tom and the entire KRT effort are now ready to face the first two races of the season - the opener on Saturday 27th and the second on Sunday 28th February. WorldSBK races will now run on consecutive days according to the revised 2016 race weekend format.Tom Sykes stated: "There were a lot of stoppages for red flags over the course of two days but I think we are in a very good situation. We are fast with the cold conditions, warmer conditions, and also with some laps on the tyres. We have finished our two days of testing in a strong way, at a track that has been one of our limits in the past. Everything is definitely heading in the right direction and we have gathered some great information. I am happy to head into the race weekend now having completed a successful test. All we have to do now is get our heads together, have a brief summary of what we have done but on the whole we have made some key changes and put ourselves in a better position for the opening race weekend."Jonathan Rea stated: "We got pretty much everything done. It was challenging at times because the red flags came out while we were making a constant effort with some items but in general the two days have been pretty good. We had two different conditions; one cooler one on day one and then one very hot one with really high wind. That wind made getting across from turn two to turn three so difficult. All things considered, we ticked all the boxes we needed to and we managed to do a race simulation this morning. We are ready to go into the race weekend with a package I feel comfortable on. I am just super-excited because even though it is not that long a winter in WorldSBK it feels like forever since the final race of last year in Qatar. I just want to see the lights go out and get stuck in for 22 laps at one of the best circuits in the world."Marcel Duinker, Tom Sykes' Crew Chief, stated: "We did not get all the time we should have had for the many red flag interruptions but we came here with a good base bike from the winter tests. We made some key adjustments for this track and they worked out. Initially Tom showed good speed and also good speed over distance. Now we have two days to analyse all the steps we have made, which we will use on Friday for the first free practice session. Let's go racing."Pere Riba, Jonathan Rea's Crew Chief, stated: "We tried many different things with engines and chassis in the winter tests and we built our base bike. I guess we did a good job because since the first laps yesterday the base was working well and Jonathan was already there, running at a good pace. Because we have a new bike we still had some points to confirm here. In the end we reached the target. It was good that this morning was a little bit cooler because we made a long run and really understood a lot. In the afternoon, with the very high temperatures, there was less grip in the track - but we were able to ride with a similar lap time that we had with a lower temperature. This means we made a step forward. It seems to be positive and we will keep working."Other Kawasaki riders about to have their first taste of 2016 race action include Pedercini Racing pairing Saeed Al Sulaiti from Qatar and Frenchman Sylvain Barrier, plus the lone Go Eleven Ninja ZX-10R rider Roman Ramos. Dominic Schmitter from Switzerland and Aussie rider Josh Hook, in the Grillini Racing Team, complete the regular 2016 Kawasaki line-up but Hook has been ruled out of action for the opening weekend after a crash today in testing, having dislocated and injured his shoulder.

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Feb 23, 2016

Successful Final Test for Sofuoglu and Krummenacher

The combination of reigning FIM Supersport World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and his new 2016 team-mate Randy Krummenacher was a strong one during the final pre-season test at Phillip Island in Australia. Krummenacher, an experienced Moto2 rider but a WSS rookie, was fastest over the two days and Sofuoglu went second quickest on the timesheets.In all, the WSS riders had four long sessions to make their final pre-season preparations for a new era in this category of racing. New technical regulations mean more limits have been imposed in the electronics packages on the 2016 specification Supersport race machines, which will ensure that the class will be even more streetbike-focused.Working from the strong base of the roadgoing Ninja ZX-6R the top Kawasaki team has made consistent race set-up improvements over the winter months, including a swap of suspension supplier.On the eve of the new season both Puccetti Racing competitors are ready for the new look two-part Superpole competition, to be held on Saturdays. There will still be a single race on Sundays, with the scheduled 18-lap event at PI taking place on 28th February.Randy Krummenacher stated: "It was a hard day today and we tried many, many things. We have a lot of data and now we just need to get everything clear for the first practice session on Friday. We have to sort out a few things but in general this test was very positive. For sure yesterday was a bit better than today but we will keep on working. I am still learning a lot and if the conditions change maybe I cannot adapt as quickly as Kenan right now. I just need to learn a bit more, to understand the conditions and push in the right direction."Kenan Sofuoglu stated: "As always I am working for the race and in these two days of testing I used old tyres. I did one long run and I was very fast on used tyres. This is a positive thing and today we worked a lot on the bike set-up. Because we have new suspension for 2016 we tried some new material again and we got a very good improvement in the braking area, and some improvement in grip. In bad conditions we made good improvements in the lap time so if the conditions are good we should be very fast. Now we are just waiting for Friday morning and the first session."Other notable Kawasaki riders in the Supersport World Championship in 2016 come from the Go Eleven team, in the shape of Christian Gamarino and Ondrej Jezek. Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Nacho Calero from the Orelac Racing VerdNatura squad and Lachlan Epis from the Response RE Team are also ambitious Kawasaki competitors in 2016.

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Feb 22, 2016

Final Official Tests Set to Start for KRT

KRT, Kawasaki's FIM Superbike World Championship squad, will face two final days of preseason testing on the all-new Ninja ZX-10R at Phillip Island in Australia before the season itself gets underway this coming weekend.Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes are now looking forward to lapping the 4.445km Phillip Island circuit in Australia on Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd before the new look championship season kicks off for real with first practice on Friday 26th.Both riders have tested their latest WorldSBK specification Ninja ZX-10Rs extensively in Europe this winter but the fast Phillip Island circuit now hosts the most significant tests of all, allowing the team to make real preparations for the first two points scoring races of the season.With Rea the champion in 2015 and Sykes in 2013 KRT each rider knows that it takes to win the title outright and each will aim to do so again. Both Jonathan and Tom also know the importance of making a good start to the year - all of which make the results of the final test sessions more important than any previous winter outings.KRT staff will use the final tests to make sure each rider is prepared to launch the latest assault on the championship by making the forthcoming days count towards the final results on Saturday and Sunday.Jonathan Rea stated: "I am really excited for the start of the season because it has been a long winter with a lot of testing. Now we can start putting all the pieces of the jigsaw together to start making our race package. We are really happy because the bike is at a very good level and we have had some good tests. We have had some more time on the dyno to perfect our engine mapping. All the major test items we have tried out are underlined now and we can start focusing on performance. We will make a race simulation at some point and adjust the bike for a race set-up. We also need to start to be more specific with electronics. We will try to use the smile-a-mile philosophy and enjoy it too."Tom Sykes stated: "We need to look at fine-tuning the bike now. We have had a great winter testing programme and the new Ninja is working well. I feel more at one with the bike. We did a lot of good work in testing even before the Christmas break. All the information we have learned we will use to start to fine-tune our set up. We have two good days here to evaluate these small items. Overall, we are very much looking forward to the start because we have a good base already. We are at the right moment now to start racing. We'll work on our package over race distance and in a correct manner. It is really very much fine-tuning now and that makes me feel very relaxed."Guim Roda, Team Manager KRT, stated: "This test is to confirm the direction we went in during the Jerez and Motorland tests. Here is the first chance to check things on another circuit. It is a very different one compared to the regular ones. The race weekend is close now so this is more of a special test than most. The riders need to check their lap times with the others and they have more pressure. We will use these two days to test some items and then it is go for the start of the season."

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Apr 19, 2015

KRT’s Rea Takes A Double Win For The Second Time This Year

Jonathan Rea (KRT) made it six wins from eight starts in the FIM Superbike Championship since he joined Kawasaki, taking the chequered flag each time after two exciting and often tense racing at Assen in the Netherlands. Superpole winner Tom Sykes (KRT) was in the front group in each race but dropped back to finish fifth each time.With cool temperatures on the track in each race Sykes and Rea ran with the front group in each 21-lap race. Rea was the start-to-finish leader in race one and Sykes was ahead of the pack for 12 laps of race two, until Rea moved forward to lead and then take his second win. Rea had to turn up the pace in the final laps of each race to keep ahead of eventual second place rider Chaz Davies, setting a new lap record of 1'35.889 on lap 20 of the first race to make sure of his opening win. Sykes had issues in keeping his strong early pace as the races unfolded, but his push right at the front in race two was impressive, keeping him clear of the battles going on behind for much of the race. He had to slow as the races wore on, but he is still fourth in the championship standings leaving the fourth round. Both Assn WSB races provided thrills aplenty for the large Dutch crowd and the second race in particular was a classic of its type. There were multiple overtakes, dramatic passing manoeuvres and high speed battles through the sculpted curves of Assen's final two sectors. Thanks to his latest successes Rea is now 50 points ahead in the championship table after scoring his 49th and 50th podium places in WSB today. He has a total of 190 points; Leon Haslam has 140, Chaz Davies 123 and Sykes 88. Imola, on 10th May, is the venue for the next WSB races, a track both Kawasaki riders can count as a favourite from years gone by. Jonathan Rea: "I feel awesome to win two races here. Today has been amazing and like in Thailand I need to sit down and savour this moment. There was a lot of pressure on me coming here, everyone talking about how Assen was my circuit, so I am just happy to deliver. We chose a different rear tyre in race two and it worked out well. Race two was slightly different because I knew Tom would be fast in the beginning. The race was a bit faster at the start and slower at the end because of that. When Chaz put a pass on me and I saw Tom slowing I knew that it could end up to be a messy fight so I wanted to get straight back into the lead and make it my race. This one is for all my mechanics who have been working tirelessly and all the people at KHI. Hopefully now we can go to Imola and do a similar job - but this one feels very special." Tom Sykes: "We had a better performance in qualifying at this round and at the beginning of the races I feel comfortable. I think that has shown in the last couple of rounds. We are definitely starting to make progress and we have had various changes in rear set-up this weekend with very similar outcomes. I definitely feel that I have a clearer understanding of where we are, and my crew chief feels the same. I know I can run with the guys but at the last third or half of the race we cannot stick with the guys in some aspects. We know what we need to do and I am confident in where we can improve. We will move on to the next race in Imola but before then we will pinpoint a few things."At Assen David Salom (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) finished race one 14th and race two in 13th meaning he is now 14th in the championship overall. His fellow Spanish rider Roman Ramos (Team Go Eleven Kawasaki) placed 13th and then 15th in the Assen races and is only one place behind Salom in the points table.

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Mar 22, 2015

Rea Scores Sensational Double Win For KRT In Thailand

Jonathan Rea (KRT) scored two emphatic race wins in the first ever WSBK races at the Chang International Circuit and in doing so left the new venue with a ten point championship lead. Tom Sykes (KRT) scored his first podium of the year with third place in race one and is now third in the championship rankings.The first 20-lap race of the day belonged to Rea from green light to chequered flag, as the Superpole winner became race one winner after setting an unbeatable race pace in the 1'34s for almost the whole race duration. Leon Haslam was second in the opener but Sykes mixed attack with defence as he chased hard to catch a slowing Haslam in the final laps, while also keeping eventual fourth placed rider Jordi Torres behind him to the end. This was Tom's first podium of 2015, as he adapts to the new technical regulations for the 2015 WSB class. In race two Rea repeated his perfect display from race one and in doing so scored his first double in Kawasaki colours. He also has the new lap record of 1'33.817 to his credit. Sykes tried hard to repeat his podium from race one but he was forced to drop back and eventually finished fifth in race two. In the championship chase Rea is in the lead with 95 points from a possible 100, two-time second place rider at Chang, Leon Haslam, has 85 and Sykes is third with 50 points, nine clear of Sylvain Guintoli. Motorland Aragon, a home race for the bulk of the KRT staff based in Europe, is next up on the WSB calendar, with raceday on 12 April 2015. Jonathan Rea: "For me it has been a perfect weekend with pole position and two race wins - we could not have asked for any more. The bike can always be better but at the beginning of the weekend the Ninja ZX-10R was at a really good level, my pace was really fast, the rhythm was good so we did not necessarily chase something we really could have got lost with. Our base setting right now is good and it gives me confidence to push the boundaries and understand the bike. I have not had so many double wins in my career but I have been lucky to have some. They do not come round a lot so I want to savour this moment and reflect on what we have done tomorrow and enjoy these next few days." Tom Sykes: "First podium of the year in the opening race so we are heading in the right direction. One step at a time and a podium finish was not so bad considering the feeling I had with the bike. I am not able to do exactly what I want yet. When it is like that you have no answer for guys who have finished in front of you. We tried everything we could and in the end third position was acceptable for where we are at the moment. I got caught up in turn three of the first lap in race two and got dropped back a bit as a result. We had some small issues after that and corner entry was a little bit difficult to manage. We will keep working and try to improve the bike."

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Feb 6, 2015

KRT Official Presentation Makes A Big Impression

The official Kawasaki Racing Team WSBK launch took place on 5th February under the central dome of the Mercat de les Flors building near the centre of Barcelona, Spain, with the new season Ninja ZX-10R and 2015 riders Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea presented to the world for the first time in their new colours.In one of the and culture capitals of Europe the entire KRT team, plus guests, sponsors and supporters took the covers off of their full 2015 plans and material with red carpet guests surrounded by Kawasaki motorcycles, team trucks and the impressive twin level Hospitality unit that the team takes to every round in Europe. Video of many of the team's 2014 achievements, and 2015 winter tests sessions, mixed with presentations and speeches from the stage, formed a multifaceted spectacle during the evening. The new colour scheme of the 2015 Ninja ZX-10R racebike, featuring prominent Monster, Motocard, Elf and other sponsors' logos was unveiled near the end of the presentation by Sykes and Rea, with the bike having been hidden inside a glass box for most of the evening. Two special awards were also made, with Tom Sykes' winner's trophy from Donington Park in 2014 being presented to Motocard and his Misano race winner's trophy going to a representative of Elf. Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, commented: "Today is a very special day for us because we are starting a new year and the best way to show this is to share it with other people. We want everybody to join this project together to achieve all the results we work to achieve. We have a special relationship with Kawasaki, working with them for many years and in 2013 winning the title, and finishing second last year. We have consolidated this project together with Kawasaki and we are very happy to have the confidence of a company like Kawasaki. Confidence not only the team but also all the people who contribute, especially the suppliers who help us make this job." Steve Guttridge, Kawasaki Europe Race Planning Manager, commented: "I am representing Kawasaki Europe tonight and we could not be any more proud to be associated with this team. It is our most professional team and to be here in Barcelona, having nearly won the title again last year is an achievement in itself. Before we go into 2015, we must remember that we did actually win the SBK Evo Championship last year with David Salom and KRT, which was a fantastic feat in itself. Tom won so many races last year that it was a credit to the team that they all worked so strongly together. This is great for Kawasaki's marketing. We have to reinforce that this is the very premier level of our promotion so everything we put into this project is at the highest level. We cannot thank the Kawasaki factory enough, their top engineers and their innovation is keeping the bike at the very top level to beat our competitors. That innovation and technology goes back into our production bikes as well. Thanks to the riders, they push to the maximum at every test and every race. That's what we expect of them and they do a really great job. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our newest rider Jonathan Rea into the 'Team Green' family. I know he feels very welcome and has bonded with the bike. We are expecting really great things from him. And again to 'Mr Kawasaki', Tom Sykes. We want him to regain that title and have a fantastic year again. Thanks once again to our key sponsors, Elf and Motocard, who have followed us from the very big beginning. They trusted in the fact that we could become winners - and we have become winners. We really appreciate that. I would like to thank our newest sponsor Monster Energy. It is a new venture and is going to expose the team to a great level." Yasuhisa Okabe, Kawasaki Heavy Industries R&D Department, commented: "It is my great pleasure to have the Kawasaki Racing Team 2015 launch here today in Catalunya. Three years have passed since we have established the team here and the President of Kawasaki's Motorcycle division always says to us that we need four elements to win races. Firstly good riders. We have those. Secondly a good team. We have that in the capability of Guim Roda and his staff. They were in the Kawasaki family even before the Superbike days. Thirdly you need a good bike, needless to say. Lastly you need good sponsors and many Catalan firms have helped us. Kawasaki is aiming to achieve the pinnacle of technology through racing, so let's get there together."

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Jan 16, 2015

Monster Energy and KRT form new WSB partnership

Monster Energy announces a new sponsorship agreement with the official Kawasaki Racing Team in the 2015 FIM Superbike World Championship. Monster Energy will now join existing sponsors Motocard and Elf, in addition to Akrapovic, Bubel, MRA, and winter test sponsor Vialser in a working partnership with the official KRT WSB project.Historically, Kawasaki and Monster Energy have enjoyed a global sponsorship relationship in both motocross and supercross racing. This partnership will now expand to create an exciting new dimension to include the championship-winning KRT World Superbike squad.The factory WSB Ninja ZX-10R machines to be raced by 2013 World Champion Tom Sykes and recent KRT recruit Jonathan Rea will now feature prominent green Monster logos as part of a new graphics package. The final design of their 2015 machines will be unveiled at the official team launch in Barcelona on February 5th.Prior to the launch there will be two pre-season test sessions in Spain. During these tests, the KRT team will run a distinctive winter testing livery in which Monster Energy logos will be featured prominently. The first test is set to take place at Motorland Aragon on 19 and 20 January and the second at Jerez on 26 and 27 January.Biel Roda, Kawasaki Racing Team Marketing Manager, commented: "It is great to welcome Monster Energy to KRT. Monster is a truly global brand and we share many of their values. It is great news that they are giving support to our riders and team to fight for the Superbike World Championship title. This new partnership will join Motocard and Elf as top sponsors, two partners that have been with us for many years now. I am sure this agreement will give more energy to the whole KRT project and we will have fun together for many seasons."Steve Guttridge, Kawasaki Europe Race Planning Manager, commented: "In a global sense, we as Kawasaki are experiencing very exciting times with unprecedented results in all of our racing categories over the past few years. Monster Energy has backed our Motocross and Supercross programmes from their early days and with their strong support, success levels for both brands have risen. The benefits of each of us being well recognised as cool winning brands are obvious. I'm confident that Monster Energy will be happy that they have committed to come to World Superbike with our top team and would like to thank the company for their passion to win in partnership with Kawasaki."Tommy Hayden, Monster Energy Roadracing Manager, stated: "To race and to win is not only what Monster Energy stands for, it's what we expect. Monster Energy has experienced great success at the highest levels of motorcycle racing and now with the exciting new addition of the Kawasaki Racing Team to our global racing program, we look to excel in the most prestigious production-based motorcycle series in the world, World Superbike. As has already been well established, KRT is a world championship-proven entity and with riders Tom Sykes and team newcomer Jonathan Rea, we're confident great things are ahead for both Monster and Kawasaki in 2015 and well into the future."

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