An almost perfect season for Jonathan Rea culminated with a double win at the final round in Qatar on the Ninja ZX-10RR. In winning race two by 1.961 seconds he won two more races in a single season than he had managed in his previous best winning year of 2015.
For the final race of 2017 Rea started from ninth place, under the reverse grid Superpole regulations, but got up to the lead on lap four. From that point he started easing his way forward and maintaining a gap to the riders behind.
His strong finish saw him 153 ahead of overall second place finisher in the points, Chaz Davies, after 13 rounds. Rea was never off the podium in any race he finished this year.
Sykes lost his chance of finishing the season in second place after he fell on lap three, at turn 14. His machine was too badly damaged to continue. Tom finished his season a clear third overall in the rankings, with 373 points.
After the finale under the floodlights KRT will now head back to Europe to make preparations for the first of the winter tests, to be fully ready for the new technical challenges that the 2018 season will bring.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “The points tally is nice but the championship is the main thing. To win 16 races in a season, more than 50% of the races, is not normal. That’s the biggest thing I take away. This year, like I keep saying, I have no words. It has been feeling normal to be here on the podium and that is kind of scary. Right now is my time, so I really am enjoying the moment. Next year it could easily be somebody else so we really need to enjoy this and celebrate an incredible year. I know how difficult it is when things are not coming naturally, and it is an uphill struggle, so that is why I am so grateful to Kawasaki for this opportunity. It is a huge team effort. In a few weeks’ time we can start turning our attention to 2018.”
Tom Sykes, stated: “We started this final weekend so well but things just turned against us. In race two the bike felt much better. Initially I missed a bit of lap time but the bike was coming to me. I was just in a fast turn, clipped the white line and fell. People are running up and over kerbs here but I go and touch a white line and lose the front. It has been one of those things. The lap times were right there for the race today because we had made slight modifications from yesterday, so I cannot believe the way it finished. Jonathan has had an incredible season this year, he has done a fantastic job.”
Shigemi Tanaka of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Motorcycle and Engine Company, Marketing Department, stated: “We send our congratulations to Jonathan on behalf of KHI. It is a great achievement to score so many points, in a season which has been remarkable.”
2017 KRT Rider Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016 & 2017
2017: Races 26, Wins 16, Podiums 24, Superpoles 6
Career Race Wins: 54 (39 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 112 (70 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 14 (10 for Kawasaki)
Tom Sykes: World Champion 2013
2017: Races: 24, Wins 2, Podiums 16, Superpoles 4
Career Race Wins: 33 (33 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 100 (99 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 42 (42 for Kawasaki)
5 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016 & 2017), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
3 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017)
3 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016 & 2017)
Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 109 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 348 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 73 – second overall