After 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 Kawasaki 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 are 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: I got my head down from the start
“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: At least the points gap has come down
“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.