Jonathan Rea is FIM Superbike world champion Kawasaki wins the Manufacturer Championship

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Rea20150929On the Andalusian track at Jerez de la Frontera, Northern Irish rider Jonathan Rea was crowned FIM Superbike World Champion with two rounds still left to race in the season while his team, Kawasaki racing, won the first Manufacturer Title in the history of the Akashi-based manufacturer in the factory derivative championship.

In Race 1 Tom Sykes (Kawasaki racing Team) got off the line well with the team champion Jonathan Rea right behind him, followed by Ducati rider Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing). In the third lap, Canepa crashed and was forced to give up several positions, whereas during the seventh lap Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team), who starting from the sixth spot on the grid, managed to move up into third place, passing Rea for second. Behind them in fourth and fifth place were Michele Pirro (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team) and Michael Vd Mark (PATA Honda World Superbike Team).

During the11th lap Haslam and Vd Mark closed the gap on the championship leader and the Dutchman managed to overtake him. In the 13th lap, Haslam also got more aggressive, beginning to press the Northern Irishman for fourth place and even succeeding in overtaking him temporarily before the Kawasaki rider was able to come back. At the end of the race, it was Sykes who saw the chequered flag first, followed by Davies and Vd Mark, with Jonathan Rea in fourth place to earn the World Champion title.

Between Race 1 and Race 2 the FIM Supersport World Championship race was also held, unfortunately without MV Agusta standard bearer Jules Cluzel on the grid because of an accident on Friday that resulted in a compound fracture of the left tibia and fibula, as well as a dislocated right shoulder. With his most competitive rival for the championship out of commission, Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), starting from pole position, easily dominated the race, further increasing his lead in the overall standings and making a serious claim to the World Champion title. Crossing the wire behind him were American rider Patrick Jacobsen (CORE’ Motorsport Thailand), who is now lying second in the overall standings at 33 points behind the Turkish Kawasaki rider and with a five point advantage over Cluzel, and Lorenzo Zanetti (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) who strengthened the hold on his fourth place in the overall standings.

It was an excellent start for Tom Sykes in Race 2 as well. The British rider created a sizeable gap already in the first lap as behind him Chaz Davies and Jordi Torres battled it out for second place. World Champion Jonathan Rea was farther back in fourth place. During the ninth lap Leon Haslam managed to get by Jonathan Rea, moving into fourth place and a lap later Vd Mark also overtook the World Champion, relegating him to sixth place.


However, in the 11th lap there was a race upset: Ducati rider Chaz Davies overtook Tom Sykes for the lead. A lap later Jordi Torres, Leon Haslam and Michael Vd Mark also passed the Race 1 winner and in the 15th lap, team mate Jonathan Rea also managed to do it.

A crash in the 16th lap by Michael Vd Mark and Matteo Baiocco overtaking Michele Pirro for sixth place were another two important episodes before the win went to Chaz Davies, crossing the line with a gap of almost two seconds ahead of Jordi Torres and more than two ahead of Leon Haslam who finished on the bottom step of the podium. Jonathan Rea’s fourth place and Tom Sykes’ fifth place were enough for Kawasaki to mathematically win the Manufacturer Championship.

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