Rea and Sykes gear up for Sepang

Kawasaki Racing Team duo Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes head to the next round of the World Superbike Championship this weekend at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit full of confidence at a track they both like.

At the 2015 event, Rea won Race 1 and was second in Race 2 on his way to clinching the WSBK Championship.

And in the 2016 championship, Rea has carried on from where he finished last year by dominating again sitting on top of the championship standings after five rounds on 221 points, he is followed by Ducati Racing’s Chaz Davies with 186 points and teammate Sykes third on 154 points.

Going into round six in Malaysia this weekend, Rea says in an interview with the Kawasaki website, that he has good memories of the Sepang circuit and is excited to go there again as he enjoys racing in the heat and constant temperatures.

“We have some good memories of Sepang from last year. We were able to be really strong, especially when it came to tyre life. So I am excited to go back there,” said Rea.

“We are still developing new ideas. In race two at Imola, although we had some small issues, we found a lot of positives. I think for Sepang we will have really good information. I have also watched the race from last year a few times.

“The most exciting part about this weekend is to go somewhere with a lot of heat. Aside from the first two flyaway races, the weather has been so inconsistent. I enjoy working in the heat and the consistent temperatures will be better for everybody.

“That should also make the tyre choice much more straightforward and we can work better on our race set-up. I am just looking forward to working again to help take the new Ninja forward.”

Sykes, like his teammate, enjoys the Sepang circuit as last year he won on pole but tyre wear saw him finishing down the order in Race 1 and in Race 2 he finished 14th after falling.

In an interview with the Kawasaki website, Sykes said he was excited to be back at Sepang as it was a place where he was very quick the previous year.

“Sepang is a circuit where we have had great speed in the past. Last year, unfortunately, we abused the tyres too much but apart from that our speed was fantastic,” said Sykes.

“I am really excited to go back there. We know we will have to work on the balance of the bike compared to last year to try and make a good compromise between speed and consistency. I am motivated to know that we can still adjust our package to let me do what we need to do.

“It is no secret that I am still not able to showcase my full potential but that is good in one way because that means that there is more to come. Sepang is a great circuit and a great facility.

“They have resurfaced the track so I think it will be quite a weekend for a number of reasons.”