WSBK: Kawasaki Claims Podiums as Skyes Chases Rea


World Superbike team Kawasaki has a lot to be proud of in the 2017 season opener as both Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes steal a spot on the podium.

Kawasaki is certain to be enjoying their view from on high as Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes have both bagged a podium finish during the opening rounds at Philip Island in Australia. Though separated by only one other rider, Sykes is already showing his determination to close in on Rea and steal the title for himself. With only a 24 point separation between Sykes and Rea, the results of the upcoming race in Thailand could throw the standings into a pendulum swing between the two riders.

PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 26: Tom Sykes of Great Britain and Kawasaki Racing Team prepares to start on the grid during the race 2 during round one of the FIM World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on February 26, 2017 in Phillip Island, Australia.  (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)
PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 26: Tom Sykes of Great Britain and Kawasaki Racing Team prepares to start on the grid during the race 2 during round one of the FIM World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on February 26, 2017 in Phillip Island, Australia. (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)

Given that Sykes won in Thailand last year after duking it out with Rea, he’s eager to repeat the past – but there isn’t a chance in hell that Rea will just roll over and die. Sykes took a moment out to comment on the season thus far, as well as looking ahead with renewed confidence:

“This round is quite a challenging event because of the heat and the track conditions but I have enjoyed it over the last two years. “Last season in particular we had some good results, on the back of some not-so-strong first round results at Phillip Island.

Considering what happened at Phillip Island last week – being right there on the podium in race one and then scoring points after having to close in on the leaders through the early laps of race two – it definitely gives me more confidence going to the Chang International Circuit this weekend.” – Tom Sykes

PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 26:  Jonathan Rea of Great Britain and KAWASAKI RACING TEAM celebrates the victory with fans at the end of the race 2 during round one of the FIM World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on February 26, 2017 in Phillip Island, Australia.  (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)
PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 26: Jonathan Rea of Great Britain and KAWASAKI RACING TEAM celebrates the victory with fans at the end of the race 2 during round one of the FIM World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on February 26, 2017 in Phillip Island, Australia. (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)

Sykes will have to mount a substantial charge if he’s going to steal the title from Rea. Rea has commented that he’s not necessarily “expecting” another win, but it would be downright silly to say that he isn’t doing everything he can to make World Superbike history.