Kawasaki secure Manufacturers’ Championship in 2019 at Losail
For the first time ever in WorldSBK, a Japanese manufacturer has achieved a fifth consecutive Manufacturers’ title, with Kawasaki continuing their dominance in 2019
Despite not being able to win any of the opening 11 races, Kawasaki’s experience and prowess in recent seasons propelled them to conquer the unknown quantity of Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) and the Ducati Panigale V4 R. Important wins at Imola followed by wins at Misano (including a 1-2 in Race 2) for Rea and podium success for Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) brought Kawasaki back into contention for the crown.
After the summer break, Rea won to put Kawasaki ahead and from then on in, the gap has increased each round, to the unassailable amount it is right now: (insert correct points advantage). However, a new Kawasaki was about to do the winning. Having been banging on victory door all season, Toprak Razgatlioglu finally got what he’d deserved, taking a scintillating race win in Race 1 at Magny-Cours, beating Jonathan Rea in a final lap showdown. He backed it up in the Tissot Superpole Race before Rea returned to winning ways in Race 2, clinching his fifth World Superbike crown in the process.
Heading into the final round of the season with a 37-point after two more wins at the Circuito San Juan Villicum in Argentina, Kawasaki were able to wrap up their fifth manufacturers’ crown in succession on Friday night. This makes them the first Japanese manufacturer to achieve five successive crowns, as they edge closer to Ducati’s record of 17 – seven of those being consecutive from 1998 to 2004.
Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK: “We had a difficult start of the year, but Kawasaki with the ZX-10RR made an incredible package that works so well in many different circuits with many different temperatures, grip levels. It is very versatile! And also, the Kawasaki supported teams! It has been quite incredible how Toprak has been inside the Puccetti Team, and also Leon at the beginning of the season. It has been a huge big effort to get this, and I am so proud to be part of the Kawasaki family, and I hope I will keep bringing them the success that we have had together in these five years”.
Leon Haslam, Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK: “It has been a fantastic experience for me this year. I’ve been part of the Kawasaki family for a few years, and this opportunity for me was like a dream. The record speaks for itself: five-time World Champion, fifth consecutive Manufacturers World Title and fifth Teams World Title, the Suzuka 8-Hour win. What can you ask for?”.
Guim Roda, Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK Team Manager: “Technically we are the human part of this project and we try to put the two things together and try to let them work well. One is the bike that Kawasaki provides us, and the other is the rider. Especially the effort that the riders make to help the bike being competitive is always a key to this success. Kawasaki proved once again the level of their package. As a team, we are proud to have helped Kawasaki reach this success. Congratulation to Puccetti that with a smaller budget he was been able to make the bike so competitive, and especially Toprak for what he has done this year”.
Toprak Razgatlioglu, Turkish Puccetti Racing: “I am really happy for this achievement. I tried my best to help the Kawasaki family, even if it has not been an easy year for me. My first win was incredible, and I think it was my best ever race”.
Manuel Puccetti, Turkish Puccetti Racing Team Manager: “During the last six month we did a great job together with Toprak. We are proud that for the second year in a row we contributed to Kawasaki title. It was our best season in WorldSBK and we hope we will continue like this”.