Internal team rivalries played out in Brno with very different results
“I was going to make it...or I wasn't,” was how King Kenny Roberts summed up one of his Grand Prix victories in the late seventies. The triple 500GP world champion knew the importance of momentum and psychology on a race track better than anyone, and knew that at times, riders need to take a win it or bin it mentality.
That mentality was at the front everyone's minds as they watched last weekend's Czech WorldSBK round, where the importance of coming out on top of an internal team battle bubbled under the surface. On Saturday Jonathan Rea claimed his 60th career victory, but on Sunday the tensions of four years at Kawasaki overflowed.
Since joining Kawasaki at the start of the 2015 season Jonathan Rea has amassed three titles and 45 victories. He was able to assert himself on the team from the outset and his success has made the team gravitate towards him at the expense of his teammate, Tom Sykes. The 2013 WorldSBK champion has been outshone and outpaced, and on Sunday the tensions boiled over.
Down and out
After numerous on track incidents during the course of their tenure as teammates, at Brno it led to a crash. Having come close to contact on the opening lap of Race 2, within minutes they clashed and Rea was left in the gravel and with his rage clear for all to see. The triple world champion tried to overtake Sykes on the way through one of the many “S bends” of Brno.
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