Brno, Czech Republic

2018 Brno WorldSBK Subscriber Special: Teammate Games Force Czech mate

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.

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2018 Brno WorldSBK Notes: Feuding Kawasakis, Parity At Yamaha, Potential From Aprilia

The return of WorldSBK to the Czech Republic proved to be a race weekend to remember. Tensions between Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes overflowed, Alex Lowes delivered on his long held promise and we saw flashes of promise from elsewhere on the WorldSBK grid.

Kawasaki tensions overflow

That Rea and Sykes don't like each other has been clear since the start of their tenure as teammates. The 2013 world champion had been the center of attention at KRT for years and Sykes had developed the ZX10R into the best package on the grid. It allowed him to win races and become a consistent force at the front of the field. Since Rea joined in 2015, however, his power has been eroded within the team and his potential on track has been limited. Their dislike for one another has been clear to see for years but on Sunday it boiled over.

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Press Releases: Making WorldSBK History

Press releases from the series organizer and the team after a record-breaking win:

How Jonathan Rea broke the overall victory record in WorldSBK
Read how he made history

Reigning MOTUL FIM Superbike World Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) has made history at Automotodrom Brno this weekend, reaching 60 WorldSBK victories to become the most successful rider of all time. Read how he has written his names in the history books:

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Michael Laverty Explains The Key To Brno

The rolling hills of Brno have produced one of the most iconic circuits on the MotoGP and WorldSBK calendar, and this 5km circuit has been the home of some classic races. What goes into a fast lap, though, is a lot of work on your bike settings and not forcing the issue. Max Biaggi and Marco Melandri, two former 250GP champions, have been hugely successful at the Czech track and it's no coincidence that both riders were schooled riding bikes that needed high corner speed.

Former MotoGP rider Michael Laverty is in Brno, and he sat down to talk about what goes into finding speed at the track and what he's seen from watching trackside on Friday.

"I really enjoy Brno but it's a track that you can't attack," said Laverty. "This is a track where you need to let it come to you and your settings are crucial. You can't force the bike around here because it needs to turn naturally for you. That's the reason that Max Biaggi was the king here for so long because he let the bike do the work. Max didn't brake late into the corners and he didn't force the bike to turn in the mid-corner and on the exit he wasn't sliding once he got on the gas. He was just smooth and relaxed and that's the key."

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