Kawasaki History At Imola

Imola, the scene of 33 previous WorldSBK races, is cancelled this year so we'd like to share the story – so far – of Kawasaki in the Imola Superbike paddock.

The first Imola race win on a Ninja Superbike was earned by eventual world champion, Tom Sykes (KRT), during the 2013 season taking two race wins after scoring the Superpole win. Tom seized the championship lead after his Imola double and eventually was crowned 2013 WorldSBK CHampion.

Jonathan Rea won both Imola races in 2015, his first year with Kawasaki and has gone on to score a total of six wins so far on the Ninja at Imola. “It is a special track” says Rea. “There are undulations and areas where you can put your body in different places on the bike to make the lap work. You have to have the bike set-up to be really stable. We always really focus on getting the bike to stop consistently from an engine-braking point of view and trying to keep the rear wheel on the ground.

Fabien Foret was Kawasaki's very first Imola WorldSSP race winner in 2012, with Kawasaki Intermoto Step. “I have a good memory of 2012 and I saw my chance for the win there with Kawasaki. The track was always what you can call 'old school'.

Imola is also special for WorldSSP great Kenan Sofuoglu who won at his Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team's home circuit in 2018. In fact Kenan won many races at Imola for Kawasaki.

In WorldSSP300 2018 World Champion Ana Carrasco took a win on her Kawasaki Ninja400 at Imola, the same year she took her title.

 “All weekend we were very strong in every practice and I was on pole. The key was to be one second ahead after the first lap. After lap three riders crashed behind me. That crash was the key for me to win with a 14 second gap.”

The former European Superstock 600 Championship (for very lightly modified road going machines and younger riders), saw five Kawasaki Ninja wins in nine years: Davide Giugliano (2006), Joshua Day (2011), Alessandro Nocco (2013), Marco Faccani (2014) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (2015) all took their Kawasakis to the top step of the Imola podium.

One day soon racing will return to Imola and Kawasaki riders will do their best to add to the impressive tally of race wins at this iconic Italian circuit.   

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