Kawasaki boss: 'I expect a clean fight between Rea and Sykes'

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Kawasaki WSB team boss Guim Roda says he expects a clean fight this season between former world champion Tom Sykes, now in his fourth year with the team, and new boy Jonathan Rea, who won the first race of the season last month in Phillip Island.

Roda's comments come after the war of words that erupted at the end of the 2014 season between Sykes and teammate Loris Baz. Starting after the Frenchman knocked off Sykes at the mid-season Sepang race, the battle on and off track intensified when Baz ignored team orders at the final two rounds to allow Sykes a fighting chance at defending his title to Sylvain Guintoli.

The row then took to Twitter, with the duo trading insults. Rea and Sykes also exchanged barbs online last season, after other riders took to social media to deride him for branding the Portimao circuit unsafe.

Speaking ahead of next week's second round of the championship at a new track in Thailand, the team boss emphasised that the team's goal for the season needs to be on making sure that both of their riders perform well.

“From the team’s point of view, our goal is always to be in front of the other manufacturers, so we have to use the tools we have to make this possible. With regards to the position between them, for us it is not that important; we just expect them to understand their roles within the team. They need to have the two bikes on the podium as much as possible and a clean fight on the track.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer