Rea Third Quickest On Day One

Courtesy of KRT – Kawasaki Racing Team

KRT official WorldSBK rider Jonathan Rea was third on the combined timesheets after the completion of the first day of track action at Motorland Aragon in Spain. For some time Alex Lowes (KRT) had been the fastest rider in the hot afternoon session but was finally ranked seventh overall, thanks to his pace in the morning practice session.

After testing well at Motorland recently the KRT duo set about their final race preparation work around the 5.077km long circuit in the hills of northern Spain.

Track temperatures rose 12 degrees from morning to afternoon, reducing outright grip in FP2. Because of the change in temperature between sessions Rea’s team made a major set-up change in the afternoon today, but Rea sees a return to the morning set-up as the best option for race one.

Lowes took his recent personal testing experience on the Ninja ZX-10RR at Motorland and concentrated on finding a full race distance set-up to be ready for his first Aragon races in Kawasaki colours this weekend.

With lots of experience of racing in hot conditions each KRT rider performed strongly in the heat of the afternoon sessions at Motorland, although Alex was unlucky to lose the front in a slow speed crash in final few minutes of action in FP2.

Free practice three and then Superpole qualifying on Saturday 29 August will be the final pre-race action for the WorldSBK riders.

Race one will take place at 14.00 on Saturday in Motorland, and is scheduled to run for 18 laps. The 10-lap Tissot-Superpole ‘sprint’ on Sunday morning will be followed by the final full distance race two, again at 14.00.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “I felt OK with the bike today because we had a test here a few weeks ago. We understood the base set-up. In the second session we made a big change with the wheelbase of the bike to understand how it is working in these hotter conditions. I think we will go back to what we had this morning and at the test. It seems like tomorrow is going to be a little bit cooler so we can understand the tyres in the morning FP3 session and make a final race plan from there. We have a good idea that our bike will work OK in the cooler conditions, so tomorrow’s target is to make a time attack in Superpole to get a good grid position and then make a solid 18 laps. I feel excited about it because there are a lot of guys in the front, quite close together, so we need to do our homework tonight and come back swinging tomorrow.”

Alex Lowes, stated: “We came here with the set-up we had at the test and I felt quite good on the bike. I had a little problem in the morning session so I did not do my first long run continuously but my lap times were quite good – when you put a full lap together. I stayed on the same tyre because I feel like the race is going to be more like this morning’s cooler temperatures and it looks like it is going to be like that on Saturday. In the afternoon I was fast, really, able to do 1’51 laps for the two longer runs and improve my time. I knew we should be fast because we worked really hard at the recent test here and we found some good stuff for the bike set-up. Then I got a bit excited at the end and fell during the last FP2 run, which was a shame. I had just put on a fresh tyre and went in a bit fast. But the bike is working well, especially in hot conditions, and that is what has come on most since the test.”

Maximilian Scheib (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) placed 13th from 23 riders on the first day at Motorland, with Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) 15th. Roman Ramos (Outdo Kawasaki TPR) ended day one 18th fastest.

2020 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics

Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019
2020: Races 9, Wins 5, Podiums 7, Superpoles 2
Career Race Wins: 93 (78 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 175 (133 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 24 (20 for Kawasaki)

Alex Lowes:
2020: Races: 9, Wins 1, Podiums 2, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 22 (2 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 1 (0 for Kawasaki)

7 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Tom Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
5 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017, 2018 & 2019)
5 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019)

Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 152 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 442 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 89 – second overall

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