The official race report service of Kawasaki Racing Team.

28 Oktober 2023

Rea Fourth After First Jerez Race

Kawasaki Racing Team riders Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes started from strong grid positions for the first 20-lap race of the Jerez WorldSBK finale, with Jonathan ending up fourth overall and Alex taking seventh place.

The action on Saturday began with FP3, before moving on to the always intense Superpole qualifying session. Lowes would finish third in the rankings for a front row start, with Rea just one place behind, leading the second row.  

Despite the pre-race warnings of damp patches in four areas on the track, Race One was conducted in otherwise dry and sunny conditions.

Eventual race winner and new World Champion Alvaro Bautista led across the start/finish line on lap one, and on each subsequent lap to the finish. Rea and Lowes were in second and third places respectively on the first lap, but would gradually lose pace and places as the laps were ticked off.

Rea had to give way in his fight for the podium places at half race distance, but kept himself ahead of two riders closing in behind to secure a valuable fourth place.

After Race One Rea confirmed his third place in the championship standings, with two more races to run on Sunday 29th October.

Lowes held a top five place until lap 17, then dropped two positions in the final laps as he lost a little confidence from his front end set-up as tyre grip gradually reduced. 

Sunday will feature the final two WorldSBK races of both the Jerez weekend and the 12-round long season itself. The ten-lap Tissot Superpole Race will be followed by a full 20-lap WorldSBK Race, at the same 14.00 CET start time as Saturday’s race.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “I think the Superpole result gave us more optimism than reality, to be honest, so perhaps the first laps of the race got everyone excited.  But the target for me was top five. Of course I wanted a podium; that was the ambition. When I was fourth I could see Locatelli and ‘I thought that this is not bad from where we came from on day one.’ The track has not been in great shape all weekend, to be honest, so comparing things with data we had before was irrelevant. Going with the SC0 rear tyre was a big move because no-one else was using it. I used it for one lap in the morning and it transformed the bike. It felt more normal and felt it was the best option. We needed to consolidate third place in the World Championship and that’s done now, so we need to think more about tomorrow.”

Alex Lowes, stated: “The race started well and I was in a good position. Then Toprak and Jonathan passed me. But I felt OK, I was trying to look after the tyre while riding behind Jonathan. With seven or eight laps to go I really started to struggle with the front of the bike, entering the corners. It was complaining a lot and not giving me confidence. I did the best I could until the end. On used tyres it is clear we have a lot of work to do. This is the area we are going to focus on tomorrow. Overall, a positive day and let’s try and improve for Sunday’s races.”

Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was 11th in Race One on his factory team  supplied Ninja ZX-10RR, having been 17th on Superpole qualifying. Oliver König (Orelac Racing Movisio Kawasaki) was a fighting 16th in the opening race.

2023 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics

Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2023: Races 34, Wins 1, Podiums 17, Superpoles 3
Career Race Wins: 119 (104 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 262 (220 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 43 (39 for Kawasaki)

Alex Lowes:
2023: Races: 29, Wins 0, Podiums 1, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 34 (14 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 1 (0 for Kawasaki)

8 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Tom Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
6 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020)
5 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019)

Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 178 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 541 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 108 – second overall