After a long summer break the season restarted in exciting fashion at Magny Cours, between 9-11 September. The championship has now entered a busy period, with a race meeting every two weeks from until the Argentinean round at Villicum in late October.
Having taken part in a busy test session at Barcelona between 20-21 August Rea and Lowes are raring to go at this literal home round for their team. The riders and technical staff were able to spend some time at that test on specific set-up needs for the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit, which should help them get off to a good start when the track action begins on Friday.
Rea is playing a full part in a remarkable three-way fight for the 2022 WorldSBK championship, with Alvaro Bautista, Toprak Razgatlioglu and Rea covered by 47 points after 21 individual races. With five full rounds remaining, including Barcelona, there is still everything to play for in a season which has seen frequent changes in fortune for the top three riders.
Lowes and his tech crew found some useful changes to his base settings at the recent Barcelona test and he used them to good effect immediately afterwards, finishing all three Magny Cours races in fourth place. Alex now aims to get back on the podium at Catalunya and start to move up the championship table from his current seventh place.
The 4.657km long Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, also referred to as Montmeló, has been used for WorldSBK racing only twice before, in the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Rea has won two races there, contributing to his record-breaking career total of 117 WorldSBK race wins.
On the completion of the Barcelona-Catalunya round there will be a one weekend gap before the paddock reforms at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal between 7 - 9 October.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I am really looking forward to the Barcelona Race because we had a great test there a few weeks ago, where I felt comfortable on the bike. We were fast and consistent. We worked on our pace in hot conditions. It has always been a difficult circuit for us there. I haven’t had too much success at Barcelona so I am looking forward to turning that around. It is my team’s home race, so I am looking forward to seeing many friendly faces around the paddock, team sponsors and local fans. I spend a lot of time in that area so it feels like a second home to me. After a difficult Magny Cours it is important that we are able to rebound in a good way and score some difficult point. Since we restarted the season at Magny Cours these races are coming along in quick succession, so it is really important to be healthy, strong and consistent from now until the end of the season.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “We had a strong weekend in Magny Cours, although obviously it would have been nice to have been on the podium. After some improvements we have made to the settings of the bike at the Montmeló test last month I am looking forward to next week. It is an added bonus that it is a home race for the team, so a lot of the mechanics live close by to the circuit. My target is to keep building up and I really want to be back on the podium. I am enjoying riding the bike at the moment and I have a lot of confidence, so I can’t wait to get out there and see if we can get on the podium, and have a good weekend for the team’s home round. Hopefully the sun will be shining and we can have a strong weekend in Montmeló.”
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) goes to Montmeló on the back of scoring a top ten performance in Race One at his home round in France recently. Currently 14th overall Lucas will be out to secure more top tens in the Catalunya races.
Oliver König (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) is looking to take his first points in his rookie season, what will be a home race for his Spanish team. Oscar Gutierrez (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) had a confident start to his first ever WorldSBK races in France last time out, and he will now compete in his home round at Montmeló.
2022 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2022: Races 21, Wins 5, Podiums 16, Superpoles 4
Career Race Wins: 117 (102 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 231 (189 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 39 (35 for Kawasaki)
2022: Races: 20, Wins 0, Podiums 1, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 30 (10 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: 176 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 506 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 104 – second overall