After scoring 11 wins from the 21 races run so far in this uniquely short and compact season Rea leads the series by 59 points, with only an absolute maximum of 62 points available for any rider who can win all three Estoril races.
Rea’s points lead is an enviable one but nothing can be taken for granted in this or any other form of motorsport. The overall approach will be to take as many points as possible in Rea’s push to become champion with Kawasaki and KRT for the sixth successive time.
Should Rea win a race at Estoril he would reach the unprecedented record total of 100 WorldSBK victories over his career. It would be his 85th win for Kawasaki since he joined in the 2015 season.
For Lowes, two podiums in the two opening races in France last time out brought him up to fifth in the championship, a position he is out to at least maintain if not improve on in the final three races. He has now scored four podiums in his first year as a Kawasaki rider, including a win at the opening and only long-haul race meeting of the year in Australia.
In the pre-Estoril championship standings Jonathan has 340 points, his only remaining championship rival Scott Redding 281, Chaz Davies 222, Michael van der Mark 203 and Alex is on 179.
It is not just the Riders’ title for Rea that will be decided at the final round. Kawasaki currently leads the Manufacturers’ Championship by 26 points and KRT leads the Teams’ Championship by 16.
After the final round here will be a one day test at Estoril for Alex Lowes, to allow him to make further explorations of his Ninja ZX-10RR’s capabilities immediately after the pressure of the current championship season has passed.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “It is super-exciting going into the final round with a championship to play for after what has been a very strange year with only eight rounds. Going into the last round with an advantage in the standings is really positive. Estoril is a new track for us so I am really excited to learn it. It is always a good challenge and I feel that with the Ninja ZX-10RR we always arrive in new circuits with a strong base. Friday will be about learning the track, working out our potential and remaining calm. Because it is a new track I am sure we will find some challenges but the layout looks like it should suit us. We will try to build the package to fight for the podiums in all races, which is the target. It has been a strange season under this new working environment and this is our last opportunity to go racing this year. I hear we may have some fans back again at this round, like we did in France, which was super-nice.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “It’s the final round and it’s always nice to be heading to a new circuit. I have been studying the Estoril track with some onboard footage and the layout looks good. It has quite tight and tricky sections to it, so my plan is to get as many laps in on Friday as possible. I think it will be good for us. My targets are to enjoy this final round, fight for the podium and finish my first year in green as strongly as possible.”
Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) can enter the last round with realistic ambitions to move up the championship table from his current 15th position overall. Loris Cresson (Outdo Kawasaki TPR) will replace the injured Sandro Cortese at this event while Maximilian Scheib (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) is hoping to be declared fit to race in the season finale, after being injured at Barcelona just a few weeks ago.
2020 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019
2020: Races 21, Wins 11, Podiums 17, Superpoles 4
Career Race Wins: 99 (84 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 185 (143 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 27 (23 for Kawasaki)
2020: Races: 21, Wins 1, Podiums 4, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 24 (4 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: 158 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 454 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 92 – second overall