The busy restart after the summer break continues apace but this time around it is a flyaway race well beyond the main European team bases that will see Rea and Lowes looking to score strongly as the season now enters its final quarter. Race weekend in San Juan will run from Friday 21 October to Sunday 23 October.
At the previous round in Portimao Rea scored three podium places as he remained in an overall third place in the championship fight. There are still nine points scoring races left to run, including the San Juan contests, with Rea looking to reduce the gap to championship leader Alvaro Bautista this weekend.
Jonathan has raced at San Juan three times before and has won four races. He has scored a further four podium places, making him understandably happy to go back to the relatively new Argentinian track, located in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, near the border with Chile.
Lowes moved up to sixth overall after the Portimao round, having scored strong top five finishes in each race. He has not quite scored a podium finish at the 4.276km long circuit in Argentina but he has been on two podiums in 2022 already.
The San Juan Villicum venue is an impressive modern facility, with a unique double level start/finish straight and a very long back straight. It’s elevation, at over 700 metres above sea level, is another noteworthy feature. It was first used for WorldSBK racing in 2018.
Once the Argentinian round has been completed the WorldSBK circus will pack up and head to the final two rounds of the season the first in Indonesia (11-3 November) and the second in Australia (18-20 November).
Jonathan Rea, stated: “Argentina can’t come soon enough after a more difficult Portimao than we expected. Argentina kick-starts the flyaway races and it is a really busy time of the year. We will try and keep some momentum going. We will keep working with Pere, Davide and all my crew to try and maximise the potential of the bike. Portimao highlighted a few areas we need to improve, and being strong at the end of the races is an area we will focus on in Argentina. The circuit does not have a lot of activity so we will have to understand how the grip level is on day one and work from there. I really like the track and it has given me some good memories in the past. The atmosphere is always cool around the flyaways so we’ll try to take that feel-good factor and turn it into some good results.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “I like it there in Argentina and the layout of the track is great. It is still quite new on the WorldSBK calendar. The first-gear entry to that long uphill straight is, I think, going to be hard work for us. But the track in general is good. Hopefully the track surface will have been used a bit recently and it’s not going to be too dusty. If the track is in good condition I think there is going to be some strong racing. At Magny-Cours, Montmelo and Portimao I’ve been consistently one of the faster guys, so I am looking to keep up that kind of form. It’s a nice experience to go to this race in general.”
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) will take on the challenge of Villicum alongside Oliver König (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) and one-event local rider for the Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki squad, Marco Solorza.
2022 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2022: Races 27, Wins 5, Podiums 21, Superpoles 5
Career Race Wins: 117 (102 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 236 (194 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 40 (36 for Kawasaki)
2022: Races: 26, Wins 0, Podiums 2, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 31 (11 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: 512 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 105 – second overall