The usual three race schedule is back for the Portuguese round with the track action being run between 1-3 October. This is the end of an intense run of three back-to-back races, which started with a ‘home’ event for KRT in Barcelona, moved to Jerez last weekend and now heads to Portimao in a few days.
Rea has won ten races so far in 2021 and he hopes he can make history repeat itself at Portimao Jonathan has won no fewer than 12 WorldSBK races there, and taken a further eight podium places.
After the Jerez round Rea is out to overturn a 20-point points deficit to championship leader Toprak Razgatlioglu, with his confidence boosted by his winning record at the Portimao circuit.
Lowes was unsure if he could even ride at the previous round in Jerez after suffering a right hand injury in the Barcelona meeting but in setting the second fastest time in qualifying at Jerez he hoped to be able to compete strongly in what were eventually two, not three, races.
He had to withdraw before the start of the second race after finishing Race One in ninth position. He will focus all his energies now on getting ready to be better condition to face the challenge of the undulating Autodromo Internacional do Algarve circuit in a few days time.
The 4.592km long Portimao layout has been the scene of a recent in-season test for KRT, and a pre-season test too, both of which should aid the job of finding a strong race set-up when the first practice sessions get underway on Friday 1 October.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I am expecting much more from Portimao. I think there’s a few factors that should work in our favour there. It’s a track where I’m quite strong as well. We expect to capitalise. We expect a good weekend. So that’s good - it’s good pressure. I like this feeling. I like the feeling when my back is against the wall. It’s nice. I like gritting my teeth. But I need a weapon to fight with. You can’t just grit your teeth and make it happen. We need to fix the small issues we’re having in these hot conditions with the soft tyre. But, I think the soft tyre is on holiday now until next year. I think Portimao should suit us a little bit better than the previous rounds.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “We had a good test in Portimao so we can be relatively optimistic that with a few days physio and rest we can be in a better position there. I showed my speed at Jerez and the bike was working well but it is just a shame that we couldn’t perform how we wanted to. It was a disappointing end to the weekend at Jerez but we just have to keep it in perspective and move forward to Portugal.”
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) will miss the rest of the season after his injured wrist has not healed up quickly enough to allow him to continue racing.
Loris Cresson (TPR Outdo Kawasaki) and Lachlan Epis (TPR Outdo Kawasaki) will take on the asphalt roller-coaster with their WorldSBK peers this weekend. It is as yet unsure if Isaac Vinales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) will race at Portimao.
2021 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2021: Races 29, Wins 10, Podiums 24, Superpoles 8
Career Race Wins: 109 (94 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 209 (167 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 35 (31 for Kawasaki)
2021: Races: 28, Wins 0, Podiums 5, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 29 (9 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: 168 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 483 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 100 – second overall