A strong Friday for the official KRT Ninja ZX-10RR riders at the classic 4.542km circuit ended up with both Rea and Lowes setting competitive single lap times, and finding breakthroughs with their race pace and overall bike set-up.
Rea was able to try out some different settings in FP1, as he and his team opted to evaluate new ideas using each rear tyre option. Rea’s set-up at the end of Friday allowed him to ride in harmony with the fast and flowing nature of the Assen layout and he saw an improvement in agility, plus more scope to go even faster around one or two sections of the circuit.
After a dry FP1 morning session, a red flag early in FP2 presented an opportunity for Lowes to evaluate a step-change to his bike, until he reverted back to a more familiar feel from his machine. He then posted the fourth fastest time of Friday’s qualifying sessions, boosting his confidence as well as his sheer pace.
On Saturday 23 April Rea and Lowes will face a short FP3 session, then Superpole Qualifying and a 21-lap Race One, which is scheduled to start at 14.00 local time in Assen.
Two more Assen races, the ten-lap Superpole Race and a final full distance Race Two, will take place on Sunday 24 April.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “That was a solid day. We came from base set-up that we had in Aragon at Round One. This morning I felt like I could not really ride the bike in the Assen way - flowing with it. It was really good in the heavy braking areas but trying to carry speed in the faster corners, I just lacked a bit of confidence. We went back to a half-way house between what we had last year in Assen and what we had at the start of the year. The bike felt way better in FP2 and I was able to find a good rhythm. I tried a test item on the bike with both rear tyres, just to understand a clear direction to go in and we had some positive results from that too. I feel like I am in the ballpark and we can try and build tomorrow.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “This morning’s session was not too bad and I stayed out on the same tyres. I tried something else this afternoon to get the softer SCX tyre to work on our set-up. I seemed to be quite competitive on the SC0 but when I used the SCX I struggled to get the bike to turn. The red flag stoppage in FP2 was an opportunity to make a bigger change, but I didn’t really like it. So we went back again later and the pace was pretty good. I was happy with the opening day at Assen.”
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was 13th fastest overall on day one. Former KRT rider and 2022 season BSB runner Leon Haslam (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) was called back into WorldSBK action at short notice for the Assen round. After two practice sessions he placed 14th, ahead of some factory machines. Oliver König (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) was 25th today.
2022 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2022: Races 3, Wins 1, Podiums 3, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 113 (98 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 218 (176 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 35 (31 for Kawasaki)
2022: Races: 3, Wins 0, Podiums 0, 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: 172 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 492 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 100 – second overall