After a long winter lay-off from race action, replaced by a busy test and development schedule working on the new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR, the 2021 race season has now started in earnest.
Just one week after the Motorland Aragon round that saw Rea and Lowes finish first and second in the overall points rankings, Estoril offers up a very different kind of challenge, between 28 and 30 May.
Having taken pole at Motorland, and at record pace, Jonathan Rea went on to win two races and take second in the final one, putting him 12 points clear of his team-mate Lowes in the championship rankings. In the Motorland races Alex was second, second and then third in a bright start to his second Kawasaki WorldSBK campaign.
Rea currently leads with 57 points, Lowes is on 45 and race two winner Scott Redding has 40. In a strong start for the new Ninja ZX-10RR Kawasaki already leads the manufacturers championship by 13 points.
Rea capped off his amazing weekend at Motorland with his 100th and 101st career race wins, and cannot wait to get back into action to see if he can continue his early winning form at the circuit he secured his sixth successive world championship at - right at the end of the short but intense 2020 season.
Lowes had to work hard for little reward at Estoril last year, but is looking to build on his highly positive first race weekend in 2021 to push for what would be a second Kawasaki race win in WorldSBK, and the third of his career.
After Estoril, and the intense sprint between back-to-back race meetings, there is one free weekend before race action resumes again at Misano in Italy, between June 11 to 13.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I really enjoyed Estoril last year and I had a lot of happy memories of winning the championship there. But to be honest from a track point of view I was quite average. I never started FP1 in the right way so I always felt I was playing catch up and the weekend was getting away from us. And then I had a crash in Superpole. So, we will bring a fresh mindset and also with the new Ninja ZX-10RR, I am feeling really comfortable. At Motorland we had three different track conditions thrown at us and we were competitive in all of them. I am optimistic because we have worked on some of the weaker aspects and the characteristics that Estoril has - the turning, really stopping and changing direction. So I think the benefits of that will show through when we go there.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “We waited so long for the first race weekend and now we’ve got two races back to back. Honestly, Estoril is a track that was new on the calendar last year. I’m looking forward to it again. It’s a completely different track to Motorland but when we rode it last year it was great. It’s a small track with some character. It’s not an easy track, but I’m looking forward to getting going. The good thing I understand the bike a lot more so I should be able to adapt and manage the weekend better than last time.”
Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider Lucas Mahias enters Estoril in 14th place overall, and the top Kawasaki Independent Team rider so far. Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki Isaac Vinales is 17th overall. Loris Cresson and Samuele Cavalieri (TPR Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) have yet to score points but fully intend to get off the mark at Estoril.
2021 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2021: Races 3, Wins 2, Podiums 3, Superpoles 1
Career Race Wins: 101 (86 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 188 (146 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 28 (24 for Kawasaki)
2021: Races: 3, Wins 0, Podiums 3, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 27 (7 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: 160 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 460 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 93 – second overall