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The official race report service of Kawasaki Racing Team.

15 July 2022

Rea Dominates First Day

The fifth round of the WorldSBK championship began in strong fashion for the KRT pairing of Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes, with Jonathan scoring the fastest lap of the day and Lowes finishing up fourth overall.

The predicted summer heatwave conditions did not quite show up at Donington Park, on day one of the action at least, but the early pace put in Rea proved to be red-hot. He is already under the race lap record with his 1’27.016 pace, which he set in FP2. He was more than half a second ahead of the next best rider, Toprak Razgatlioglu.

Lowes was happy with the good work he and his team completed on day one, as he makes preparations to take part in his literal home race weekend. Alex, the BSB Champion in 2013, lives just a few kilometres from the circuit and has always had a great affinity with the undulating 4.023km long Donington layout.

Air and track temperatures are expected to increase all weekend so the team and riders factored that probability into their pre-race preparations. This task was aided by useful data gathered from a recent high temperature test conducted at Motorland Aragon.

After the first two practice sessions on Friday the KRT duo will now face a final FP3 session, Superpole Qualifying and then a full distance Race One at 14.00 UK time, on Saturday 16th July.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “You can never just take a screenshot of the final lap times and understand all the stories. Everybody was on a different strategy today, trying to understand what’s what. But we did good work and we were able to analyse all the tyre options. Both front tyres and all the rears. Unlike Misano, where there were two extra solutions over the weekend, and it confused everything, I feel we have a handle on at least the tyres. In the morning I was really struggling with the front over the bumps, so we changed the weight balance of the bike, the wheelbase. In the beginning of the second session I was able to understand quite quickly the pros and cons of the changes.”

Alex Lowes, stated: “The first day went OK even though I had my best lap cancelled. I got a bit greedy on the entrance to the chicane and I think I touched the green track limits marker. It is nice to be back at Donington. The weather has been good and I think it is just going to get better all weekend. There are already quite a few fans here and I really enjoyed it today. The pace is pretty good so that’s nice. If the temperature rises I know which tyre I am going to use, as I did a long run with it in FP2. I am not sure about the front tyre yet.”

Frenchman Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was declared fit and ready to race at Donington, securing a very strong 11th place overall on day one. Twenty year old rookie rider Oliver König (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) was 26th on the timesheets as he learned his way around the Donington circuit for the first time.

Wildcard entrant Leon Haslam (TPR Pedercini Kawasaki) - recently a factory KRT rider himself - was a very creditable tenth at his home circuit.

2022 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics

Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2022: Races 12, Wins 5, Podiums 10, Superpoles 1
Career Race Wins: 117 (102 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 225 (183 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 36 (32 for Kawasaki)

Alex Lowes:
2022: Races: 12, 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: 176 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 499 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 101 – second overall

                                                 #NinjaSpirit