On the new Ninja ZX-10RR Lowes set his best lap time in the cooler morning session, while Rea found enough set-up improvements to improve his best time in FP2 and enter the overall top five.
Warm and dry conditions welcomed the opening day of competitive action but the afternoon rise in temperature made the track surface much hotter than during FP1, offering up less grip as a consequence.
Both KRT riders have tested at Motorland recently but the official track temperature did not reach the 48°C level experienced in FP2 today.
Now all the WorldSBK riders will face a short FP3 session early on Saturday morning, 22 May, to be followed by Tissot Superpole qualifying and then a full distance race one, scheduled to begin at 14.00 local time in Spain.
Sunday 23 May will then offer up a short ten lap Tissot Superpole Race and then a final full distance race at 14.00 again on Sunday afternoon.
Should Rea post a win during this weekend it would be his 100th race victory in WorldSBK. If Alex scores a race win it would be his second in Kawasaki colours, having taken victory in race two at Phillip Island during the opening round of the 2020 season.
Aragon in Spain takes over the honour of being the first round this year due to global Covid restrictions, but for many previous seasons Phillip Island provided a long haul start in Australia for the WorldSBK riders.
Alex Lowes, stated: “We did all the work here in the tests so today so we did not change too much on the bike. This afternoon’s session we had a higher track temperature and I just tried to ride and ride. In the hotter conditions I have not done so many laps on the bike because in the winter tests it was always cold. So I have not much experience and just stayed on track and tried to be a little bit smooth to understand this bike a bit better in these conditions. I didn’t do anything more than that. It looks like tomorrow is going to be a bit cooler again. We have a pretty good setting on the bike.”
Jonathan Rea, stated: “First day at ‘school’ but not the same nerves as a Phillip Island build up to round one. Aragon is quite a usual track for us because we do a lot of testing here. It is just nice to get underway. Today the track was a little bit greasy, not so much rubber down and high temperatures, so it was a little bit different to what we had in the tests. So we are just working through that, understanding the set-up a little bit. We are trying not to get too carried away because on Saturday it seems like the temperature is going to drop a little bit. That window of five or ten degrees is huge. For day one I feel OK on the bike but I think there is a lot to improve for these kinds of conditions, so we’ll see what conditions tomorrow brings and be ready to react.”
Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki rider Isaac Vinales Kawasaki placed 19th in Friday’s combined timesheets, with another WorldSBK rider entering his rookie season, Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), in 20th place. Loris Cresson and Samuele Cavalieri (both TPR Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) were 22nd and 23rd respectively.
2021 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2021: Races 0, Wins 0, Podiums 0, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 99 (84 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 185 (143 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 27 (23 for Kawasaki)
2021: Races: 0, Wins 0, Podiums 0, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 24 (4 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: 158 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 454 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 92 – second overall