Rea Third In The Points After Round One

2023-02-28 14:36
Rea was seventh in the Superpole race but a potential top four finish in Race Two became eighth place as he lost rear grip compared to some of his rivals. He used all his experience to try to maintain his track position until the end of all 22 laps, but he went from fourth on lap 16 to eighth by the end.

Despite a relatively tough Sunday, Rea leaves Phillip Island third in the championship fight, with 31 points. Rea extended his record total of WorldSBK race starts to 380 at the end of the weekend, after overhauling Aussie legend Troy Corser’s previous record in Race One on Saturday

On a day of dry and sunny conditions for the most part, Lowes was in fighting form in the ten lap Superpole Race, earning fourth place and making up in some ways for the disappointment of a crash in fully wet conditions on Saturday.

He was to find misfortune once again in Race Two, while sitting inside the second main group of riders, none of whom could catch the three time PI race winner, Alvaro Bautista. Lowes is 15th overall as the championship fight, having scored six points in Sunday’s Superpole race.

Now the WorldSBK paddock heads directly to another popular WorldSBK race venue, Mandalika, for the second round of the championship between 3-5 March.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “It was a difficult weekend and a bit of a mixed bag. We have got to take some positives because we have been fast in certain areas but consistently not good enough. We really struggled with set-up and some factors out there. In the Superpole race I was not fast enough, but I was faster than the group I was in. Dominique Aegerter came in at T4 and almost took me to the gravel. So I had to rebuild my race. It is hard to put it all together to understand where we fell short. But it was clear today in the long second race that we did not nail the set-up. We were miles off at the end of the race, even after looking after my tyres, using short lines, doing everything in my experience to manage the race and we were still nowhere. We dropped off a cliff at the end and it is is really frustrating. We need to have a bit of a look in the mirror and try to understand why we struggled so much. I don’t expect this to be our benchmark for the rest of the season. We can do much better, but the bike set-up wasn’t working today, not like normal. So hopefully we can just understand why, put that aside, and start again from zero at Mandalika for the next round.”

Alex Lowes, stated: “In the Superpole race it was good. It was the first time I had done more than two laps on an SC0 rear tyre and I was pleasantly surprised because it felt good. Andrea Locatelli managed to pass me a couple of times and I managed to cut back past him, but I just sort of lost half a second to Razgatlioglu. I did not feel my pace was too far off challenging for a podium. I felt like I rode the bike really well. In the afternoon long race the bike felt quite a bit different, and I had a slight problem at the start. I was about 12th, but I came through quite well. I got into fourth, battling with Johnny, but we lost a little bit of time because of that and we dropped back into the group. It was like we were really struggling for grip. Then, at Turn Three, there was a bit of a concertina effect because Bassani made a mistake, then Johnny had to move over for Bassani. I was on a bit of a different line and Toprak got sucked in as well. I was braking not to hit Johnny into Turn Four, as he had to change his line. When we crashed Toprak’s bike hit me reasonably hard. My airbag went off and then his bike clattered into me. It was weird to crash in that kind of corner. I felt good until then, and I definitely had a lot more grip than Jonathan. I had hoped to be able to battle for that fifth place.”

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) found misfortune in each race on Sunday, no-scoring in either. He had a technical issue in the Superpole Race, eventually finishing 20th, and then pitted in Race Two before falling after he returned to the track, without injury.

Oliver König (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was 17th and then 18th in the two Sunday races at Phillip Island.

2023 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics

Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2023: Races 3, Wins 0, Podiums 1, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 118 (103 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 246 (204 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 40 (36 for Kawasaki)

Alex Lowes:
2023: Races: 3, Wins 0, Podiums 0, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 33 (13 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: 177 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 524 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 105 – second overall

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Source: Kawasaki Racing Team

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