Home Round Beckons For Lowes And Rea

2023-08-21 09:01
A month after the previous race weekend in Italy the sixth round of the 2023 WorldSBK championship will be held at the very circuit where WorldSBK first became a reality in 1988.

Both Rea and Lowes started their professional careers in the British Superbike paddock, which makes every return to Donington a happy event for them on a personal level. Lowes, originally from Lincolnshire, now lives just minutes from Donington Park.

The 4.023km long parkland circuit is one of the most widely used and popular WorldSBK venues, having hosted no fewer than 61 individual races.

Both KRT riders are enthused to get back into competitive action, particularly after a positive single day test, in hot conditions, at the Motorland Aragon circuit on Friday 23 June.

Donington has been one of Rea’s happy hunting grounds in recent seasons, having scored six race wins there since 2015. The six times WorldSBK Champion has secured four podiums this year, helping to place him in fourth place overall after five rounds and 15 races.

Lowes, a former British Superbike Champion, has taken four WorldSBK podium places at Donington and one Superpole qualifying ‘win’.

Despite the vast experience of the KRT squad at the UK’s established WorldSBK circuit there will be a new factor to evaluate this year, after a complete track resurfacing since the last round in 2022. The layout itself remains unchanged, with the first sector of the track featuring fast and flowing corners, while the last part features very hard braking areas, a tight chicane and two hairpins.

A busy month of July sees two more rounds taking place before the traditional August summer break. The Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola race weekend takes place between 14-16 July and the Autodrom Most hosts the Czech Round between 28-30 July.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “Donington is a track I have been looking forward to racing at for a while now. It is a special one in the season because it’s a home race, with lots of family and friends there. Growing up in the BSB paddock some of the same fans turn out now just like they did then, so you feel like you know everyone. It really helps that we have had good success there in the past. This time of year the weather should be good so I expect a cool weekend with a lot of fans there. It helps that we had a test last week, trying to improve the package of the bike. We had some positive results from that. Some things we can use straight away and some things we hope to see in the future. The Donington track itself is a real challenge to set the bike up for, so it is important that we are productive on Friday. The first two sectors are fast and flowing in nature but the last sector is really unique. You want an agile bike that handles well - but also one that is very stable and stops well in the last sector. On top of that, the track has been resurfaced completely. We need to keep an eye on what challenges that throws us, and then just put the weekend together like normal. The target is the podium and it would be amazing to come away from Donington with a good haul of points. Standing on the podium at your home race would be very special.”

Alex Lowes, stated: “It is a unique race weekend at Donington. We are now based not even ten minutes from the track. It is always nice to have some family and friends get to the event. And it’s great to race in front of the British crowd. Coming from BSB, I always feel a close connection with them. The track has been resurfaced so we need to check that on Friday, get a feel for it, as sometimes when a track is resurfaced it can be hard for tyre life. That’s something we need to consider. It is always a pleasure to race at home and I can’t wait to get started. Some of the stuff we tried in testing last week could help us. My plan is to fight for the podium places and that is what we are trying to achieve at our home race. I am really looking forward to it, aiming to enjoy the whole week and see how we get on.”

Kawasaki Puccetti Racing signed up the experienced Tito Rabat shortly before the most recent Misano round of WorldSBK. The 2014 Moto2 World Champion is now a ‘veteran’ of 34 WorldSBK race starts, including three at Donington Park in 2021.

Oliver König (Orelac Racing Movisio Kawasaki) should be fit to race at Donington Park having largely recovered from an ankle injury. Isaac Vinales (TPR by Vinales Racing Kawasaki) will head for Donington in search of championship points.

2023 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics

Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2023: Races 15, Wins 0, Podiums 4, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 118 (103 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 249 (207 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 40 (36 for Kawasaki)

Alex Lowes:
2023: Races: 15, Wins 0, Podiums 1, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 34 (14 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: 528 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 105 – second overall

#NinjaSpirit

Source: Kawasaki Racing Team

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