After a successful return to the very well known Assen circuit last time out an all-new prospect faces KRT pairing Rea and Lowes at a circuit that has never been used for this level of championship competition before.
The Autodrom Most, in the Bohemia province of Czechia, is a 4.212km long ribbon of tarmac that packs 21 corners into its length, with the vast majority being right handed.
Neither Lowes nor Rea have ever ridden at Most before, but the official KRT WorldSBK riders - who will form a partnership at the 2021 Suzuka 8 Hours race with Lucas Mahias - are eagerly anticipating another new challenge.
Confidence is high for Rea after having an almost perfect previous round, taking pole position and all three race wins on offer at Assen in the Netherlands. Jonathan regained the championship lead last time out and extended it to 37 points.
Lowes, now rested and recuperated after a tough physical challenge at Assen, is looking to Most to re-start his podium scoring form. Alex has stood on four podiums this year already and is in fourth place in the championship fight.
The track that both Jonathan and Alex will face this weekend will be the second circuit in Czechia to host WorldSBK events. Laid out in a former industrial area the Most track design features several areas where a fast change of direction is required, and a very heavy braking area into the first chicane.
After the Most round the championship heads to southern Europe once more, and another all-new track for WorldSBK, at Navarra in Spain between 20-22 August.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “It is always exciting going to a new circuit. Most is completely unknown to me and the team. Going to any new circuit I would study previous races, either MotoGP or past races of WorldSBK, but even after scouring the internet for footage it is very difficult to find race coverage of Most. The layout looks nice, some fast and flowing corners so it is exciting to learn something new. When I arrive I will do some laps with my bicycle and do a track walk with my team. The base set-up of our bike is in a really good window and on Friday it will be very important to find a good set-up and a rhythm straight away. Step-by-step we will get ready for the race. We do not have much time in practice but I enjoy that - being under pressure. I am looking forward to seeing what we can do. We had a great weekend in Assen so it would be nice to carry on with that momentum behind us.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “Most is not a track that I know much about, to be honest. We drove back from Assen so I had a chance to look at some onboard laps on my phone. I have also been trying to get some information from some guys who have been there. I will do some more homework now before we get there. The track itself looks like a different layout to many others, with some fast corners and changes of direction. It is going to be a good challenge and one of the really positive things about the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR is that it is such a good base it works pretty well everywhere. We are lucky in that regard. I will now focus on learning the track on Friday. I do not think anybody has got massive experience of the place so I am looking forward to making a step in the right direction. I want to come out strong for this new challenge at Most.”
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) will be unable to ride at the Czech round after breaking the scaphoid bone in his wrist at Assen. He is likely to make a return at the seventh round of the season in Navarra.
Isaac Vinales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) is 17th overall at present, in his rookie WorldSBK season. Most will be a new challenge for him, as well as the vast majority of his rivals.
Loris Cresson (TPR Outdo Kawasaki) will have a new team-mate for Most, and the rest of 2021, as Jayson Uribe (TPR Outdo Kawasaki) joins the team at Most.
2021 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2021: Races 15, Wins 8, Podiums 14, Superpoles 5
Career Race Wins: 107 (92 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 199 (157 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 32 (28 for Kawasaki)
2021: Races: 15, Wins 0, Podiums 4, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 28 (8 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: 166 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 472 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 97 – second overall