With two rounds and six races of the scheduled 13 round championship completed the new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR has taken Rea to four wins and the championship lead, with Lowes scoring three podiums at the first round.
The intense back-to-back start to the season at the end of May has now eased slightly after a ‘free’ weekend but preparations are now ramping up strongly for the Misano round, to be held between 11-13 June.
The 4.226km long circuit, located close to the Adriatic coast of Italy and the geographical epicentre of Italian Motorsports, has hosted no fewer than 55 individual WorldSBK races. Rea has won eight of those; seven for Kawasaki since he signed for KRT in the 2015 season.
Lowes is as keen as anyone to get back into action after he moved up to overall fourth place at Estoril last time out. He is now 12 points from third place approaching a circuit he has scored two career podiums at in past seasons.
This will be Alex’s first race at Misano on a Kawasaki, after the cancellation of the 2020 meeting due to Pandemic regulations. This year’s Misano race weekend is particularly keenly anticipated after that cancellation.
After the conclusion of the third round of the championship at Misano this coming weekend the subsequent round will take place at the host venue of the first ever WorldSBK race weekend way back in 1988, Donington Park. The 2021 Donington event will take place between 2-4 July.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I am excited to go to Misano especially after we missed the race there last year. It is a track that I really enjoy riding at; both for the circuit itself and the Italian hospitality. The area is incredible and I always enjoy spending time there with my family, by the beach and the sea. The food, the fans, it has got absolutely everything, especially this weekend as we got some fans back trackside which is going to make it even more special. The first few races have been good. We have been able to change the characteristics of our Ninja ZX-10RR at Estoril and it really improved the size of the ‘window’ and we will continue to try these ideas. We are right into the thick of the summer months now and I think all the work we have been doing last season and during the off-season, focusing on the hot temperatures and being easy on the tyre, is really coming into its own. Misano is a quite flat track and with it being resurfaced a few years ago it gave me a strange feeling when we tested there last year. But, we were still able to be fast. I’m looking forward to the challenge this weekend and seeing all our great fans back trackside again.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “With not having a normal calendar last year I have not race for Kawasaki at all the tracks coming up this year but I know Misano really well and I know that Kawasakis have gone well there in the past. I am actually excited to challenge myself by racing at Misano on the green machine. We have a good set-up on the bike, which we have arrived at in the winter tests. It has worked at quite a lot of tracks so I am quite confident that it will also work at Misano. I am looking forward to getting back into action. It is going to be important to work hard and well on Friday. I know the track was resurfaced last year so we need to check tyre life and which tyres we like, especially on the front because that can be critical at Misano. It is just great to be going back to Italy. Misano is always a fantastic round and one we missed last year so I am really looking forward to going back and getting stuck in this weekend.”
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) is the leading privateer on the Ninja ZX-10RR, in overall 16th position after two rounds ands six races. He has already scored a top ten finish in what is a rookie WorldSBK season for himself and all other Kawasaki Independent Riders in this class. Misano is the first home race for his team for two years. Isaac Vinales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) is 19th currently, while Loris Cresson (TPR Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) and Samuele Cavalieri (TPR Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) are yet to score points.
2021 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2021: Races 6, Wins 4, Podiums 6, Superpoles 2
Career Race Wins: 103 (88 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 191 (149 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 29 (25 for Kawasaki)
2021: Races: 6, Wins 0, Podiums 3, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 27 (7 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: 162 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 463 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 94 – second overall