News & Features

July 18, 2022

Rea Closes In On Title Lead

Jonathan Rea (KRT) scored two podium finishes on the final day of race action at Donington and leaves his home round only 17 points behind the championship lead. Alex Lowes (KRT) scored valuable championship points in each race with his fifth and sixth place finishes.

As the temperatures rose on the final day of racing in the UK the anticipation of the large crowd was equally high. They got two tough and sometimes dramatic races to watch in the WorldSBK category.

In the ten-lap Superpole Race on Sunday morning Rea finished a convincing second behind Toprak Razgatlioglu, with Lowes fifth. Championship leader Alvaro Bautista ended up fourth.

In the second full 23-lap race of the weekend, officially called Race Two, Rea stayed in close contention with eventual race winner Razgatlioglu until half race distance. He would finally finish in third place, leaving Donington with a Superpole Qualifying trophy and three podium finishes in the races.

Jonathan is now only 17 points behind championship leader Bautista, with five of the scheduled 12 rounds completed.

Lowes, keen to repeat his Saturday podium result, finished fifth in the Superpole Race, after losing two places in the final moments of the intense ten-lap race.

Alex was eventually sixth in Race Two, as the temperatures rose in the afternoon, but he consolidated his seventh place championship position and is now just ten points behind the rider in sixth place.

In the championship points standings, Bautista has 246, Rea 229 and Razgatlioglu 203. Lowes has a new total of 106 points.

The WorldSBK paddock will reassemble at Most in the Czech Republic for the sixth round of the series, between 29-31 July.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “In the Superpole Race we used the SCQ rear tyre for the first time. I was quite convinced that tyre would be good. We crossed the line not too far from Toprak and that is encouraging because this is a really strong track for him. He has been strong here since he was a rookie on the Kawasaki. I felt good for half the final race and I was able to understand where I was good and where I have to improve. There were certain areas I was better but I really overcooked the front brakes – because I was right behind Toprak in the slipstream, always. So I had to take some time to cool down a little bit, fix my rhythm. Alvaro was coming with a really strong pace at the end of the race. We made some good changes from Saturday to today and I feel we are still learning a lot about the bike in hot temperatures. It was a weak area for us but now we can be happy. After Misano last time, I felt a lot closer here. To come out of the weekend with a 2-2-3 finishing record is strong. Yesterday we were fortunate to get a bit of a gift with points, so we halved the deficit in the championship. The big picture is OK but it is frustrating not to win. I really wanted to win here. But, we have to roll with it and look at the big picture.”

Alex Lowes, stated: “I got beaten up at the end of the Superpole Race. I was feeling quite good. Scott Redding passed me and put me wide, then Alvaro passed me. So I went from feeling quite good with a few laps to go, thinking I would get on the podium again, to getting beaten up, finishing fifth and feeling quite disappointed at the end of that race. It can happen in racing. Those guys did a good job and I was close to the podium, so that was acceptable really. This afternoon, in Race Two, I tried a small change on the front of the bike – I don’t really think that made the difference – but I didn’t have the confidence in the front that I had all weekend. I think with the temperatures rising up I was sliding the front early on and it made the race a little bit lonely. I tried to pass Rinaldi early on but he came straight back past on the start/finish straight. It is a shame but we seem to drop off when we get to a certain temperature and above.”

Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) placed 14th in each Sunday race, and he also sits 14th overall in the championship. Oliver König (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) was 24th and then 22nd today.

Leon Haslam (TPR Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) ended his home round with 13th place in the Superpole race and then a retirement in Race Two.

2022 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics

Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2022: Races 15, Wins 5, Podiums 13, Superpoles 2
Career Race Wins: 117 (102 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 228 (186 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 37 (33 for Kawasaki)

Alex Lowes:
2022: Races: 15, Wins 0, Podiums 1, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 30 (10 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: 176 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 503 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 102 – second overall