News & Features

October 24, 2022

Rea Takes Two More Podiums

The final two WorldSBK races at the unique Circuito San Juan Villicum were conducted in hot conditions, with Jonathan Rea Scoring two third places. Alex Lowes scored a fifth and then a fourth-place finish on the final day in Argentina.

The Superpole Race, held over ten laps on Sunday morning, saw Rea lead for a time but then find a false neutral on the downhill braking section into Turn One. He ran wide and went from first position to third. He would hold that place until the end, having lost too much time to fully capitalise on what he felt was a potentially race-winning bike set-up. Lowes was fifth in the Superpole race, having been in a three-rider fight for the first few off-podium positions throughout the race.

The second full-distance race, over 21 laps, was held in even warmer conditions than Race One on Saturday.

Jonathan set off well but did not find the rear grip he had been expecting, meaning he had to work hard for all 21-laps to get himself into a podium position at the chequered flag. He had to fight especially hard after losing track position on lap two, and fighting back from sixth.

He would eventually get into the slipstream of his team-mate Lowes, then pass with four laps to go to take another Villicum podium. Jonathan was second in Superpole qualifying this weekend, then second, third and third again in the races.

Alex also had a very strong weekend during the races, considering his bad luck in qualifying only ninth in Superpole.

In Race Two, which he started from fifth place on the grid after finishing fifth in the Superpole race, he was all set for his first podium finish since the Barcelona Superpole race – until Rea came past to claim third.

Lowes’ latest positive race results – sixth, fifth and fourth in Argentina – lifted him one place up in the overall championship fight.

In the overall championship points standings, Race Two winner Alvaro Bautista has 507, Superpole Race winner Toprak Razgatlioglu has 425, Rea has 409, Rinaldi 260 and Lowes 217.

The next round of the championship will be the penultimate one, to be held at Mandalika, in Indonesia, between 11-13 November.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “In the Superpole race it was incredible – my pace, good feeling on the bike and grip. I wanted to go to the front because I felt that I could go away but unfortunately, when I went down the hill into T1 I didn’t find first gear, I found a false neutral. I was really frustrated because I felt like I could have fought for a victory. We are not getting too many chances and I saw that as a chance. In Race Two I was really motivated after having such a good feeling in the Superpole Race but right from the get-go, I had zero grip. I could tell when I tipped into T2 the bike didn’t hook up like normal. I felt like a passenger the whole race. So I got beat up a little bit. Going into T10 I couldn’t stop the bike, from the rear, so that sort of decided my race. I was with Xavi Vierge for a bit and couldn’t pass him anywhere. I had to grind him down, then same with Rinaldi, but Alex was keeping me honest. I had to dig deep to go with Alex. It was frustrating because I felt the bike was behaving, but I also felt I had zero traction from the rear, which I have not experienced all weekend. Another podium, though, and a lot of points, so we have to take the positives. It was a tough race but we managed to stand on the box again.”

Alex Lowes, stated: “It is just such a shame about Superpole qualifying yesterday because I think you see on TV we lack the speed to be able to fight. Yesterday, I started ninth and was in the mix with all the Hondas and BMWs and Ducatis. When you are in the middle of all that it is so hard to go forward and show your pace. Today, I was happy with the Superpole Race. I managed to pick my way forward and managed to pass Iker Lecuona on the last lap, so that was good fun. In the second race, I did not expect the SCX tyre to drop as much as it did. In the last six or seven laps, I had some chatter, especially in T2. Mid-race I felt like Johnny was struggling to stay there and I was going to get away but unfortunately, I was P4 again. I feel that in genuine pace if you look at all the sessions and take everything into consideration, I am the next one consistently behind those three podium guys. I rode well here, I have to be happy and I will try to get on the podium in Indonesia.”

Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) scored 18th and then 15th places on Sunday at Villicum, with 2022 rookie rider Oliver König (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) ending up 20th and then 18th. One-off rider Marco Solorza (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was 22nd in each race.

2022 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics

Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2022: Races 30, Wins 5, Podiums 24, Superpoles 5
Career Race Wins: 117 (102 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 239 (197 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 40 (36 for Kawasaki)

Alex Lowes:
2022: Races: 29, Wins 0, Podiums 2, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 31 (11 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: 515 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 105 – second overall