Having recently completed the first of three ‘long haul’ race weekends, in Argentina, the next challenge for the KRT squad is a track best known as simply ‘Mandalika.’
Last season, torrential rains reduced the WorldSBK Championship finale to two races not the planned three, with the cancellation of the full-distance Race One on Saturday. Rea won both Sunday races when the action finally got underway. He has added five more race win to his all-time record tally in 2022, and secured a remarkable 24 podium finishes from the 30 individual races run so far.
Lowes rode at Mandalika on 2021 but a fall on Saturday morning practice hurt his already injured shoulder and he was unable to take part in either of the first two competitive races at Mandalika. He is understandably more than keen to get back to Indonesia to make a strong showing, especially after a recent improvement in his results since the summer break.
As things stand, Rea is third in the overall championship battle with Lowes moving up to fifth recently.
The Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit hosted WorldSBK for the first time last season, providing an instantly popular host venue for what was the season finale. Located on the Island of Lombok, the 4.310km long layout features 17 distinct corners or curves - a high number for a circuit of that overall length.
Despite featuring some heavy braking sections the feedback from the riders is that it flows nicely. The lack of simply vast main or back straights is another slightly unusual feature given recent track design trends.
The final round of the 2022 season will take place at the always popular Phillip Island circuit, between 18-20 November. The last time WorldSBK visited PI was at the start of the 2020 season, just before the global pandemic took hold.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I am really excited to go to Mandalika and Indonesia, because last year was our first experience of the track. I really enjoyed, the whole event - everything - from the circuit layout to the atmosphere. The fans were incredible, especially in the difficult conditions. It is a circuit where we expect to be strong and last year I had a double win. I won in the wet and also in the dry, so I really want to have a nice weekend this year, keep working with our Ninja ZX-10RR and try to maximise our potential.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “Last year was the first year on the calendar for this new circuit. I did not get to race because I was injured but during the practice sessions on Friday I really enjoyed it. The layout was great, it is always nice to go to new venues, and the whole Island was a lot of fun last year. I am hoping to go to there and challenge for the podiums. The weather there can be a little bit hit-and-miss, so maybe we will have some rain, but whatever the weather I am looking forward to it.”
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) will once again compete for top ten places as he sits in overall 14th place in the championship table.
Oliver König (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) continues his rookie season looking for his first points score.
WorldSSP veteran Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) will take part in his first ever WorldSBK races at Mandalika, for the same team he rode with in 2019 when he secured the FIM Europe Supersport Cup. Kyle is a three-time WorldSSP race winner and had taken part in this year’s WorldSSP championship until recently.
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)
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