The much-anticipated opening race at the final round of the season never happened at Mandalika as a heavy rain front arrived just as the riders were preparing to take part in the new circuit’s inaugural WorldSBK contest.
The leaden skies and varying levels of heavy rain stayed in the vicinity of the racetrack for some time after the scheduled 3pm race start time. Just after 4pm Race Direction cancelled any further action on Saturday 20 November and now there will be two full 21-lap WorldSBK Races on Sunday 21 November. The ten-lap Tissot Superpole Race, normally held on Sunday mornings for reduced championship points, will now not take place.
This means that Rea has one less opportunity to try and make up his current 30 point championship deficit to Toprak Razgatlioglu, with only 50 and not the expected 62 points available for any rider who can win all the races in Indonesia.
In Superpole qualifying Rea was on course for the top spot until the final minutes of the session but ended up with second place on the grid. Lowes was unable to take part in Superpole and will take no part in the races on Sunday.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “Having no race today makes it a difficult and unrealistic challenge but you also have to keep fighting until the end, because you never know what the weather is going to do. There could be the same kind of thing tomorrow. We just have to wake up and see how it is going to be. My mindset is to go out and do the best I can. Even before this weekend it was difficult, but I was relishing that challenge when I saw some rain. I thought it was an opportunity because in heavy rain I am quite strong. We have been playing catch up from FP1 this weekend but I feel like we have been getting there and the bike is quite strong with our tyre choice for the races. We will have to see tomorrow.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “I am obviously a bit sad and disappointed with what happened this morning. Yesterday we felt good and my pace was quite good, especially on used tyres. We made a change with the bike for today and I felt pretty positive straight away. Then I had a crash on the entry to Turn 16, when I lost the rear. I just fell quite awkwardly on my shoulder, and where there is damage on the AC joint it took a big impact, so I just sprained it again. There is a little bit of pain there and I can’t ride properly to help Johnny and challenge for the good finishing positions. After all the injuries we’ve had all year the sensible thing to do is try and get healthy and have full focus on winter testing and next season.”
Isaac Vinales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was 13th in Superpole and Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) 17th. First time WorldSBK rider Oliver König (TPR Outdo Kawasaki) placed 18th.
2021 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2021: Races 35, Wins 11, Podiums 28, Superpoles 8
Career Race Wins: 110 (95 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 213 (171 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 35 (31 for Kawasaki)
2021: Races: 30, Wins 0, Podiums 5, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 29 (9 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: 169 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 487 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 100 – second overall