In the opening race of the Teruel round, held at the same Motorland Aragon circuit as the previous WorldSBK event last weekend, Rea made a clean start but was soon overhauled by first time race winner Michael Ruben Rinaldi.
Keeping up a strong and consistent pace Rea took his 11th podium finish of the season, and 20 important points after a race in which his main championship rival, Scott Redding, fell and no-scored.
After suffering from a bout of gastroenteritis severe enough to keep him from riding in FP3 this morning, Lowes had a tough race but stuck to his task with great determination. He finally moved from tenth at one stage to sixth at the chequered flag, scoring ten points in his own battle for championship position. Even with his health issue today Alex still saw three factory machines finish behind him.
In Tissot-Superpole, shortly before race one, Rea equalled the number of career Superpole trophies of Troy Bayliss – 26 – to go joint third in the all-time rankings for this specialised form of grid qualification. Jonathan beat his own previous track best from last weekend’s race - 1’48.860 - with his 1’48.767 from today.
Despite the negative effects of his illness, Lowes showed his grit and desire to take a third row starting spot for race one after Superpole, in ninth place.
Tomorrow – to complete six individual races at Motorland over two consecutive weekends - there will be a 10 lap Superpole sprint race in the morning and then a second full distance 18-lap finale at 14.00. Jonathan leaves the Saturday action behind with a 30-point championship lead; while Alex is in sixth place overall.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “Track position at Motorland is everything so we put a lot of concentration into that Superpole lap. Thanks to the guys for giving me a great bike and the lap was good. I decided to go early in the Superpole session because I thought that if I could go out on track just on my own, with no distractions, there would be no excuses. I was super-happy with the lap time and a clear view into T1. I knew that if I could be in front I could dictate the pace more. With the temperature going up the softest SCO rear tyre would be an option for a lot of people, so sitting on the grid I knew I might have to attack and defend on different fronts, and manage my race accordingly. When Michael came through it was obvious which tyre he was on because in two corners he had a gap. I was hoping he would come to me as the race went on but Michael did a really good job.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “I want to say a massive congratulations to Michael Ruben Rinaldi. To win your first WorldSBK race is an amazing feeling. I remember when I won my first one. For me it was a tough race today. I have been struggling physically this weekend so I missed this morning’s practice session. I had no energy and I have not been able to keep any food inside so the race was really tough for me. I tried to make a good start and just race the guys in front of me. But that was still one the toughest races I have done so far because I had no energy to force the bike around. I had a little fight, which made me focus on the race, and we managed to take sixth position.”
Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) finished Superpole 15th and was 13th in the race after a difficult first few laps. Maximilian Scheib (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was top Kawasaki privateer in Superpole, 13th and then 16th in race one, just missing out on a championship point. Roman Ramos (Outdo Kawasaki TPR) qualified 18th on the grid but finally entered the pits to retire.
2020 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019
2020: Races 13, Wins 7, Podiums 11, Superpoles 3
Career Race Wins: 95 (80 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 179 (137 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 26 (22 for Kawasaki)
2020: Races: 13, Wins 1, Podiums 2, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 22 (2 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 1 (0 for Kawasaki)
7 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Tom Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
5 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017, 2018 & 2019)
5 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019)
Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 154 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 446 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 91 – second overall