After taking the Superpole Race win at the previous round in Barcelona Catalunya to bring his 2021 victory total up to ten, Rea is now just one point from the championship lead in what is turning out to be an engrossing season for the fans and a changeable one for all the top competitors.
Rea, a six time and reigning champion in WorldSBK, is setting out for Jerez with the aim to improve his long race set-up to take on the challenge of a circuit which is used not just for racing events but quite frequently for winter testing too.
Alex will head to Jerez with his usual gritty determination to race despite suffering a fissure fracture at the base of the second metatarsal of his right hand in a multi-rider crash at the start of Race Two in Barcelona. After checks and consultation with medical specialists in Barcelona on Monday the decision was taken that Alex would travel to Jerez with the hope and intention of racing at the next round.
In the recent past Rea has won three races at Jerez, all for Kawasaki. His most recent victory at the 4.423km long circuit was in the Superpole race last year, when the Jerez race weekend was held in the height of the Spanish summer. As an autumnal race this year, in the last week of September, Jerez should hopefully still provide a warm weekend of work for all concerned.
Lowes will go to Jerez with five podium finishes under his belt in 2021 already, the most recent at Magny Cours in France. He is as keen as ever to ride when the action gets underway on Friday 24 September.
KRT tested the new model Ninja ZX-10RR at Jerez in January of this year, in preparation for what has been one of the most closely contested championships in recent memory.
The Jerez race weekend is the middle one of three consecutive rounds, meaning that there will be another quick change of venue for the final European race of the 2021 season, at Portimao in Portugal between 1-3 October.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “We ride a lot in Jerez in November, January and February, when the track is very cold. So, when the track is hot and greasy it’s a little bit different. Last year we rode there when the season restarted after Round One in Australia. So, we have good data from there last year. It was hot for the races, I remember because it was in the middle of summer. I think the problems we faced at Barcelona we need to really fix and make better for the races in Jerez. There is definitely work to do.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “After the Barcelona weekend and getting taken out of that last race it was quite messy, with a lot of bikes around. I got clipped by another rider and luckily I got away relatively unscathed from the crash. I have fractured my hand but otherwise I feel quite good. I feel like I can try and ride at Jerez. My neck is a little bit stiff but I will work hard on my recovery these next three days, with Albert our physio, and be in a position to try to ride. It is not an ideal situation but I will go to Jerez and the plan is to try to ride.”
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) heads to Jerez in 14th place overall. Isaac Vinales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) is 17th moving to another home round.
Loris Cresson (TPR Outdo Kawasaki) will once more be joined by Lachlan Epis (TPR Outdo Kawasaki) who had his first WorldSBK race experiences at Barcelona last weekend.
2021 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2021: Races 27, Wins 10, Podiums 23, Superpoles 8
Career Race Wins: 109 (94 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 208 (166 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 35 (31 for Kawasaki)
2021: Races: 27, 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: 168 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 482 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 100 – second overall