Arriving in Jerez after experiencing positive results from two recent tests at Misano and Catalunya, Rea and Lowes bonded early with their Ninja ZX-10RR machines in the high ambient and track temperatures in southern Spain. Despite some cloud cover early in the morning, temperatures rose to 34°C for FP2.
The lap times in the morning session were generally better for most competitors, as the track was cooler and offered more outright grip. Rea’s best lap was a 1’40.311, putting him just 0.062 seconds from the fastest rider. Lowes was just 0.357 seconds from the quickest time today.
After a five-month gap in action since the previous round in Australia valuable points will be available once more, starting on Saturday afternoon. Lowes leads the championship, with Rea fourth overall. Each KRT rider has won a race already in 2020 and will have three chances to do so again this weekend.
Saturday 1 August hosts race one, over 20 laps, with the 10-lap Superpole race and then the final 20-lap race two on Sunday.
Before any racing takes place there will be an FP3 session and then Superpole qualifying on Saturday, which will determine the grid positions for race one and the Superpole race.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “We still have some work to do but I felt quite good out there today. Pirelli brought three possible race tyres for the longer races so we tried to understand what the best one would be. We did enough laps on each to draw some conclusions for tomorrow, and we narrowed it down to two rear options. The bike is working quite OK. We have moved away from our base set-up this summer, with two recent tests in Misano and Montmelo and the bike is turning well. We never really went for a time attack in the second session so this was just a working day really, to understand where we are.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “I think the biggest challenge is going to be tyres in these kinds of temperatures, so in the afternoon session I just used the same tyre and tried to adapt the bike a little bit. We made a few small changes and rode until the end of the session. My pace was not too bad and I did my best laps at the end. That was quite good and I just need to improve the front set-up of the bike, during the trail-braking phase. If we can improve that for tomorrow I think we will be not too bad. This afternoon’s session was better than this morning’s session and I think it was more relevant for temperature. I felt a bit more comfortable and the races should be held in hotter conditions, later in the day.”
Maximilian Scheib (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was 16th after FP2, and less than one second from the fastest rider after a close and intense opening day. Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was 18th and Sandro Cortese (Outdo Kawasaki TPR) 19th.
2020 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019
2020: Races 3, Wins 1, Podiums 2, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 89 (74 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 170 (128 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 23 (19 for Kawasaki)
2020: Races: 3, 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: 148 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 437 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 88 – second overall