Having been second in Tissot-Superpole qualifying Rea was involved in a tough and often tactile battle with his big championship rival Toprak Razgatlioglu. That fight was soon expanding to a three-way tussle by the appearance of Scott Redding.
Having taken the lead after the tough initial battles Rea tried to make a break but as he pushed on he lost the front on the approach to the fast final corner, and slid out of the opening race of the Portuguese weekend.
Jonathan’s physical condition will be reviewed before warm up on Sunday morning as he suffered a left elbow abrasion and multiple contusions in his fast fall, but he only expects to be stiff and sore when he wakes up on Sunday morning.
Lowes was unable to make the start of Race One despite his strong Friday practice pace that placed him second quickest overnight.
Alex decided not to race at Portimao after taking medical and team advice to rest his injured hand. He did not compete on Saturday and will not compete on Sunday in Portugal.
The second and final day of racing at Portimao will conclude on Sunday 3 October, with the short ten-lap Superpole race and then a second full 20-lap race.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “That was frustrating. I knew that if I wanted to make my rhythm I needed to get to the front. I could see in the early laps I was getting beaten up and especially Toprak arriving on the apex a lot. Surprising, and then I just couldn’t get my head down. I could see I was strong in most areas of the track but without a clean lap I couldn’t really get into the rhythm. Scott made a mistake in T13 so from that point I had track position and I went too much. In T13 I grabbed the brake, in high wind, and I grabbed it hard. I was pushing because I knew to make any advantage in the lap I needed to have some kind of advantage going onto the start straight. But, of course, I didn’t even get that far. I am frustrated for me, frustrated for the team but we will get another chance tomorrow.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “I am so disappointed with the situation; to be honest I’d like to go out and race, since I feel very fast as shown yesterday and I can actually ride a few laps alone. After talking to doctors and team management they strongly recommend to not race - especially on a physically demanding circuit like Portimao. When I work towards a race simulation my hand gets inflamed and this could challenge my full recovery for the last two races of the season, so a difficult decision had to be made. Anyway, despite being frustrated following the great feeling of yesterday on the bike there had to be a simple decision - ride or not and I was advised to sit this one out!”
Isaac Vinales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was the top placed Kawasaki rider, in 11th place in Race One, with new Kawasaki rider Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) 13th on his Ninja ZX-10RR.
Loris Cresson (TPR Outdo Kawasaki) was 16th and Lachlan Epis (TPR Outdo Kawasaki) a non-finisher.
2021 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2021: Races 30, Wins 10, Podiums 24, Superpoles 8
Career Race Wins: 109 (94 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 209 (167 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 35 (31 for Kawasaki)
2021: Races: 28, 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: 483 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 100 – second overall