For the third time this season and the second round in succession, Rea won the Superpole qualifying competition. He set a new track best of 1’30.947 to line up on the ideal starting position for Race One.
Lowes finished Superpole in a creditable fifth place, especially so after catching a non-Covid infection which robbed him of energy and stamina.
In the early stages of the 22-lap race Rea battled for the lead with Toprak Razgatlioglu. Eventual winner Alvaro Bautista was just behind until he took the lead on lap ten.
Jonathan had led for four laps across the start/finish line but dropped to second and then third with seven laps to go. Rea only lost his final chance of a podium place after an epic close quarters fight with Scott Redding on the final lap.
Lowes was on course for a top seven finish until the last two laps, when his intestinal infection told on his overall physical condition and he lost two places. He still scored strong championship points after displaying grit and determination, and hopes to be in much better condition to face Sunday’s races.
The strong predictions of heavy rain and even thunderstorms during the Saturday race were happily shown to be false but there were small drops of rain in the middle of the race. Although concerning for the riders the very light rain had little effect on the track surface and there was no need to change to wet tyres.
On Sunday 31 July Rea and Lowes will take part in the ten-lap Superpole Race and then another 22-lap race that will mark the end of the first half of the 12-round season.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “The race was quite good, to be fair. I had a good rhythm and good pace. I was fast, just not fast enough at the end when it counted. A little bit like Donington last time out, I ran into some brake fade issues. The brake lever was coming back to my fingers so I could not keep the pressure on. Stopping the bike was a problem but also putting the bike into position. I just struggled. In traffic I was worried about hitting somebody. If I braked at my normal brake point the chances were I could not stop the bike. The finishing position does not reflect our true potential. I feel we were strong. Unfortunately we were off the podium, but only two seconds from the race win. It is a good and a bad thing when you are disappointed with fourth place and so close to the winner, but that is the reality today. I hope to make amends tomorrow and clearly we need to be faster at the end of the race.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “My illness got worse today. Qualifying wasn’t too bad, over only one lap, but I still did not feel strong on the bike. I have been struggling to keep food in me and then you just don’t have the energy when you need it. The race was tough. I wasn’t too comfy on the bike, as it was sliding more than I expected. I had wear on the front tyre and I did not have the body strength to manhandle it round that problem. I was setting my pace but I lost two places on the last two laps. The effort to do the race, and then lose two places on the last lap… Seventh would have been a lot more acceptable. I didn’t find anywhere I could pass easily on the track so we need to think about that tomorrow - where I can pass the other guys a bit more easily. And, I hope I am a bit stronger in myself.”
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) posted a 12th place finish in Race One, with local hero Oliver König (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) just missing out a points scoring position, in 16th place.
First time WorldSBK rider Ryan Vickers (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) was 23rd at Most in Race One.
2022 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2022: Races 16, Wins 5, Podiums 13, Superpoles 3
Career Race Wins: 117 (102 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 228 (186 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 38 (34 for Kawasaki)
2022: Races: 16, Wins 0, Podiums 1, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 30 (10 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: 176 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 503 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 103 – second overall