Hot ambient and track conditions arrived in earnest for the first race day of the Misano weekend, making both Superpole qualifying and Race One tough challenges for the KRT riders.
The hot track conditions played their part in the Superpole qualifying session, with Rea third fastest and his team-mate Alex Lowes fourth fastest around the 4.226km long Misano layout over a single lap. Alvaro Bautista secured the Superpole ‘win’, with Toprak Razgatlioglu second.
In the opening Misano race Rea rode determinedly to push himself up from an early third place. He passed both Bautista and Razgatlioglu on lap three and he would hold the lead for ten laps in all. The final pace of eventual race winner Alvaro Bautista gave him the win.
Lowes was dropped back after a good start, having to take avoiding action when another rider passed him. He recovered track position strongly and finished fifth; his best result in an opening race this season.
After the completion of the first day of racing Sunday will feature the ten lap Superpole ‘sprint’ race and then a second full 21 lap race - to be held at 15.15 local time, not 14.00 like Race One on Saturday.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “In the beginning I felt stronger than the other two leading riders, to be honest. I got to the front, held my rhythm, and was able to hold a similar gap. I was better in some areas of the track and Alvaro was better in some others. But just over half distance he came past in the Curvone; he just arrived as I was tipping in, so it was a bit of a shock. I went wide and had to regroup a little bit, and then struggled to get onto the back of him again. He had a higher rhythm and he was using the rear tyre a little bit better as well. I have no complaints really, as I could see he was doing some things better, so I will use that information to improve the bike set-up for tomorrow. I am happy with the 20 points but a little bit frustrated that we were not a bit closer.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “I had a good start, in fourth place, but I was not that fast in the first laps. Rinaldi passed me on the straight and then when Bassani passed me, I had to go off the track to avoid hitting him. This put me to the back of the group. The track temperature was a lot hotter than it was earlier in the weekend, so I did not have the confidence in the front to pass. So, I was stuck behind Vierge for two or three laps, same with Locatelli, but in general my pace was not bad. At this track, in these hot temperatures, I expected to struggle a bit more, so I am quite happy.”
Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) placed 19th in Superpole qualifying and then went on to finish 16th in the race, just missing out on a championship point by one position.
Oliver König (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) was 24th in Superpole and Alessandro Delbianco (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) 25th. In the opening race Oliver was 20th but Delbianco had to retire in pitlane shortly before the start of the race.
2022 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2022: Races 10, Wins 5, Podiums 9, Superpoles 1
Career Race Wins: 117 (102 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 224 (182 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 36 (32 for Kawasaki)
2022: Races: 10, Wins 0, Podiums 0, 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: 176 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 498 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 101 – second overall