Just two weeks after the first appearance on the calendar for the Autodrom Most another all-new track for the WorldSBK championship, the Circuito de Navarra, will join the long list of circuits to have run at least one WorldSBK round.
The 3.933km long and modern Navarra layout in the north of Spain, located close to the town of Los Arcos features 15 distinct corners of all kinds, but predominantly slower speed technical corners. T1, T4, T5 and T15 are the main exceptions to the tighter sections with T1 providing a very high speed right hander at the end of the main straight.
Both KRT riders and the team have already tested at Navarra in June of this year. When this experience is added to the Barcelona private test held last week, which itself was run just days after the full race action of the Most round, both Rea and Lowes will be well prepared to face this new challenge in Spain head-on.
Based on the evidence of the past few rounds the overall championship battle in 2021 is shaping up to be a close and enthralling one, with the advantage swinging between points leader Rea and his closest challenger Toprak Razgatlioglu. Only three points separate Rea and Razgatlioglu after six rounds and 18 races, with another seven rounds to go.
Lowes is looking to maintain and even enhance his current championship ranking of fourth, and get back onto the podium position he last occupied at his home round of Donington Park in July.
Navarra will be the second of four Spanish tracks to host a WorldSBK round in 2021 and it will become the seventh different track in Spain to host a WorldSBK race weekend across the championship’s history.
After Navarra there will be a break of one weekend before the championship visits a well known venue in France when Magny Cours hosts the eighth round, between 3-5 September.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “It is nice to go to Navarra, another new circuit for us. Unlike Most we have actually had a test there, a couple of months ago. I enjoyed the track but it seemed quite bumpy then. Now it seems the circuit have addressed some of the problems we faced. My rhythm and pace was pretty good there so I am quite curious to see, with everybody on track, how competitive everyone will be. I feel that with our Ninja ZX-10RR we can be strong. The idea is to start on Friday with a base set-up but also factoring in some ideas we tried at a previous test at Barcelona. I am excited for that and the aim is to have a really good race weekend.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “Navarra is a new track for the championship but I think most people have tested there at some point. It’s a completely different track to Most because it’s quite slow. There’s a lot of first-gear corners. I think the racing is going to be good so I’m looking forward to it. Navarra is a technical track and lots of the corners lead onto the next one. It’s important to be patient and precise. At the test we did there we were fast and I had a good feeling with the bike. I believe there will be some good passing places and the racing is going to be really close. My target is to get back on the podium after a tough few races. I’m ready for the challenge!”
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) will return to competitive action at Navarra, having missed the Most round as he recovers from a wrist injury suffered at Assen a few weeks ago.
Local rider Isaac Vinales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) will be eager to put more points on the board in all three races at Navarra to try to break into the championship’s top 15 places from his current ranking of 17th.
Loris Cresson (TPR Outdo Kawasaki) will be going for another points score while his new team-mate Jayson Uribe (TPR Outdo Kawasaki) is about to take part in only his second WorldSBK round, after his debut at Most recently.
2021 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2021: Races 18, Wins 8, Podiums 16, Superpoles 6
Career Race Wins: 107 (92 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 201 (159 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 33 (29 for Kawasaki)
2021: Races: 18, Wins 0, Podiums 4, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 28 (8 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: 166 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 474 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 98 – second overall