At the previous round in Indonesia the world championship was decided in favour of Alvaro Bautista but Jonathan scored three podiums during what was another intense and exciting WorldSBK event. Lowes had a difficult weekend away from the top three places but knows that Phillip Island has already been a truly rewarding venue for him and his Ninja ZX-10RR.
Jonathan has won five races this season, as part of his unrivalled 117 race winning career total. He is ranked third in this year’s championship table.
Alex is looking to increase his podium score for the year beyond its current level of two - achieved at Donington Park and Catalunya. Lowes has to make up only 11 points on the rider above him in the championship standings to finish in an overall fifth place.
The Phillip Island circuit itself is heavily left-handed in layout, and the hardest circuit on the calendar for tyres. At 4.445km in length the track features undulations but most noticeably several high speed corners which contrast with two slow right-handed hairpins.
Now the WorldSBK paddock members are en-route to the season finale at Phillip Island, a venue which was not visited last year due to the pandemic. The mid- November date for this round is highly unusual compared to recent years, and with the release of the 2023 WorldSBK calendar recently, Phillip Island will host the first round of next year’s championship, on the final weekend of February.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I am really looking forward to Phillip Island. I enjoy the layout of Phillip Island and it’s a challenging track. It’s going to be a different challenge than before because I’m guessing there will be a lot more grip because the conditions will be a lot cooler than recent years. We’ve come at the middle of spring, start of summer in Australia, so we could have anything. We can have four seasons in a day in February, in the middle of summer, so what’s it going to be like in November? You never know what’s going to happen there.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “Phillip Island is the track that I had my first race, and only win for Kawasaki, with so I have amazing memories there. This year we are going in November instead of February so it will be interesting to see how the conditions are different. It’s a fast track which is a completely different character to most other on the calendar. Tyre life is always an issue so we need to get to work from the first session on Friday.”
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) is hoping to be fit to ride after spraining his ankle in FP3 at the previous WorldSBK race weekend in Mandalika.
Oliver König (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) scored his first WorldSBK point last time out. Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) comes back to action after his first ever WorldSBK rides at Mandalika recently.
2022 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2022: Races 33, Wins 5, Podiums 27, Superpoles 5
Career Race Wins: 117 (102 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 242 (200 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 40 (36 for Kawasaki)
2022: Races: 32, Wins 0, Podiums 2, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 31 (11 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: 518 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 105 – second overall