Rea leaves Montmeló leader
Jonathan Rea had a perfect Saturday for the Kawasaki Racing Team, with a victory in the first race and the super pole. He remains at the top of the championship standings.
The Kawasaki Racing Team was playing at home this WorldSBK weekend. The Barcelona-Catalunya circuit in Montmeló hosted a new race of this strange but entertaining 2020. The weather changed during the free practice and qualifying session, going from dry asphalt in the morning to the expected rain in the afternoon. Luckily, Rea and his team were able to work on the braking system to find the necessary balance. The Spanish rider was the fastest in the afternoon, on a slippery track. Lowes arrived recovered from his health problems but had to settle for 14th position in free practice, a touch that helped him get to know his bike better in adverse conditions.
The weather didn't help during the early hours of Saturday either, but Rea and Lowes made their way into FP3, finishing first and seventh respectively. The Kawasaki Racing Team riders gave their all during the qualifying round and Rea was 2.62 seconds ahead of Scott Redding. Alex was not quite comfortable with the rear end but fought to finish in the top ten.
The Tissot-Superpole was more of the same for Rea, who scored his fourth consecutive success and 27th career victory. Data that makes him the third best driver in WorldSBK history, a milestone that we hope he will surpass. Lowes finished eighth in the sprint race, which allowed him to gain a position for the start of the long races in Catalunya.
It was time for the race and the sun had dried up the Montmeló track. The pace picked up and Rea felt comfortable at the controls of the Ninja ZX-10RR, allowing him to lead the race to the checkered flag. What is more, the rider set a new lap record and his ninth victory in 2020. You could feel his happiness at the end of the day on Saturday when answering questions from the press. Jonathan Rea, stated: “It was very good to win here. I had a lot of motivation in this race. It is the home race, of my team, and Ana Carrasco could not be here in the WorldSSP300, so this victory was for her, and also for my grandfather, since today marks the 27th anniversary of his death. I used this to give me strength for the race, never rest and never give up.
Sunday was something different for the KRT riders, who did not shine as brightly as the day before. That does not mean that Rea did not give it his all since early morning, during the Super Pole Race, fighting with a very successful Van der Mark. Finally, the Kawasaki rider crossed the first flag of the day in second place followed by Loris Baz. Lowes finished this quick test in seventh position. A result almost identical to the eighth position he would achieve on Sunday's race. A race that was more complicated than expected for Rea, who finished fourth, but did not affect him in the general classification. It remains the leader of the WorldSBK 2020 and will be presented as such at the Pirelli French Round held from October 2 to 4 in Nevers Magny-Cours (France).
Come on Ana Carrasco
Rea wore a very special shirt on Saturday. It read "Ride like a Girl" in honor of the pilot Ana Carrasco, who suffered a severe fall during Estoril practice. The Spanish has had to undergo surgery twice on her back, for a fracture in the thoracic spine. From Puig we want to send her all the support and strength of our team. We hope to see her on a motorcycle soon!