After enjoying a positive weekend of action at the previous round in Estoril, Portugal, the entire KRT squad will enter the Misano race weekend determined to make a good start to the main practice sessions on Friday 10 June, and then carry that into the three WorldSBK races that will commence on Saturday 11th and finish on Sunday 12th.
Six times WorldSBK Champion Rea revisits the scene of his first WorldSBK Race win this coming weekend, as he also looks to add to his current all-time best total of 117 race victories. He has already scored five wins in 2022, one more than current championship leader Alvaro Bautista. In all, Rea has recorded eight previous Misano WorldSBK race victories.
Lowes came close to a podium finish in the most recent round, after some set-up changes to his Ninja ZX-10RR. He now aims to carry those recent benefits through to Misano strongly enough to join his first podium ceremony of the season.
Jonathan is second overall in the championship standings with 144 points to Bautista’s 161. Alex is ranked seventh, despite strokes of misfortunes that have delivered three DNFs in the nine races so far. Alex is only six points from the rider currently in sixth place overall.
Misano should be the first ‘full summer’ race of the 2022 season, with temperatures usually between 25-30°C on the Adriatic coast of Italy at this time of year. That factor will have an important part to play in each rider’s final machine set-up, especially as official tyre suppliers Pirelli have brought three soft compound SCX rear tyres to choose from at this round, as well as a standard SC0 and the SCQ qualifying rear tyre.
The 4.226km long Misano layout hosted its first WorldSBK round way back in 1991. As one of the most popular and frequently used circuits in the history of WorldSBK racing it has already notched up 58 individual races.
There will be another long break in the racing action for the WorldSBK paddock after the Misano weekend, with Donington Park in the UK hosting the fifth round between 15-17 July.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “Misano is always a race I look forward to, for many reasons. It was the scene of my first WorldSBK race win back in 2009, which was very special. It is also more to do with the area around the track. It is an incredibly nice area and I always find some time to go to the beach; more recently with my family and the kids too. They enjoy that. Misano has a cool vibe to race weekend. Also the Italian fans bring something really special to WorldSBK. Now we can look forward to carrying on with our recent momentum. We had a very positive Estoril weekend so the idea is to start with a good vibe, a good feeling, and keep working, step-by step. Misano is possibly one of the real summer races, so it should be quite hot. I am looking to see where we stack up on day one and work from there.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “We made some really good steps forward over the weekend at Estoril. The strongest day was the final day, so we left there feeling quite positive and optimistic about having a good setting on the bike. We were not too far away from the first three, finishing fourth in the last race in Portugal and the way I did the race was really good. My target is to get back on the podium at a racetrack that I really enjoy. Also, my twin brother Sam’s wife is Italian, so it is a second home race for him. I am looking forward to having the family out there this week. I cannot wait to get out there on track. It is important on Friday for us to see if the setting changes we made over the weekend in Estoril work again at Misano; then we are looking good for this next run of European races. That is what we need to work on during FP1 and FP2. Apart from that it is aiming for the podium, enjoying it all and seeing where we end up.”
Frenchman Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) will not be able to ride at Misano due to the hand injury he suffered during the Estoril round. He will be replaced for the team’s home round by former MotoGP and WorldSBK rider Tito Rabat, who had previously substituted for Mahias at the end of the 2021 season.
Young Czech hopeful Oliver König (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) will be looking forward to making his biggest mark in the WorldSBK class after joining the class full-time this season.
Leon Haslam was scheduled to ride as a wildcard at Misano but as he is now on Suzuka 8 Hours testing duty for Kawasaki, Alessandro Delbianco (TPR Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) will compete at what is a home round for both him and his Italian team.
2022 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2022: Races 9, Wins 5, Podiums 8, Superpoles 1
Career Race Wins: 117 (102 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 223 (181 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 36 (32 for Kawasaki)
2022: Races: 9, 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: 497 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 101 – second overall