Jonathan Rea (KRT) scored a win and a sixth place in today’s hot and demanding WorldSBK races at Jerez, with fellow KRT rider Alex Lowes finishing seventh and fifth. Rea’s victory came in the ten-lap Tissot-Superpole race.
In the ‘sprint’ race, held at 11.00hrs, Rea made a strong start and the five time champion pushed hard early on to take a victory from Scott Redding by 0.522 seconds. It was his second major success of the 2020 campaign, after taking the equivalent race in Australia in round one.
This Jerez win was a new landmark record of 90 WorldSBK victories for Rea, and his 75th since he joined Kawasaki in 2015.
The final race of the weekend, over 20-laps was led by Jonathan from the start but he was passed by eventual race winner and championship leader Redding on the second lap. Unable to get the drive grip he had hoped for Rea would eventually finish sixth.
Lowes made great strides forward to take seventh place in the Superpole race, battling hard to move through the field in a short and intense contest which he had started from 14th place on the grid.
In the second full distance race Lowes shadowed his team-mate Rea for some time but made his move forward on lap 17 to finish fifth and improve his results through each of the three Jerez points scoring races.
In the championship standings Redding leads with 98, Rea is now second with 74 and Lowes is a close third with 72. The championship will now move on to Portugal next weekend, for the Portimao round, between 7 and 9 August.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “This morning was very good and I felt that it was my chance to go from the very beginning. I did a 1’40.6 from a standing start which was unbelievable. I had a really good rhythm so I was able to cruise the last few laps and really enjoy the race. In race two it was hard because as soon as I got the bike on its side in turn three and accelerated towards four, it was not pushing the tyre in and going forward. I was frustrated with that. We had the same set-up as we had in the Superpole race and the set-up change from yesterday was minimal, so we need to look at the data. This circuit is the one I feared the most, especially in the high temperatures, so it is not a bad outcome.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “It has not been an easy weekend for me but in the end we took some points so it was not bad. This weekend was quite difficult because this is the first time for me to ride the Kawasaki in these extreme temperatures. But every race at Jerez I have improved and I am looking forward to Portimao already. In the Superpole race it was good because I started 14th, so to arrive in P7 I had quite a lot of confidence for the final race. I was stronger today but I was bit behind in terms of track time. We will try to improve for next week.”
Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was 12th and 13th in the Sunday races at his home circuit of Jerez, with Sandro Cortese (Outdo Kawasaki TPR) scoring two more 14th places today, for valuable points each time. New WorldSBK full time rider Maximilian Scheib (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was 15th and then 18th today. In the points table Cortese is 14th, Fores 15th and Scheib 16th.