Rea Takes Third Portimao Podium Finish2022-10-12 01:28
Once again the 4.592km long and heavily undulating circuit provided great entertainment for the fans - and a great challenge for the riders - with the final two races of the weekend proving to be tense affairs.
In the Superpole Race on Sunday morning Rea and Lowes pushed hard from the start, with Rea even setting a new lap record of 1’40.135 on lap four as he closed in on the leading duo of Toprak Razgatlioglu and Alvaro Bautista.
Rea would finish third and Lowes a close fourth in the ten lap ‘sprint’ race.
In Race Two Rea was determined to not let early leader Toprak Razgatlioglu get away and passed him on lap one, into the tight downhill infield hairpin. Rea then tried to lead the race and control the pace to save tyre life for the all-important final laps.
He would be passed by both Razgatlioglu and eventual race winner Alvaro Bautista and was unable to stay in close contention for the win, ending up third place for third time in the Portimao races.
Lowes had another strong ride after his satisfying Superpole race performance in the morning and was in fourth place until overtaken by Michael Ruben Rinaldi in Race Two.
He would make ground back to his rival near the end but not quite enough to re-take fourth. Alex is now sixth on the championship with three rounds and nine individual races to go.
In the current points standings Bautista has 448, Razgatlioglu 392, Rea 366, Rinaldi 232, Locatelli 196 and Lowes 189
The WorldSBK riders will now leave the European phase of the championship behind to embark on the first of three ‘long-haul’ events, at the Circuito San Juan Villicum in Argentina, between 21-23 October 2022.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I was really on my limit today. In Race Two, when I was at the front I tried to step back a little bit to manage the tyre and not take so much risk. But when Alvaro came past and went to the front his pace was fast. I also saw the urgency of Toprak to try to disrupt Alvaro’s rhythm a little bit. That was just keeping me in the fight but as soon as he got some clear track that was him gone. Then I thought Toprak may come back to me, so I kept my rhythm, but it wasn’t enough. I really struggled in T14, getting into and around it, and when the tyre dropped it was even worse. No regrets; I did my best and just got beat by better guys today. I was frustrated to be that far back but that is our reality.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “It was good today. From morning warm-up I made a slight change with the front forks and it felt good. In the Superpole race I was coming back to Jonathan and I actually felt a bit stronger than him then. In Race Two I kept the bike the same but on a full tank of fuel I had some big locks from the front end straight away, so that put me off for five or six laps. That didn’t allow me to go with the front guys. From the mid part of the race, if I was there at the front, I had the same pace as Jonathan for the second part. Apart from that, I have to be happy. I pushed to the end, I was catching Rinaldi, and that was as much as I could have done. I feel good on the bike, we just need to keep trying to improve.”
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was 14th in the sprint race but a faller, without injury, in Race Two.
Oliver König (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) was 24th in the Superpole race and 23rd in Race Two. Leon Haslam (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) ended up 19th in the sprint and but had to pull out of the final race after a few laps and he retired in the pits.
2022 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2022: Races 27, Wins 5, Podiums 21, Superpoles 5
Career Race Wins: 117 (102 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 236 (194 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 40 (36 for Kawasaki)
2022: Races: 26, 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: 512 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 105 – second overall
Source: Kawasaki Racing Team
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