After the breathless restart to the 2020 World Superbike Championships season last weekend in Spain, the riders head to the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal for the next event on the calendar.
The Kawasaki Racing Team has indicated they will field a fired-up Jonathan Rea (pictured above) and Alex Lowes in Portugal in what will be an intense third round of the world series this weekend.
Lowes had led the series after the opening round at Phillip Island in January, but lost his top spot in Jerez, Spain, last weekend as British Ducati rider Scott Redding took charge of proceedings.
Five times WorldSBK champion Rea (pictured above) and new KRT rider for this season Lowes faced up to the challenges of an overheated race weekend at Jerez, with Rea scoring a win and Lowes improving his results all through race weekend.
Hot, if less extreme, temperatures are expected in a few days’ time at Portimao, a popular venue with teams for its modernity and a true visual spectacle for riders and viewers, as it features seemingly endless undulations and blind corner approaches.
Rea has a strong record at Portimao, having won no fewer than nine races there; eight since he became a Kawasaki rider in 2015. He set a remarkable new record of 90 WorldSBK race wins after taking the top prize in the Tissot-Superpole race in Jerez.
Alex scored a podium with third place at Portimao last year, and will learn even more about the ultimate performance of his Ninja ZX-10RR around the 4.592km long circuit during FP1 and FP2, on Friday 7 August. Having won race two in Australia this season he has already tasted real success on a bike that is all new for him this year.
After Portimao, there will be a two weekend break until the WorldSBK riders and teams reconvene at the Motorland Aragon circuit in Spain for not one but two complete rounds in quick succession. The first Motorland race weekend will be held between August 28 and 30.
“Portimao is a circuit that has been kind to us in the past and it suits the nature of our bike,” said Rea.
“There are a lot of areas where we can exploit the strengths of our Ninja ZX-10RR. I enjoy the challenge of the circuit as it is very undulating and it is the closest thing you get to a motocross track. The changes of elevation and blind corners; it really takes a lot of rider input and set-up to make a perfect lap.
“I am looking forward to starting on Friday with the team again and the emphasis will be on understanding how our base set-up works there, especially in the heat. We will possibly face hot temperatures like we have just had this past weekend. We will confirm everything because it was working pretty OK in Jerez. Our goal is to improve the feeling, work toward the races and at the end the target is to win.”
Photo courtesy Kawasaki Europe
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