Aragon Ahead For KRT
Kawasaki Racing Team riders Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes will soon head to Motorland Aragon in readiness for the tenth round of the FIM Superbike World Championship, to be held between 22-24 September.
The team had a recent test at Motorland in August, during the long summer break. It was not only good preparation for the season restart at Magny Cours earlier this month but an ideal opportunity to get some early planning in for how to approach the return to Motorland for race weekend itself.
In the run-up to the final three rounds of the 2023 race season Rea has found improvements in his machine set-up after an unexpectedly challenging start to the year. Advances since that point have translated into a win and five other podium finishes in the most recent six individual WorldSBK races for Jonathan.
Lowes is hoping to race at Motorland but after suffering a knee injury that prevented him completing a full race weekend during the most recent round at Magny Cours. On the Tuesday after the race Alex underwent a scan that showed a damaged meniscus on his left knee.
One day later Dr. Monllau operated on Alex to remove a part of his meniscus. The procedure was aimed at repairing the damage while allowing him to get back on track as quickly as possible. Dr. Monllau is a specialist in his field, with a history of performing knee surgeries on sportspeople, including FC Barcelona football players. A decision will be taken together with Alex, Team Management and the FIM Medical Director on Thursday about whether he can ride at Motorland this coming weekend or not.
Rea has won nine races at Motorland in the past, his most recent in the 2022 season. Lowes has recorded four podiums at the 5.077km long Motorland Aragon circuit, which features seven right handed corners and 10 lefts.
As things stand, Rea is third in the championship on 290 points. Lowes is eighth, with 129 points.
Motorland Aragon is worthy of respect for many reasons, not least of which is its overall grand scale as a motorsport facility, featuring an expansive track layout that includes several elevation changes and one of the biggest back straights on the whole calendar.
Immediately after the Motorland Aragon race weekend has been completed the teams will traverse almost the entire Iberian peninsula to take part in the eleventh round of the championship, at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, near Portimao in Portugal. Track action will take place there between 29/30 September and 1 October.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “Aragon is a really cool track, It’s one that I really enjoy and very challenging for a rider. I have got great memories there from the past and in fact the first ever time I rode the Ninja ZX-10R was in Aragon and I fondly remember the first laps. I hope to recreate that feeling where I really enjoyed the bike. We had a test there during the summer break and it was positive. I felt fast and consistent. Since the middle part of the season we have started to find some momentum with bike set-up. We have been working well as a team and we have been able to challenge for podiums. It is important to be strong but also consistent. We have two race weekends on the bounce now and the target is to maximise our opportunities to fight for podiums and continue scoring big points.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “Aragon is a track that I enjoy and we have done quite a bit of testing there, including a few weeks ago. It was a positive test and we had good feelings with the bike. I am hoping I am in a position where I can ride and be competitive at Motorland. I had an operation on my knee last week, so we do not know yet if I am going to be able to ride. We have not made a final decision yet.”
Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) returns to the WorldSBK fray at Motorland Aragon for a home race. Isaac Vinales (TPR by Vinales Racing Kawasaki) is another rider racing close to home this weekend. Czech rider Oliver König (Orelac Racing Movisio Kawasaki) is looking for his first points of the season at Motorland.