WorldSBK: Rea Looking To Reset At Assen After “Tough Start” To 2023

WorldSBK: Rea Looking To Reset At Assen After “Tough Start” To 2023

© 2023, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By Kawasaki Motors Europe:

Rea And Lowes Restart For Real

Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes will get KRT’s WorldSBK 2023 racing season fully underway again between 21-23 April, at the classic TT Circuit Assen in the Netherlands.

The WorldSBK championship embarks on its first European-based race weekend of the season at Assen, located in the north of the Netherlands, after a break of seven weeks since the previous round at Mandalika in Indonesia.

Six times WorldSBK champion Rea counts Assen as the most successful circuit over his long and record breaking career. He has taken 17 of his total of 118 WorldSBK race victories there, the most recent being a double in 2022 on his official Ninja ZX-10RR.

Lowes has scored a podium at the unique 4.542km long Assen in the past and is as much of a fan of the unique circuit as his fellow riders. After two successful recent private tests with his team-mate, at Motorland Aragon and Barcelona-Catalunya, he is out to add more podiums to his third place score at the most recent race in Mandlika.

In the overall 2023 WorldSBK standings Rea is sixth and Lowes 12th, despite each rider having earned a podium finish.

Weather conditions at Assen can change with great frequency but both KRT riders will be hoping for consistent dry conditions. This outcome should allow them to make the most of the information gathered at the two recent tests, as they continue to find the optimum set-up for the latest homologation of Ninja ZX-10RR.

Track action begins at Assen on Friday 21 April. As ever there will be three WorldSBK races over the weekend, with a ten-lap Tissot Superpole ‘sprint’ race on Sunday morning, complementing the two full distance 18-lap races – one on Saturday and one on Sunday.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “It’s exciting to go racing again because it feels like forever since Indonesia. In a way that is a good thing to reset after a tough start to the year. We have had two really solid tests at Motorland and Barcelona. Assen is a great track for us to restart our season. It is a circuit we have had some success at in the past, it is a local round for Kawasaki Motors Europe. There are also a lot of travelling fans from the UK and the Dutch fans are incredible. The best moments on slowing down laps are in Assen, when you come around that last sector into the GT chicane when the grandstands are full. It always feels really cool to be on the circuit then. The plan will be to start strong in FP1 with a good rhythm, work on our race set-up and get ready. Of course, the target is to get on the podium to be able to fight.”

Alex Lowes, stated: “I’m excited to get back going in Assen. We have had a couple of tests, at Motorland Aragon and Barcelona, since the last race weekend in Indonesia, and I believe we’ve improved the bike set-up a little bit. Assen is a track that personally I enjoy a lot. The bike should work well there and my target is to challenge for the podium. The atmosphere and fans are great there too, so I’m looking forward to the first European-based round of the year.”

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) will be back in action at Assen as he continues his return to WorldSBK after racing in BSB in 2022. Young Czech rider Oliver König (Orelac Racing Movisio Kawasaki) will again join his WorldSBK peers, looking for his first points score of the season.

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