The KRT team’s two UK riders have already taken part in private testing at the 4.657 long Montmelo circuit, located on the north eastern outskirts of Barcelona itself, on the last two days of March this year.
Barcelona hosts the fourth of 12 WorldSBK rounds in total, and the second in Europe, just two weeks after Rea scored two podiums at Assen in the Netherlands.
It has been a sometimes challenging season so far but Rea has already earned three podium finishes and Lowes has been on the podium in Mandalika. After a total of nine individual WorldSBK races Rea is now fifth in the overall standings and Lowes 10th.
The Catalunya circuit has been a MotoGP venue for the vast majority of its three decades of existence. It was used for WorldSBK racing in the first year of the global pandemic in 2020 but has remained a popular race and test venue for WorldSBK ever since.
Although not the absolutely optimum circuit layout to cater to the many strengths of the Ninja ZX-10RR, Jonathan won the first ever Catalunya WorldSBK race for KRT, and once again in 2021in the ‘sprint’ race. Alex was on the podium in the Catalunya sprint last season.
The weekend at Barcelona-Catalunya gets underway on track on Friday May 5, with one WorldSBK race taking place on Saturday 6 May and two on Sunday May 7. There will be a three weekend break in full-on WorldSBK competition after the Catalunya round.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I am excited because it is the team’s home race weekend and there is always a good buzz around Barcelona. It is a nice track to ride. In the past it has typically been a difficult one for us but we had a good test there a few weeks ago. With this new direction of set-up with the bike, I feel like we can be more competitive there. We just need to see the way that it is going to be. It looks like the weekend is going to be consistent in terms of weather, which is always a bonus. I am looking forward to getting stuck in and seeing what I can do. We are going to have a lot of support from team personnel, their families, sponsors, etc., so it is an important race to be strong at. We will go step-by-step through the weekend and build a plan with Pere.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “I always have mixed feelings with Montmelo because we did a test there recently. It is one of the most enjoyable tracks to ride around, with lots of long corners. I did a Kawasaki PR day there, riding a Z900, and it was so much fun. But it is probably not the perfect layout for our bike with those long corners, and tyre degradation is quite high. But, we had a good test with our WorldSBK bike there. I had a good setting with the bike, I feel good on the bike and I am looking forward to the team’s home race to try and challenge for the podium.”
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Oliver König (Orelac Racing Movisio Kawasaki) will compete once again as Independent riders, with Isaac Vinales (TPR by Vinales Racing Kawasaki) taking part in his second round of the season - at his home round.
2023 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2023: Races 9, Wins 0, Podiums 3, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 118 (103 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 248 (206 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 40 (36 for Kawasaki)
2023: Races: 9, Wins 0, Podiums 1, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 34 (14 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: 177 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 527 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 105 – second overall