The Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, located near the town of Portimão, hosts the final European test for the Kawasaki Racing Team across 31 January and 1 February before KRT, and the rest of the paddock, make ready to fly to the opening round of the 2023 WorldSBK season in Australia.
With both Jonathan Rea and, teammate, Alex Lowes, making strong progress in testing so far, the Jerez test in late January has set both the riders and their respective pit crews up well for the demands of the 4.592km (2.8533) track which includes one of the fastest straights on the European schedule of the world’s most prestigious production based motorcycle race series.
Hosting its first WorldSBK event in its inaugural year of 2008, the Portuguese circuit has been a fan and rider favourite since then and will produce yet more crucial data for KRT to assimilate in their quest to be super prepared for Phillip Island and round one.
Hoping for warmer weather than they experienced at Jerez, Rea and Lowes will be looking to refine and answer the last few questions before the Championship for real starts with two crucial points scoring events in quick succession at Phillip Island and Mandalika, Indonesia. Plus, with Portimao being on the season calendar for 2023, the team will be able to complete the process of matching previous data to the outcome of this test and be ready to race on Portuguese soil come September.
Jonathan Rea rates Portimao as one of the fastest yet technical tracks on the calendar and showed well in 2022 taking a podium spot in all three races across the weekend while Alex Lowes was just off the podium in Superpole and in the top five in both races. For both riders then the search for those extra tenths of a second in lap time makes this Portimao test highly significant.