The recently resurfaced Mandalika track surface was in dirty and dusty condition at the beginning of FP1. The new asphalt is very smooth but the lack of recent track action to help clean the surface meant that FP1 was a particular challenge to all.
In very hot but dry conditions the grip available on the emerging narrow racing line improved to a degree in time for Free Practice Two, allowing Rea to move up to fourth place overall.
Rea had not been riding with his usual level of confidence at times, simply due to the track conditions, but in finishing with the fourth best time he demonstrated his pace and experience once more.
Lowes was concentrating hard on machine set-up in both sessions and set the 11th best lap time, despite not managing to go for one final fast lap at the end of FP2. He also worked on the SC0 tyre option he expects to use in the races, if the weather at Mandalika remains dry for the races.
Saturday 12 November will host FP3, Tissot-Superpole Qualifying and then Race One, which features 21 laps of the 4.310km circuit.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “This morning the track was so dirty. And even in the afternoon I felt OK on the racing line, in most areas, but some areas are critical. Off the racing line was a nightmare. The set-up we arrived with, considering the grip level that we would face in FP1, was quite far from our base set-up, from a balance and position point of view. I just didn’t feel comfortable all day, even in the afternoon when the grip level came up. When you are not comfortable and nervous, when the racing line is so, so narrow, it is like walking a tightrope just looking at the rope. You need to be confident, looking forward. We can see quite clearly what I am lacking and we can see where to start on Saturday.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “Free Practice Two wasn’t too bad. I worked on the SC0 tyre because it looks like, in the current conditions, the SCX won’t last for us. I didn’t get a faster lap time in at the end just to see our outright speed but we did plenty of laps during the second session and have some good ideas about how to improve for tomorrow. It’s tricky out there, with a small clean line, so little mistakes can be costly. The track surface and grip are going to keep evolving. I’m pretty happy with the day’s work and excited for the first raceday tomorrow.”
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was just one place behind Lowes on Friday, in 12th on the timesheets.
Oliver König (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) qualified 22nd, with Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) 20th in his first ever full WorldSBK sessions.
2022 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2022: Races 30, Wins 5, Podiums 24, Superpoles 5
Career Race Wins: 117 (102 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 239 (197 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 40 (36 for Kawasaki)
2022: Races: 29, Wins 0, Podiums 2, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 31 (11 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: 176 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 515 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 105 – second overall