After facing two all-new WorldSBK venues in the past two rounds, at Most and Navarra, the KRT crews will arrive with a lot of previous data to consult before taking on the challenge of the 4.411km long Magny Cours circuit located in the very centre of France.
After the last round in Spain the team travelled to Portimao in Portugal to take part in a private one-day test, to try out set-up options and some new parts for the future. Buoyed by their experiences at this one day test, particularly as it was conducted in hot weather conditions during the afternoon session, both Alex and Jonathan hope to have dry and warm weather during the latest of a scheduled 13 WorldSBK rounds this season.
There were WorldSBK races at Magny Cours last season, despite Covid-19 considerations cutting the season down to eight rounds in all. Jonathan won two Magny Cours races for KRT in 2020, and was only off the podium once, while Alex scored two podiums over the same wet weekend. Rea has collected eight Magny Cours race wins over his long WorldSBK career.
In this season’s WorldSBK championship Rea is tied for the points lead with Toprak Razgatlioglu, each rider having taken 311 points so far. Rea has won eight races across the 2021 season so far.
Alex, who has been on the podium four times this year, is targeting more top three finishes in France, as he defends his current fourth place in the championship standings.
The layout of the Magny Cours circuit packs corners of every kind into its 4.411km length, and features three extremely hard braking areas from high speed, as well as a fast right hand corner early in the lap. The final Lycée section, approached from a downhill bend, ends in a right/left hairpin that has provided many dramas and moments of WorldSBK excitement over the years.
Once the Magny Cours weekend has been completed the WorldSBK Championship will have one free weekend to prepare for what will be three rounds on the Iberian Peninsula in three successive weekends. The first will be at KRT’s almost literal home circuit - Barcelona-Catalunya - between 17-19 September.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “After the last few races, on new circuits for us, I am really excited to got to Magny Cours. It is a circuit where I have a lot of special memories, where we have been many times in the past, so we have a lot of data. Thankfully we had a full day of really nice weather at a Portimao test last week to keep working with the set-up of our Ninja ZX-10RR. I felt very good there and the condition fo the bike was very good. The bike set-up for Magny Cours is very similar to Portimao. It has a lot of heavy braking area but also changes of direction which really suit our bike. Now, with six rounds remaining in the championship we are past the halfway point and the next races will come along in very quick succession. The target is of course to win and to build some positive momentum into the last part of the year, which is going to be very intense. But I am excited, very motivated and can’t wait to get to France.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “For Magny Cours I have some good memories from last year on the Kawasaki, with the podiums in rain conditions. I am hoping it is dry this time because we didn’t get any dry laps last year in Magny Cours, so I want to try the Ninja ZX-10RR around there in the dry. It is a track I have always enjoyed going to and I have always gone quite well at. I have said it for the last few races but the target is to be back, fighting for the podium. So that is the target for Magny Cours.”
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) is keen to get back into action at his home track for the first time as a full-time WorldSBK rider, after his points scoring comeback from injury at the previous round in Navarra. He won a WorldSSP race for Kawasaki Puccetti Racing at Magny Cours last season, before transitioning to the WorldSBK class this year.
Isaac Vinales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) should be clear of the Covid-19 diagnosis that prevented him from riding at Navarra, and rejoins the battle in France.
Loris Cresson (TPR Outdo Kawasaki) and Jayson Uribe (TPR Outdo Kawasaki) will continue to fight for points as the championship enters its second half.
2021 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2021: Races 21, Wins 8, Podiums 19, Superpoles 7
Career Race Wins: 107 (92 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 204 (162 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 34 (30 for Kawasaki)
2021: Races: 21, Wins 0, Podiums 4, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 28 (8 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: 166 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 477 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 99 – second overall