be_ixf;ym_202303 d_30; ct_50
Jonathan Rea took his KRT Ninja ZX-10RR to victory in the first race of the 2022 season after 18 laps of constant battling with first two, and then one, of his expected championship rivals. KRT rider Alex Lowes was in a comfortable fifth place but fell on

World Superbike 2022 Goes Hot: JR Wins

Apr 122022

The 2022 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship went hot this weekend, and six-time World Champion Jonathan Rea took first blood of the season. Beating heavy-hitting rivals Alvaro Bautista (Ducati) and last year’s champion Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) in an absolutely breathless 18-lap battle at MotorLand Aragón in race one; it was the edge of the seat thriller fans had been waiting all winter for.
Rea had been feeling confident heading into the championship’s opening round, saying: “throughout testing, I was getting such a good feeling from the bike. It was giving me much more margin than last season’s bike. Like last year if I got tangled up in the braking zone I felt like I’d struggle to stop. Whereas with our new bike I can play with the limits much more and feel confident about where I place on track.”

After the race, Rea said: "It was a really exciting race, and I really enjoyed the battle a lot. I think we really showed the strength of our bike. It was very agile, stable on the brakes, and I could change direction. Behind the handlebars, I was smiling like a kid. The work we did in the off-season, focusing on the softer tyres in the SCX family, is really bearing fruit now. I was able to be very fast until the end with a soft tyre, in a very cool temperature. Even before the race we were thinking, ‘OK, we have done all this work but we had never, ever made this SCX work in 24°C of track temperature’. So big credit to my team, Kawasaki and Showa because it was a really big win for us to do that. Not just to win the first round of the championship but the way we did it.”

After the weekend Lowes said: “The race was obviously disappointing, even more so because we have worked all winter on used tyres and being consistent. I think we just made some mistakes with the setting on the bike. It is frustrating really that with the experience we have got we ended up where we are. We all have to take responsibility. Congratulations to Jonathan and all his crew because it was a mega race win for KRT, so it was nice for us to start the year with a win. We have a lot to do to get me feeling comfortable, as right now we are not working as I expect. We have work to do.”