The bright Adriatic sunshine and dry track conditions were the backdrop for an intense day of work for the KRT official riders as they set about trying to find a strong set-up on their Ninja ZX-10RR machines.
The surface of the 4.226km long Misano circuit experienced a rise in temperature from the FP1 to the FP2 sessions, as Lowes ended up the fastest Kawasaki rider. He was fifth in the Friday combined times.
Rea was finally ninth, losing most of his potential pace in one sector of the track. Now he and his team will study the data to come up with a more competitive final machine set-up for Race One on Saturday.
Many of the rival teams and riders had tested at Misano in mid-May, whereas Lowes and Rea tested on their own at Jerez, to try and replicate the kind of hot conditions that they can expect to experience in any dry Misano race held in the month of June.
Next up for Alex and Jonathan at Misano, on Saturday 3 June, is FP3, Superpole Qualifying and then the first 21-lap race of the weekend.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “It was difficult enough to get up to speed today. I still don’t feel that we are maximising the bike right now. We are quite far off and we don’t have much time. The others are much faster right now, so we have work to do. The acceleration towards and then out of the Quercia corner is where I am really struggling. Really just one corner of the track. Tyre consumption wasn’t so bad today but we are just not fast enough. I do not feel super-competitive right now, but it is nice to come here and see so many people on a Friday.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “I really enjoyed riding today. The recent test we did in Jerez was done in quite hot conditions so some of the improvements we made on the front of the bike we kept here. I felt quite good with the front of the bike. Today was probably a bit better than we expected, as we missed the test at this track that some others did. That said, we still we have some work to do. It is not massively clear where we can still improve as everything I wanted the bike to do, it was doing, just a little bit too slow compared to some others. But, I still felt quite good on the bike. I did a lot of laps today and I felt quite happy.”
New signing Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) placed 22nd from the 25 riders at Misano on Friday.
Oliver König (Orelac Racing Movisio Kawasaki) was finally unable to race at Misano due to injury and his place was taken by local rider Luca Vitali. Luca ended up 23rd on day one. Isaac Vinales (TPR by Vinales Racing Kawasaki) was 24th.
2023 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2023: Races 12, Wins 0, Podiums 4, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 118 (103 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 249 (207 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 40 (36 for Kawasaki)
2023: Races: 12, 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: 528 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 105 – second overall