Kawasaki Racing Team rider Jonathan Rea rode from pole to the chequered flag in the lead of the opening WorldSBK race of the Portimao race weekend, recording his third race victory of the 2020 season. KRT rider Alex Lowes was a battling fourth.
Race 1Reigning Champion makes it 10 victories at Portimao as Kawasaki claim their 150th race victory in the overall history of the FIM Superbike World Championship since the start in 1988.
Jonathan Rea 1st:
“A great weekend so far. We arrived focused on the race and we knew it was going to be a hot 20 laps. The work we have been doing in the summer in the ‘pre-season’ before the restart has been really good, especially in the heat. I was able to understand the level of tyre drop and adjust my position on the bike accordingly. I really enjoyed the race because when the gap on the pit board is increasing, it is a lot of fun. Thanks to all the Kawasaki Racing Team because I think we got the best out of the Ninja ZX-10RR today. We learned a lot for tomorrow as I think this is the first time I did 20 laps in succession this weekend. Just at the end of the race there are still some things we can try to improve for tomorrow. All-in-all, a really positive day.”
Alex Lowes 4th :
“I chose the SCX rear tyre and to be honest I do not think it was working so well in the afternoon because I had so many big slides at the start. Like all the other guys I had some problems with the front grip at the end but I felt that I could manage quite well and I kept my pace. For my first proper go in attack mode around here on the Kawasaki, I have had quite a good day and I am hoping to make some improvements for tomorrow. I was hoping I could challenge for the podium but unfortunately not. I think I can improve myself a bit and we can also improve the bike set-up, so our target is to do a bit better on Sunday.”
Race 1 top six
1) Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
2) Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Team) +5.142
3) Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Team) +7.029
4) Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +9.851