A weekend of contrasts
Portimao, Portugal, October 3rd 2023 - The Kawasaki riders' weekend in Portugal got off to a flying start, but ended in disappointment. Nevertheless, Jonathan Rea set the fastest time in the Superpole and came away from Portimao with another podium.
Having set the two fastest times in the Superpole, to qualify together on the front row of the grid, Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes had high hopes for Portimao. Race 1 was encouraging, with the former securing the third step of the podium and the latter a place in the top 5. Absent since his injury at Magny-Cours, and now recovered from knee surgery, Lowes was the first to rejoice. “It's been a complicated season," commented the Briton. “Between the long summer break, my arm operation, my knee injury and latest operation, I'm a bit out of shape. But I'm very happy to be able to ride again and enjoy myself on the bike.” Unfortunately for Jonathan Rea's team-mate, Sunday turned into a bit of a disaster.
After crashing out, Lowes saw his Sprint race come to nothing. Worse still, he was unable to take part in Race 2. “I got off to a good start and tried not to be too aggressive," said the Kawasaki rider. “But in a Sprint, you can't afford to wait too long. I was behind Jonny when he was getting ready to overtake Locatelli... I took the inside line and fell.” With a knee injury, Lowes was unable to continue his weekend, preferring to save himself for the final round of the season in Jerez. Jonathan Rea was eliminated from the Sprint on the first lap, and in Race 2 he was handed a long-lap penalty that definitively ruined his chances of ending the weekend on a high. “It was a day to forget," he admitted. “Two big mistakes, the first in the Superpole race. I was overtaking Andrea Locatelli. So as not to endanger him, I accelerated up the inside to overtake him, but I hit the rumble strip and that's how my race ended. That had a huge impact on the second race, as I found myself in tenth position on the grid. And that's how I hit Xavi Vierge and took that penalty. With that, I no longer had a rear brake, which complicated my race even more. It was definitely a day to forget.”
|3rd (350 points)
9th (140 points)