Jerez, Spain, October 31th 2023 - A podium finish in the Sprint race and third place overall will go down in history as Jonathan Rea's last outing in Kawasaki colours. After winning six World Championship titles together, the Japanese manufacturer and the British rider have decided to end their adventure together.
Jonathan Rea's final outing aboard the Kawasaki ZX-10RR was a reflection of his last two seasons with the Japanese brand. A podium, a few laps in the lead and disillusionment at the finish of his final race in green. Fourth fastest in Superpole, the six-time world champion thought he was in with a chance of a podium finish in Race 1. Unfortunately, his bold tyre choice didn't pay off. “The track wasn't in very good condition," commented the Brit. “The SC0 I'd chosen in the morning to set my fastest time didn't work as well as I'd imagined. Once I was fourth, there was nothing I could do to catch up with the riders in front of me. The Sprint race, which was run in two stages, after a rider's engine broke, was more successful for Rea. Managing to hold off Razgatlioglu, the Kawasaki rider claimed his last podium in green. He thought he would be able do just as well in Race 2. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Leading for four laps, Rea crashed out before finally restarting to take the chequered flag in 17th position.
“It was a bittersweet last outing," commented up the six-time world champion. “We had decided to make some radical changes to the bike’s set-up. I took the lead and said to myself that I had a positive feeling, but unfortunately it was too good to be true. On a bike with a very different set-up, I just went a bit over the limit in turn 2. The bike got a bit nervous on the entry and instead of coming off the front brake, I went in with a lot of angle and crashed. It wasn't the finish that I or the team deserved. I wanted to end in a good way. The right-hand handlebar were bent forward and I had about 15mm of right footpeg left, but I went on to finish the race. It was a strange last day in terms of emotions. After all these seasons and everything we've achieved together, it feels strange to be leaving this incredible team.” For Alex Lowes, the 2023 season ended with a collision with Razgatlioglu and a facial injury in the Sprint race. This incident forced the Kawasaki rider to withdraw from Race 2, despite having finished 7th in the first race on Saturday afternoon.
|3rd (370 points)
11th (149 points)