Rea hoping to “fight for race wins”, edge of the tyres “can be quite punishing”

Jonathan Rea is hoping to be back in the mix for WorldSBK wins during this weekend’s French round at Magny-Cours.
Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki WorldSBK Imola 2023
Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki WorldSBK Imola 2023

The six-time world champion secured his first win of the season last time out at Most, and with just four rounds left of the 2023 campaign before he leaves Kawasaki, Rea wants to finish his career with the Japanese brand in style.

A seven-time race winner at Magny-Cours, Rea has also enjoyed success in the form of clinching WorldSBK titles at the French venue.

"Magny-Cours is a track that I really enjoy and I have had some great success at in the past," said Rea heading into the weekend. 

"It has a mix of everything and you need a bike that stops well, accelerates well and is agile in changes of direction. 

"We need to maximise our potential on the edge of the tyre because the long straight in Magny-Cours can be quite punishing.

"It then presents the best overtaking area on the track, the Adelaide hairpin. After a good test at Motorland Aragon last week I feel confident we can go there and do a good job. 

"It is the start of an important part of the year where races come in quick succession. So, let’s hope we can make a strong start to this period. The target is to be on the podium and fight for race wins."

Lowes wishes Rea ‘all the best’ in next WorldSBK move

After sealing his move to Yamaha for 2024, Rea will depart Kawasaki after nine seasons, four of which have been alongside Alex Lowes.

Depending on who the team signs for next season, Lowes could be expected to lead the KRT project as he admitted it will be sad to see Rea leave.

Lowes began by saying: "I am looking forward to going to Magny-Cours as it is a track that has always been good for me and the Kawasaki. 

"We had a one day test at Motorland Aragon last week and although we were working quite a lot on 2024 items, at the end of the test we put our 2023 base setting in and made a run. 

"It is going to be a busy four weeks with three rounds of the championship inside it, but I am definitely ready for it after the summer break. 

"The target as always is to fight for podiums and that is what we will be trying to do by working hard from FP1 on Friday morning until the races on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. I can’t wait to get back onto the grid and into some race action.

"It is sad that we will see the partnership of Jonathan and KRT coming to an end when the season finishes, but I think when you look back this has been a reference partnership, certainly during my time in WorldSBK with arguably, the best-ever combination of rider and machine. 

"We all know Jonathan’s talents, he’s a great champion. I have a great relationship with him and to share the garage with him is fantastic. I wish him all the best."

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