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WSBK 'super concessions' won't help Kawasaki, says Rea

Jonathan Rea says he doubts that World Superbike's newly-announced system of 'super concessions' will help Kawasaki amid the current dominance of Ducati rider Alvaro Bautista.

Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing Team WSBK

With wins in both of the full-distance races last weekend in Argentina, Bautista has put himself within touching distance of the 2022 crown as he leads Yamaha's Toprak Razgatlioglu by 82 points with only two rounds left.

Six-time champion Rea meanwhile is almost 100 points adrift of Bautista, having not won a race since May's Estoril round.

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Ahead of the Argentina round, WSBK announced a system of super concessions designed to further level the playing field by allowing struggling manufacturers the chance to use special chassis parts.

While acknowledging that Ducati's current advantages, particularly in terms of straight line performance, will be hard to overcome with the current rules, Rea feels super concessions are not the answer.

"From what I have read, they will mainly concern the chassis, but that’s an area where Kawasaki is already very strong," Rea was quoted as saying on Friday in Argentina by GPOne. "So I doubt they will help us at all.

"I would prefer to get back to the revs we are entitled to have and, perhaps, a weight limit," he added in reference to the rev limit imposed on the current version of the Kawasaki ZX-10RR at the start of last season.

Speaking after Sunday's final race in Argentina, Rea reiterated his scepticism about the new rules, and instead pointed to the fact Ducati's V4 R Panigale R is more of a thoroughbred race bike - with a price tag to match - than his Kawasaki as the source of the current gap in competitiveness.

"I understand the idea of super concessions, but I would like to see a championship where the best bike is built within the limits of the homologation and regulations," he said. "That way, anyone would be tempted to buy that bike.

"But how do you do that when at the dealership one costs 40,000 euros and the other 17,000 euros? It's not really the same thing."

 

Rea's sentiments were echoed by his crew chief Pere Riba in a recent interview with GPOne, in which the Spaniard said that extra horsepower for the ZX-10RR could make all the difference in the fight against Ducati and Bautista.

"The engine is the only area that makes a difference," said Riba. "We need 20bhp more. With this extra 20bhp it would be a different story and Johnny could fight with Alvaro. I'm convinced of that."

He added: "The Ducati is a motorcycle built for racing, while the Kawasaki is a street bike. Kawasaki could also build a V4, but you have to keep the mentality of the Japanese in mind.

"I don't want to criticise Kawasaki in Japan, it's just my analysis of the situation."

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