The #22 will embark on a fifth season in iconic Kawasaki green, with KRT becoming the first manufacturer to complete their 2024 factory line-up
Ahead of the halfway point in the 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, another piece of the 2024 rider line-up puzzle has slotted into place. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) Will remain with KRT and in green for next season, as he inked a one-year extension. That completes Kawasaki’s line-up for the next year, with Jonathan Rea having signed a two-year deal in the middle of last year. Kawasaki also become the first factory to have their line-up confirmed; you can get a full overview of the 2024 line-up here.
Lowes will go into his fifth season in Kawasaki, a manufacturer he was a race winner with on his debut weekend in Australia 2020, when he won Race 2. Since then, 14 podiums have been achieved, along with eight front rows, with Lowes constantly challenging for the top five overall in the Championship. This season, he bagged the manufacturer their first dry-race podium with third in the Superpole Race at Mandalika. Lowes is currently ninth in the standings with 75 points.
Speaking about staying part of the Kawasaki family for at least one more season, Lowes expressed his delight and gratitude: “I’m super excited to continue my relationship with Kawasaki into the 2024 WorldSBK season. My motivation to achieve the best results possible on the ZX-10RR has never been stronger.
“The number one goal now is to focus on the remainder of the current season, starting with my home race weekend at Donington Park. It is really nice to have confirmation that I will be racing with Kawasaki again agreed in time for my home round. I will enjoy it all the more because of that. I want to offer a big thank you to everyone at KMC, KME and all the crew at KRT for their great support in the past and their continuing belief in me. I look forward to working alongside them again next season.”
2023 has been a more difficult season for the KRT squad in general, as they remain without a race win as the ZX-10RR struggles to extract even more performance to match newer models around them on track on a regular basis. However, plenty of testing – including a recent test that welcomed items being tested for 2024 – could mean improvements are on the horizon.
Looking ahead to 2024, KRT team principal Guim Roda said: “We are happy to keep Alex for the 2024 project and this gives us the stability we need in the current situation. The question was not if KRT was willing to continue with Alex. The question was if Alex was willing to continue with KRT, knowing the reality of the rules situation and our current performance capacity. Alex has the capacity to reach the required speed to try and work within that small window we have to perform at our best. Nobody in the world can doubt that Alex is always giving his best, and we have big respect for the effort he puts into it. We don’t have time to teach young riders how to ride the bike, as some people in the paddock suggested we do.
“Now is the time to continue working hard and with a stable base, to take out the variables and focus on what we really know to improve our bike and make a real ‘team job.’ Alex and Johnny are competitors with each other but they are very professional and work well together. They have respect for each other and know how to extract 110% from our bike to make the best show possible. We have a lot of jobs to do now, so let’s create calm in the project by choosing the two best riders, then we can focus on working as hard and as well as possible.”
QUICK ROUND-UP: the grid so far in 2024
Kawasaki are now locked in and their line-up remains unchanged with Rea and Lowes together again, whilst reigning World Champion Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) stays in the factory Ducati outfit for one more season at least, although his teammate is yet to be decided. At Yamaha, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) will switch to the factory BMW outfit, with the 2021 World Champion part of one of the biggest bombshell transfers in WorldSBK history; Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) remains in Paul Denning’s team. As for Toprak’s new teammate, that has yet to be confirmed. At Honda, there hasn’t been any news, but both Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) and Xavi Vierge will be part of the Suzuka 8 Hours line-up, alongside Takumi Takahashi. Of the Independent riders, only Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) is confirmed for 2024, remaining with the team.
Watch all of the 2023 Superbike season take-shape round-by-round with the WorldSBK VideoPass!