The official race report service of Kawasaki Racing Team.

18 November 2020

Rea Fastest After First Winter Test

Kawasaki Racing Team riders Alex Lowes and Jonathan Rea completed their first two-day winter test session at Jerez de la Frontera with Rea fastest of all and Lowes third quickest of the WorldSBK riders.

Rea would set a best-of-test 1’38.324 lap time right at the end of two very busy days, riding a Ninja ZX-10RR machine featuring some exciting development parts and first technical steps into the 2021 season.

Lowes personal best lap of 1’38.887 was also set near the end of the second day of action at Jerez, after what was a highly positive period of work for all involved inside the KRT squad.

This was particularly useful test to work through set-up and development ideas after a 2020 season that was so disrupted by the unavoidable effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Qualifying tyres were evaluated at the end of the test by most of the major players but it was the performance on race tyres that was the focus of attention – and the areas of greatest satisfaction - for both the riders and the team.

The first steps toward a new season – visual and otherwise - were taken at Jerez, but for a full reveal visit the Kawasaki Motors YouTube channel on 23 November, at 15.00 CET.

With the Jerez tests complete the final on-track KRT action of the 2020 calendar year will take place at the next winter test sessions at Motorland Aragon in northern Spain, between 25 and 26 November.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “We started to work with some items for 2021, part of the test plan KHI sent us. Like always we were collecting information and tried many things – a different front fairing to give our feedback to Kawasaki, engine feeling, front fork, some brake items and a front tyre for Pirelli. We did quite a lot of work and I set a lot of laps today with an old tyre. I have not been super-fast with a fresh tyre but the more laps I did on a tyre the faster I got. That is a good problem to have! There were pluses and minuses and we have a lot of information to go back now and assess everything before we return to the track and go further at Motorland next week.”

Alex Lowes, stated: “We had some back-to-back testing to do after yesterday’s first sessions so in the morning today we focused on this In the afternoon we rode with some 2021 parts, including our first experience with the new fairing. It was nice and it looks really good as well, which is always a bonus. Today in general has been really positive. We still need to keep working but it was a good day – probably one of my best days of testing with the Ninja ZX-10RR. To pick one main point is hard to say, because when you are testing and a lot of new things arrive, it is about evaluating what is good and what’s bad before we start the new season next year.”

Pere Riba, Crew Chief for Jonathan Rea, stated: “It was all OK, as usual. We have the new bike and we have been testing all the items, the old ones and the new ones, just to collect the information. The engine has a new character and this has an effect. The aerodynamics of the new fairing seems to be working very well and it helps in different areas. It also makes the bike work a little bit different in terms of balance and we need time to look for the best package. We followed the plan, and the items that KHI requested. Johnny was finally the fastest rider, with a Q tyre, but he did very well.”

Marcel Duinker, Crew Chief for Alex Lowes, stated: “It was a very good test. After a season like we had this year it was very easy for us to understand where we needed to improve and that is what we did. We took a very relaxed approach because we had a tight test schedule with five main items, chassis and engine. We worked through these items and were able to be fast and consistent, even one of the fastest guys on track at this moment. Alex is very happy, he had a smile on his face on both days and we are already looking forward to the next test. I can only say mission accomplished so far.”

Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) embarked on his first WorldSBK rides with enthusiasm and finished up eighth fastest on his Ninja ZX-10RR. Isaac Vinales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) put himself 11th in his new role as WorldSBK competitor, while Loris Cresson (Outdo TPR Kawasaki) was 12th.

2020 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics

Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2020: Races 24, Wins 11, Podiums 17, Superpoles 4
Career Race Wins: 99 (84 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 185 (143 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 27 (23 for Kawasaki)

Alex Lowes:
2020: Races: 24, Wins 1, Podiums 4, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 24 (4 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 1 (0 for Kawasaki)

8 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Tom Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
6 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020)
5 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019)

Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 158 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 454 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 92 – second overall