Leon Haslam and Alvaro Bautista – the two HRC Honda pilots are the last Mohicans who stayed in Jerez de la Frontera to test in January (© HRC Honda).

Only Honda for 2 days in Jerez on the track

As the Kawasaki Racing Team announced, the team based in the industrial area of Barcelona will now completely forego the January tests of this week. Originally they had rented the track for their drivers, as well as Honda and Ducati, from January 20th to 21st. But the incessant rain made it impossible to test properly, which is why all WorldSBK teams preferred to save their limited days. Originally, Kawasaki had planned one day for the last week of January on the route reserved by HRC Honda, but now the decision was made to do without it completely. As a result, only a “narrow-gauge test” takes place on the Circuito de Jerez, which only Honda stuck to. Ducati had already left the week before.

Aerial view of the Circuito de Jerez in Andalusia – as in the previous year, this time the weather was no match for the WorldSBK teams and drivers.

Alex Lowes and his opinion on the situation: This is typical English weather – so I must have brought it with me! It is a shame but the first thing to say is that there has been so much effort from the guys, especially with the Corona virus restrictions, to put everything in place to get us down here to test. So thank you to them. It is a shame the weather did not cooperate this time but it has been nice to see everyone – and see my bike again.

The new Kawasaki ZX-10RR – as announced by us in summer 2020, not a silver bullet, but an evolution of the previous version, which was extremely strong in many respects. In particular, the aerodynamics and engine received promising modifications (© Kawasaki Racing Team).

Pere Riba stated: We were here for a two day test but still the track is wet and it is raining. With the new rules we have, for a limited number of testing days through the year, we decided to cancel. It is a shame because we had some engine items to test, but this is life; something we cannot control.

Jonathan Rea (left) and his crew chief Pere Riba – an incredibly well-coordinated duo. The former Catalan WorldSBK and WSSP driver is obviously an all-rounder and he feels exactly where and how he can help his protégé (© Kawasaki Racing Team).

Jonathan Rea stated:It is a great shame not to test but the track is not going to be perfect today, so we decided to call it early. The guys can pack up and everyone can go home a little bit earlier. With the new regulations in place for limited test days, we need to be clever and use these days when they are most important. Right now we need to confirm some important items in dry conditions, that we already tested at Jerez the end of last season..

The further tests until the start of the season

Portimao test: 4th – 5th March
Jerez test: 9th – 10th March (Honda only)
Misano test: 15th – 16th March
Estoril test: 24th – 25th March
Barcelona test: March 31st – 1st April
MotorLand Aragon test: April 12th – 13th

Our recording of a visit to the WorldSBK tests in January 2019 at just under 20 degrees Celsius. The next test drives are expected to continue in March.

The provisional plan for the 2021 season

As in MotoGP, further changes are expected and especially the overseas races are in danger. Speculations on this are pointless, the start of the season in Assen is currently on the brink due to the pandemic. In this respect, it only helps to keep fingers crossed and to behave as sensibly as possible in everyday life.