Jonathan Rea on the new Kawasaki ZX-10RR – spontaneously put in a test day in Jerez with Kawasaki in finally usable conditions (© Kawasaki Racing Team).

Rea and Kawasaki are well on course for 2021

After the official WorldSBK Jerez tests organized by Kawasaki for January literally fell through, Honda rented the track again a week later. But even in the last week of what is usually the coldest month in the northern hemisphere, conditions remained miserable. After Ducati recently went to Jeren for a spontaneous test and this is allowed to a certain extent, the Kawasaki Racing Team has now followed suit with Johnny Rea. The temperatures in Andalusia were just under 20 degrees Celsius. In contrast, Ducati had just over 10 degrees in their short-term Misano tests. The Reds therefore had only a limited use on the route on the Adriatic coast from their shipping trips.

Jonathan Rea out of the pits to his Kawasaki ZX-10RR – the Northern Irishman is already six-time world champion and the man to be beaten in 2021 (© Kawasaki Racing Team).

Recent headlines about Alex Lowes – total nonsense

As Kawasaki advised us, Rea set good lap times on the latest development of the new WorldSBK reference machine, although there were still damp patches of asphalt in some areas of the circuit. In addition, he drove alone on February 11th, as his KRT teammate Alex Lowes was unable to accompany him on the track after a minor training injury to his shoulder on Saturday. Headlines in poorly oriented “Boulevad sports portals” about Alex Lowe’s allegedly serious injury are, by the way, complete nonsense. Rea drove a total of 40 laps and a time of 1: 40.6 on racing tires was a more than acceptable value.

The reigning world champion alone on a wide field (© Kawasaki Racing Team).

Jonathan Rea on the test:It was so nice to ride the bike after such a long time. I really want to thank my team for the great effort to be here. Traveling right now is difficult for everyone. We wanted to test on Wednesday, but the weather was bad. But we decided to stay and drove a few productive laps on Thursday. I thank you for the tremendous effort – everyone – and it was a very positive test.

The best conditions so far for Kawasaki and Rea since the beginning of the year – the wait was worth it (© Kawasaki Racing Team).

What was the focus of your Andalusia test and what were the conditions like?
Jonathan Rea: We had to confirm some things that we had been working on in the off-season and I had a wonderful feeling. The track wasn’t in perfect condition as some corners were still wet, but I kept getting better with the new Kawasaki understand, try the changes and give the engineers a lot of good information and data. It didn’t take me that long to get going. I’m leaving the test very happy with what we’ve done, and I feel great on the bike work that I did at home has also paid off, and I’m looking forward to driving again.

Will his opponents mostly only see him from behind in 2021? Jonathan Rea has been the WorldSBK benchmark in WorldSBK since 2015 and would have ridden a really competitive bike before, probably for a lot longer (© Kawasaki Racing Team).

Guim Roda, KRT team manager:We knew that Ducati and HRC were testing in Jerez, so we decided to share this test with them. It rained yesterday but this morning we found we could do a few laps in the afternoon, so it was useful. Within the new rules, which allow a maximum of ten test days, this now counts as half a test day. We used this half day to check some points that Jonathan thought were interested in order to understand the development of the bike for 2021. It was a useful test, and we gathered more information. Alex Lowes had trained in Barcelona to prepare for the start of the season, but he had a small fall while flat track riding. He hit his shoulder and hurt her a little. Since he wasn’t 100% fit, we didn’t think it made sense to do laps if he couldn’t drive at full power. We prefer that he recover for the next two weeks. He’ll have another chance at the next test in Portugal.

Alex Lowes at the official November tests in Jerez last year – if you missed half a day, the world will definitely not end for the Englishman. Above all, his condition is anything but as bad as some hasty scribes claim (© Kawasaki Racing Team).

The official test dates until spring

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