Kawasaki goes to Portugal on 4th & 5th March on the track
According to Kawasaki’s preliminary report on the Portimão Test in early March, Alex Lowes is still protecting his shoulder, while the reigning world champion wants to know exactly. This year the teams were largely unlucky with the previous conditions. January was cold and wet in Jerez de la Frontera, even after postponing to a week later. Therefore, it was planned early on to hit the track again at the Autodromo do Algarve. Along with Aragon, this is a course with a very long straight, unlike the Circuito de Jerez. Last year Jonathan Rea was in a class of his own there and won all 3 races, making him world championship leader for the first time.
The reigning 6-time world champion on the upcoming test
Jonathan Rea stated: „It’s wonderful to test one more time and I look forward to riding the bike – especially in these strange and unfamiliar times. Since we tested in November and then recently in Jerez, we’ve achieved a certain consistency with the Kawasaki Racing Team (KRT). It’s good to keep the rhythm going with the new Ninja ZX-10RR-before the season starts. We have already tested some new ideas with the performance characteristics of the engine, although the weather conditions at the time were not 100%. The most important thing we need to do on this test is to confirm things on the engine side and then correct our gear ratios. We want to further increase the speed and confidence. “
Why tests are very important
There’s a plethora of new motorcycles and parts out there for 2021. Kawasaki is using their new ZX-10RR, BMW is using the brand new M 1000RR and Yamaha is starting a further development of their YZF-R1. Honda came out on the track with the CBR-1000RR-R much less than originally planned. Just eight laps compared to the planned thirteen laps meant that HRC Honda lost a lot of potentially useful track time as a result. Then there were the problems with the freedom of travel for the Japanese engineers. From the end of the 2020 season to the end of the 2021 season, only ten days of private testing are allowed for each team and driver. The constraints mean that any time spent testing must now be useful to the team.
Provisional test plan and calendar
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