Jonathan Rea in front of Kawasaki Racing Team team-mate Alex Lowes (both Kawasaki ZX-10RR) – the two WSBK top drivers, in contrast to Misano, are preparing meticulously on a new track this time, so as not to have an advantage over the competition on the penultimate weekend in August as they did on the 3rd round in Italy to admit more (© Kawasaki Racing Team).

Kawasaki testet mit Yamaha, Honda und BMW in Navarra

Jonathan Rea before the detour in the Rioja area:I’m very curious to try a new route. It’s always exciting to ride a circuit I’ve never ridden before. The track is not only new to me, but also new to the team. The test is really important to understand the layout, translation, and initial tuning. The goal is to arrive in the best possible shape for FP1 for the race weekend in Navarra. We have some new parts to our testing program, which is why it is good to test in the middle of the season to take further steps with the Ninja ZX-10RR. I will also try to enjoy it and get the feeling step by step. The main goal of the test is to find a rhythm on the track. Now we’ll see what the next few days will bring.“

Alex Lowes: In the first three events we had three different routes and three very different temperatures. Especially recently in Misano it got hotter, and I hope for high temperatures during this Navarra test. These are the conditions that I lack a little experience with on this bike, so we can try a few things to deal with high track temperatures and tire management. As for the bike, we had a basic setting from the winter tests that we tweaked a little. So we’re going to do some back-to-back tests in Navarre to find a good baseline setup. The next race is in Donington, but we have a pretty busy schedule as of August. So we want to make sure we don’t change the bike too much by finding some consistency. In addition, Navarra is a new route, so I did some research, did a few laps on board, stuff like that. It looks great, like Navarre has quite a bit of character, some faster turns and maybe a bit bumpy in places, plus some tighter sections. It’s always nice to hit a new track for the first time. The goal of this test is more or less to refine our existing setup.

A computer animation of the Navarre circuit where the first WorldSBK race will take place on Saturday 21 August 2021.

The two HRC Honda pilots after their first outing in Navarre

Alvaro Bautista after the Monday test, before the other teams are also deployed:Today we used the time it took to understand the Navarre circuit and collect some references before returning here for the races. The track is very small and narrow, with lots of corners in first gear. It is definitely different from what we are used to from the other courses. Quite demanding because it is not easy to master with a superbike. Another aspect is the asphalt, which is very bumpy, so all in all I think it will be a challenging lap there in August. While working on the bike setup for this layout, we also did some electronics tests that we had to stop about an hour earlier despite the rain. It was definitely a useful test, and we are now looking forward to the next round at Donington Park.

Leon Haslam: We had to end the test session a little earlier on Monday because I had a little fall about an hour and a half before the finish and when the bike was finished the rain came. We missed the last hour of available time as a result, but we tested many of the things that we wanted to try. The route is clearly very different from most of the others. It’s pretty bumpy and reminds me of some old English tracks, but honestly I think it will be fun to do the races here in two months. We have certainly gathered some positive information from this test.“

Leon Haslam on the Honda CBR-1000RR-R SP Fireblade at its baptism of fire on the Navarre circuit, which is new for all drivers (© HRC Honda).