Jonathan Rea on a Kawasaki motocross machine near Barcelona, where the Northern Irishman is busy doing his laps. With his long-term competitor Chaz Davies, however, nothing came of the tests planned in Misano from March 15 (© WorldSBK).

Rea with motocross training & Davies in quarantine

In Misano, a private test with all Ducati Superbike teams, as well as the two Yamaha teams and Puccetti Kawasaki, is currently taking place in unfavorable conditions. Chaz Davies, on the other hand, is out for a short time due to a positive Covid-19 test. Meanwhile, Jonathan Rea is practicing with a motocross Kawasaki, as the pictures in this article prove. The reigning world champion is the only WSBK driver who can claim to have already done around 90 percent of the test work. At BMW, Ducati and Yamaha, however, there is a lot of catching up to do in this regard.

Jonathan Rea began his two-wheeler career in motocross, which has often benefited him on the circuit. The 6-time world champion proved this in front of our eyes on February 29, 2020 in Australia. Knocked off the track by Tom Sykes in race 1, hit the grass and made it back onto the track without falling (© WorldSBK).

The Misano test – in adverse conditions

After BMW and Ducati were absent from the official tests in Jerez in mid-November 2020, bad luck is obviously on their heels this year. In addition to the retirement of Chaz Davies at GoEleven Ducati, the test organized by the Reds takes place in horrific conditions. Puccetti Kawasaki and Yamaha also took the opportunity to participate, and we will report on it in due course. The temperatures between 11 and 13 degrees Celsius, which are currently hip in Misano, remind us unpleasantly of our stays in Aragon and Assen in 2019.

Chaz Davies Photographed by us at the Ducati in Motorland Aragon in 2019 before the start. At that time, the situation was similar to the current situation in the Misano tests, which the Welshman is now missing after a positive Corid-19 test.

The main problem child: BMW

With the new BMW M-1000 RR in particular, there have not yet been any indications as to when Tom Sykes, Michael van der Mark, Eugene Laverty and Jonas Folger will be able to use it on a racetrack for the first time. After all, Ducati and Yamaha are grabbing another chance to practice. For two days, on March 15th and 16th, things will get down to business for them in Misano, before everything will probably continue for everyone in Barcelona from the end of the month. Exactly for this reason, the 6-time world champion is already on site. Whether BMW will then be able to prepare for just under two months until the start of the season, if they will appear in Barcelona at all, is doubted in many places. Last year, unlike Honda with the brand new CBR-1000RR-R, they were the big disappointment for many.

Jonathan Rea on the Motocross Kawasaki in Rocco’s Camp near Barcelona. Perhaps this picture of his soaring has symbolic character as far as the coming season is concerned. At least one can hardly prepare more seriously than the Northern Irishman and his team at the moment (© WorldSBK).

WorldSBK provisional calendar for 2021

Since in some countries everything is already indicating that major events such as festivals will not have a chance in the second Corona year, there could also be various cancellations in Europe. The overseas races currently planned in Argentina and Indonesia are likely to have a hard time anyway. There are currently countless quarantine regulations within Europe. Those who are vaccinated can still be virus carriers and the much-sung “return to normality” was already described by well-known experts in summer 2020 as an impossible dream. That is why the realists and paddock members hope for a feasible European season with as many rounds as possible and not just eight like last year.

The next WorldSBK test with probably all participants is the Barcelona test from March 31 to April 1, 2021. For this reason, Johnny Rea is already on site.