Now a six-times WorldSBK champion, Jonathan Rea will rejoin his team with the ambition to sharpen his machine set-up even more in the first of two winter tests that will wrap-up the track action for the current calendar year.
Rea won one of the three WorldSBK races at Jerez in the 2020 season, as part of his eventual total of 11 2020 race wins and a remarkable 99 over his long and storied WorldSBK career.
After an interrupted 2020 season, due to Covid-19 restrictions, Lowes is still on a path of discovery with the Ninja ZX-10RR, making every testing opportunity an ideal one to improve final race performances.
Already a race winner and podium finisher in his first season as a Kawasaki rider in WorldSBK, Alex and his crew are now on a mission to make podium performance a regular part of race weekends by the time the 2021 season starts in earnest.
Jerez is generally acknowledged as a particularly good test track for several reasons, including its variety of fast and slow corners, and even some changes of elevation that are not always obvious on the TV cameras. A well-known venue for WorldSBK, in both race and testing use, the 4.423km long circuit was the first 2020 championship returned to after a five-month gap from the opening round in Australia.
Soon after Jerez there will be an additional test at the Motorland Aragon circuit, between 25 and 26 November.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “After winning the championship in Estoril life has been very quiet so it’s nice to go back to the track. I’ve actually missed riding my bike a lot and in these strange times it’s something that brings me a lot of happiness. Jerez is a good track for us to test new ideas at because it’s a difficult layout and one where we can make some good improvements to the base of our ZX-10RR. We expect nice weather and I hope to be able to put many laps together and capitalise on that. It will also be good to catch up with my team and continue working calmly through our test items. My focus will be to enjoy riding and be clear with my comments.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “This test is really important for me. I have had my first season on the Kawasaki and you learn a lot more in the race weekends about where you want to improve the bike and your riding. We have quite a few ideas to try at this test, and a few ideas that I am working on. It is nice to go to Jerez, a track that everybody knows well, because we have done a lot of laps there. It seems like quite a long time since the last race and we have not had a too busy year with fewer races. I am eager to get there and start working with the guys. It is an important test for us to clearly identify the steps forward that we need, over a couple of months in the winter and going into my second year on the Kawasaki. I have been missing the guys so I can’t wait to get into the garage and get back to work.”
Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, stated: “This is first test with some items and ideas we will use in 2021. Is nice to come back to work on track after few weeks since the last 2020 race. November is a very busy month to prepare all things before the Christmas break. We made a list of things to improve next year and we will start to work on that in Jerez, not only in terms of bike set up but many other areas of the team. Lowes will start his second year without ‘race pressure’ so we are waiting him to expand his real potential. Rea comes back with incredible rhythm and amazing motivation, so we are curious to see what more he can give to all of us. I'm sure he will continue surprising everybody in 2021 - 100% sure. I would like to use this opportunity to thank again all our sponsors, especially the top four (Monster, Motocard, ELF and Showa) for their efforts in 2020. Everybody made their best effort to create an incredible 2020 and are preparing for what we all want to be an amazing 2021.”
In addition to the official KRT squad testing at Jerez new Kawasaki Puccetti Racing WorldSBK rider Lucas Mahias will ride his Ninja ZX-10RR for the first time. Isaac Viñales (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) will also take a step up from WorldSSP to WorldSBK at this test. Loris Cresson will be on track with his fellow Kawasaki riders in the Outdo TPR team.
2020 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2020: Races 24, Wins 11, Podiums 17, Superpoles 4
Career Race Wins: 99 (84 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 185 (143 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 27 (23 for Kawasaki)
2020: Races: 24, Wins 1, Podiums 4, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 24 (4 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 1 (0 for Kawasaki)
8 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Tom Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
6 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020)
5 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019)
Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 158 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 454 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 92 – second overall