Courtesy of KRT – Kawasaki Racing Team
The official Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK line-up of Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes enjoyed a full opening day of testing at KRT’s home circuit of Montmelo in Catalunya, with Rea second quickest and Lowes fourth fastest against all of their main 2020 season opposition.
This was the second time on their Ninja ZX-10RR machines the Montmelo circuit for both riders, after taking part in just a short track session, during in changeable weather conditions, in January.
With track temperatures almost hitting 50°C today five times WorldSBK champion Rea finished up with a best lap of 1.41.911. First year Kawasaki signing Lowes, the championship leader after the opening round in Australia, set a best of 1’42.318. One more day of testing remains at the 4.627km long circuit located within a stone’s throw of the team’s headquarters in Granollers.
Just like the most recent test at Misano the global Covid-19 situation saw the team adopting several measures designed to prevent the spread of the virus, both inside and outside their designated working areas.
After Thursday’s final day of testing at Montmelo – a regular MotoGP host venue but an ‘all-new’ one in WorldSBK racing terms – the season re-starts for real at the well-known Jerez circuit in Andalusia, with racedays scheduled on 1st and 2nd August.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “In the January test I kind of understood where the Montmelo track went, and I really enjoyed it, but we were not really riding in anger. Today I really enjoyed the track and did a lot of laps. I felt like I just picked up automatically and I can feel the bike really well. The bike is turning great and that is the biggest issue we have had in the past – especially at Jerez. When the temperature comes up it is hard to turn around those long corners. I used the rear tyre so much because I was turning on the rear all the time. But it seems like we made a huge step in that direction because the bike is turning really well. I felt things were happening quite normally today.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “We rode here in January but we did not get the best weather so it has been nice to get here in beautiful sunshine and get to ride all day. I felt I got my teeth into the track. I am enjoying my riding and working with the guys. In this kind of heat the grip naturally drops so you have to be a little bit smoother on the bike. The guys have been reminding me today to be smooth and not force the bike too much. It has been quite good because in the early rounds at Jerez, Portimao and Aragon I am expecting some hot weather. To test in these conditions in very important for us. We are also understanding the best bike configuration to suit me and the feeling I have on the front of the bike.”
As well as the official KRT riders at Montmelo today, Sandro Cortese (Outdo Kawasaki TPR) was well under a second from the fastest rider of all with his 1’42.573, and in seventh position overall. Maximilian Scheib (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was 16th quickest, with a 1’43.568 lap.
2020 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019
2020: Races 3, Wins 1, Podiums 2, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 89 (74 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 170 (128 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 23 (19 for Kawasaki)
2020: Races: 3, Wins 1, Podiums 2, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 22 (2 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 1 (0 for Kawasaki)
7 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Tom Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
5 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017, 2018 & 2019)
5 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019)
Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 148 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 437 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 88 – second overall