A December test at the same circuit, just after the end of a 2022 WorldSBK season in which Rea finished third in the overall standings and Lowes sixth, delivered changeable weather conditions for all. Understandably, the KRT squad members are hoping for a clear run of uninterrupted good weather at Jerez this time around.
This test is an important one to make final checks and decisions about the exact spec of the official Ninja ZX-10RR WorldSBK machines that will take on the first round of the championship at Phillip Island, in Australia, at the end of February.
Rea had a successful Jerez test last December despite only having half a day of almost fully dry conditions to ride in. He is in determined mood to start the new season well as he aims to add to his record tally of six WorldSBK championship wins, all secured in partnership with Kawasaki.
Like Rea, Lowes is looking forward to the forthcoming test, partly to get back up to speed but also to make those crucial final decisions about what new developments and settings to take forward into the 2023 season.
Many of KRT’s competitors will be testing at Jerez, which should give a strong indication of internal progress for the team and the kind of challenge that will face the Barcelona-based squad across all the rounds of the forthcoming season.
Soon after the Jerez test has been completed the team will relocate to the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve for the second European-based test session, to be run between 31 January and 1 February.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I am excited to get back on the bike again because in the December test, to be honest, my motivation wasn’t very high, coming straight after the last round of the previous season. At that test there were some definitive parts that we had to make decisons on, so that we could be supplied with them this season. The guys have now had time to think about it all and everybody is re-motivated. We have some new staff in the garage as well for 2023. So I am looking forward to getting stuck in once we get to Jerez. Of course, in January it can be a bit hit-and-miss with the weather, but we are praying for some dry weather to keep working with the Ninja ZX-10RR.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “The plans are to get back up to speed, and get plenty of laps in, with an eye on the first round at Phillip Island. Then we will see what we have at the end of this test. I am sure Marcel from the chassis side and Danilo from the electronics side will have a few things to try - ideas they have had at the end of last season and new stuff to try for this year. So there will be a little bit of checking going on. This one is more than trying to fine tune the bike set-up; the target should be to try the new components and new parts back-to-back with the previous ones. Then, whatever the weather conditions are, you can still get a good idea of how they work. From a riding point of view, I want to improve on last year and build up again for the first round in Australia.”
Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, stated: “We will start the new year with this test in Jerez, alongside the majority of our competitors. In the last two years we had to face the reality that other bikes and teams made a better job than us, in combination with their riders. We took note and have worked hard to adjust our weak points as much possible. In the direction of maximising the tools we already have, we have reorganised the team workflow and included new staff to achieve new goals. At the same time, KMC, Showa and many of our suppliers have worked to give us upgraded tools. Alex and Johnny are working so hard as well, so we have all the ingredients to make a good meal. Let’s see if we are able to cook it well and enjoy nice dinner together at the end of year.”
As well as the official KRT WorldSBK team the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing squad, complete with 2023 signing Tom Sykes, will test at Jerez and Portimao.
2023 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2023: Races 0, Wins 0, Podiums 0, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 118 (103 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 245 (203 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 40 (36 for Kawasaki)
2023: Races: 0, Wins 0, Podiums 0, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 33 (13 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: 177 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 523 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 105 – second overall