Jerez Test Kicks Off 2018 WorldSBK Season For Jonathan Rea and Kawasaki.
Jonathan Rea returned to action this week at Jerez, completing two days of testing with Kawasaki Racing Team on the 2018 Ninja ZX-10RR race machine. With the two-day test ending today his fastest time of 1’39.470 was good enough for second place on the time sheets, a few tenths of a second behind team-mate, Tom Sykes.
The FIM World Superbike Championship has introduced new technical regulations for 2018 and the Ninja ZX-10RR will now run with a maximum engine rev limit of 14,100rpm, less than last year. This first test of the year was therefore an important opportunity to maximize the potential of the race machine with it’s revised engine characteristic. Jonathan also used much of the test to regain the feeling of his race bike, making several long runs over the two days.
Kawasaki, along with many of the other WorldSBK teams will now move to Portimao in Portugal to take part in another two-day test between the 28th and 29th January.
Jonathan Rea stated: “I started to feel my flow a little bit more today. It is not that I have forgotten how to ride but it feels a little bit strange to be going really fast. But we had a positive day. We managed to confirm a lot of things and get some confidence back. There is still a little bit to work on but I think our pace is pretty good. Today I did not make many laps outside the 1’40s, which is positive. There was not so much to try out but this was more of a set-up test. Really, it was understanding how the bike is working because the track is definitely not in the best shape compared to the November test. So it just required a little bit of a different set-up. For me it was important to do long runs because, as much as it is nice to still be fast, it is more important to get myself race ready.”