Rea Set For Season Start After Final Test At Phillip Island

KRT rider Jonathan Rea has now completed his final pre-season preparations on the new Ninja ZX-10R after the end of a two-day test session at Phillip Island in Australia – the venue for the first round of the FIM Superbike World Championship, which starts this coming weekend.

It was a highly successful test for both of Kawasaki’s official riders with Tom Sykes fastest of all and Rea second quickest in a field of 25 machines only 0.15s behind. With ambient temperatures climbing to almost 40°C on the afternoon of the second day some of the fastest single lap times were set on Monday.

Rea set his personal best, a 1’31.249, on the morning of day two and got close to it once more in this afternoon’s hot temperatures. With new rules allowing each rider to use only one bike at a time, but to have a spare machine ready to go in the event of trouble, Tom and Jonathan spent time making sure that both their bikes were performing equally well.

The second and final afternoon of action was also complicated by high winds, gusting at times, which pushed the riders down the home straight but made turning for the first sections of the track a complicated affair.

Several red flag incidents involving other riders interrupted the track action over both days but the KRT pit crews got through their final pre-season preparations in good order. Jonathan and the entire KRT effort are now ready to face the first two races of the season.

There will be a change to the schedule of race weekends in 2016 with one race taking place at 15:00 (GMT -11) on Saturday afternoon and the second at the same time on Sunday.  First free practice will take place on Friday morning as usual.


Jonathan Rea stated: “We got pretty much everything done. It was challenging at times because the red flags came out while we were making a constant effort with some items but in general the two days have been pretty good. We had two different conditions; one cooler one on day one and then one very hot one with really high wind. That wind made getting across from turn two to turn three so difficult. All things considered, we ticked all the boxes we needed to and we managed to do a race simulation this morning. We are ready to go into the race weekend with a package I feel comfortable on. I am just super-excited because even though it is not that long a winter in WorldSBK it feels like forever since the final race of last year in Qatar. I just want to see the lights go out and get stuck in for 22 laps at one of the best circuits in the world.”