Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK riders Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes have successfully completed an intense two day test at their team’s home circuit of Montmeló, with Rea setting the best lap of all during this morning’s slightly cooler session.
Although both official KRT riders worked on machine and tyre set-up to suit the hot conditions they expect to experience at the next few races, they were also fast over one lap. Rea set a best-of-test 1’40.450 single lap time and Lowes was fourth overall with his 1’41.137.
Hot and dry weather conditions characterised this test at the new-for-WorldSBK circuit of Montmeló, with both KRT riders enjoying the full experience of testing their machines around the challenging 4.627km layout.
In all, 17 WorldSBK riders were at the Montmeló circuit for this test, giving Lowes and Rea a good reference of their main competitors’ performance levels after a long halt to the 2020 season.
This test had two main uses for the entire KRT squad, which is based just a short distance from the track itself. The first was a final on-track preparation before the season restarts at Jerez in a few weeks. Secondly, it was ideal preparation for the Catalunya race weekend itself, which is scheduled for the weekend of 18th to 20th September.
The WorldSBK season will restart for real - after what will be almost a five month break due to the global Covid-19 pandemic - at Jerez de la Frontera with race days on the first and second of August.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “This morning I used a race tyre, the soft tyre and then two qualifying tyres. That was the target this morning – to work on ultimate pace and see what we could do. After that we started to work with the set-up again and tried to confirm some items on the front to give me some more stability. We backed-to-backed both bikes to find if we confirmed the set-up of what we arrived with at the Misano test. I preferred that to my old base set-up so it seems like we have moved our base set-up away from what I had. I don’t know if that is because the temperature suits that kind of bike set-up or if my riding style has evolved during this lockdown period and it has changed. But what I am requesting from the bike now I have a good feeling with this one. In the afternoon I waited for the temperature to be at the maximum to do two longer runs on both bikes to understand some test items. We felt pretty happy and now we look forward to Jere z.”
Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “In the final hour or so we put everything together what we had found positives with and the bike was working really well. We did more laps than I thought - 107 today - so a busy one. But I am really happy with such a positive second day here. This is still a learning process and with the amount of laps I have done I am trying to learn as quickly as possible. I am happy with my pace this afternoon, it was strong and a little bit faster than I expected, which is always nice. After such a long break in the season it has been easier to get back into the swing of things than I thought but it will be nice to get a couple of weeks off now before the back-to-back races that restart the season. My pace with the used tyres is more competitive than with the new tyres, same as we saw in Phillip Island. Luckily for me we have had the same characteristic here. On used tyres I am feeling good with the bike. Joining this team, every day I am lear ning more. It is a fantastic team and I am enjoying it a lot.”
Top 6 after Day 2
1 Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’40.450
2 Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) +0.156
3 Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +0.506
4 Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.687
5 Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) +0.768
6 Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +1.044