KRT rider and five-time WorldSBK champion Jonathan Rea will once again take the track in Spain alongside his new team-mate Alex Lowes, this time for the final winter test of the 2019 calendar year. Jerez is the destination, between 28 and 29 November.
Both riders and their respective technical crews will be hoping for two days of uninterrupted dry and bright winter conditions, to allow a high degree of consistency when performing back-to-back tests and trying out various set-up options.
After riding one day of the potential two at the previous tests in Motorland Aragon, Rea knows exactly what he needs from what will be the final two days of official track action at Jerez before the winter break arrives. The feedback and set-up data from this test will therefore be of great importance to all inside the overall Kawasaki effort to make ready for the 2020 season.
After a positive first experience with his new team at Motorland Aragon, even in the face of sometimes-unfavourable weather conditions, Lowes is now out to discover more of the full nature of the class-leading Ninja ZX-10RR at Jerez.
Lowes was still close to the top of the best times at the Motorland tests which gives him and the team great confidence to build on, as they continue to forge a strong working relationship to maximise the full potential of the entire racing project.
Weather conditions can always change, particularly at this time of the year, but as it stands the forecasts indicate that Jerez should benefit from a period of dry weather for the two days of testing.
As well as being the location for this test, the 4.423km long Jerez circuit will also be the host venue for the third round of the 2020 WorldSBK championship itself, to be held in late March.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I am pretty happy to get back on my bike again as we never got the best conditions at Aragon. With Jerez just being a little further south in Europe, at this time of year we can hopefully rely on some better riding conditions to continue our winter test programme. We are trying some different things and we have some new test items to try. We are also experimenting with our base set-up a little bit. It is the time of the year when we can really do that. After the Aragon test I have been busy at home and also I visited the Motorcycle Live Show in Birmingham, which was really nice because I hung out with a lot of fans. Just to hear all the positive vibes gave me good energy to approach this last part of the year, and give a big effort at the last winter test of 2019. It is one of the most important tests because in January it can be even cooler. Most of our priority is to enjoy the bike – and be fast!”
Alex Lowes, stated: “I am really looking forward to this test because Aragon was affected a lot by the weather. My goals for this next test are to understand the bike a little bit more, and then hopefully be able to do some longer runs on the bike. I want to get more understanding of what sort of changes, and how the bike feels with the changes, that the guys make on the set-up. I will also keep working on my relationship with the guys in the garage, so that they understand exactly what I need from the bike. Obviously, getting the bike set-up for the track and having a good feeling at the track is important. But in the racing season the track temperatures can be a bit higher, so it is more important that the guys understand my feedback from the bike, and understand what I need from the set-up, so it minimises the time needed to get the feeling I will need. Jerez is a track I really enjoy and I am just looking forward to getting more laps in, continuing the process of adapting to the bike and the team. It is going to be good and we are all hoping for some sunshine.”
Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, stated: “Our next test is very important because it will be the final one before we go into the Christmas break. It is important to finish with a good vibe to close out an incredible year. The weather forecast looks good so Alex will have the opportunity to ride for two full dry days; for sure he will make incredible steps. Our first sensations working with him in Motorland were good. He is working calmly and patiently to make the rhythm come to him instead of chasing it. He shows a great, mature attitude and I think this will allow us to make good and solid steps. Jonathan is becoming stronger and even more motivated after the Motorland test, which he left after the first day because of a personal matter at home. We have prepared eight qualifying tyres for him to destroy the lap time before the Christmas break… This will be the final test after what must be the best season he has had until now. Let's see how much he can enjoy – what we expect to be - good weather in Jerez.”
As well as the official KRT squad being at Jerez, Xavi Fores will ride the Kawasaki Puccetti Ninja ZX-10RR, and the expanded Pedercini Racing Team will field their existing WorldSBK rider Jordi Torres as well as their additional signing for 2020, Lorenzo Savadori.