Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK riders Alex Lowes and Jonathan Rea made even more positive steps with the new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR at Motorland Aragon recently, despite weather conditions preventing them from riding on the final day of their planned two day test.
In what was to be a highly productive session on Wednesday 25 November Lowes posted 66 laps and Rea 57. Rea finished off with the fastest single lap time, a 1’49.716, with Lowes very close with his 1’49.832 best.
Fog and poor track conditions rolled in on Thursday, meaning the KRT squad decided to not risk any more track action. Having already confirmed some important items on day one the team and technical staff can now define the next steps to take with machine-set-up in 2021.
With the new Ninja ZX-10RR arriving in the showrooms in the spring of next year it already features many elements related to the engineering work and championship-winning success demonstrated by Kawasaki and KRT inside the WorldSBK paddock.
Now the WorldSBK form of the new machine will also feature a different aerodynamics package, including internal front winglets that generate 17% more downforce, plus a lighter and more free-revving engine and various chassis refinements.
A well-earned winter break will be coming soon for all the team staff but with a new bike to face the fresh challenge in the new year it will still be a very busy period back in the workshops before the next tests take part in January 2021. The new Ninja ZX-10RR has been air shipped to some other Kawasaki teams already so they too can winter test.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “The first day was positive because we kept working with the items we had from the recent Jerez test. We really worked step-by-step on the engine side to understand all the feelings I have and all the different parameters we can explore with the new bike. We drew some really good conclusions. The lap time was very fast and I feel good on the bike - but I feel the potential is much better. We did not do any mileage on day two as the weather was full of fog all morning and afternoon so we packed up early, content and satisfied with our winter test programme so far. It has been really nice to ride so fast after Estoril and our first impressions of the new Ninja ZX-10RR are already positive. We have been fast, consistent and the feeling with the bike is getting better lap-by-lap. I am looking forward to some downtime now at home with my family. All the team, all the staff can go home and relax after a great season. I want to thank everybody for the huge effort at these winter tests, and this season during difficult times. We are going to recharge and get ready for the 2021 season.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “Day one was pretty good for me. Of course the temperatures in Aragon are a little bit cold, so it took a while for the track to warm up so that we could get into some proper testing. With new parts to try we wanted to take the opportunity to confirm some of the things that we tried that were positive in Jerez. A couple of things that worked well last week have worked well this week, so from my side we are really happy. Two tracks, in two different temperature ranges, and we feel really good with the new bike. The guys worked very well and there is always a lot to do at testing, especially when you have got new parts, fitting stuff on-and-off the bike and so on, so thanks to them. Unfortunately the weather was not our friend today in Aragon but we had a good day yesterday, a good couple of days in Jerez last week, and we know the areas we are working on going into the 2021 season. We have had strong tests this side of the season and now we are looking forward to going home and relaxing a little bit.”
Pere Riba, Crew Chief for Jonathan Rea, stated: “Yesterday was the only day we got to try things because on the final day it was raining, so no-one lapped. We tested and compared things that we already tried in Jerez on the new bike, especially with the engine. We focused to understand, following the feelings of Johnny, what the best parts are for him. Also we tried some separate items, not much because there was only one day on track. The plan was to try something else in terms of chassis, but there was no time. We still collected important information, especially about the engine, and now we have the winter to keep working to prepare for the next test and next year. In terms of the new fairing Johnny is very happy, the new aerodynamics make a very positive effect. In the end we collected a lot of information to put all together for the next test.”
Marcel Duinker, Crew Chief for Alex Lowes, stated: “After the Jerez test, where we discovered several items around the chassis and engine, we needed to confirm some important things here at Aragon. We had a very efficient day one. Of course, day two was wet, so we were not able to go on track. But on day one we confirmed the most important items we explored in Jerez, and we increased our potential with them. We can only look back on two very efficient tests at Jerez and Aragon, and we explored the new bike’s performance. Alex was fast and consistent and he has a big smile on his face. We are ready to go into our winter break, enjoy our time with the family and then re-start in January. I think everybody is looking forward to it.”