Alex Lowes and Jonathan Rea will be able to use this testing opportunity to find even more improvements in the race settings of the 2021 Ninja ZX-10RR to move forward into the second half of the WorldSBK season with even greater race pace and confidence.
After testing throughout last winter with what was expected to be an enhanced permitted peak rev figure for the new machine in WorldSBK specification, all Kawasaki riders had to start 2021 with the same 14,600rpm maximum limit as 2020.
That unexpected turn of events has complicated machine set-up over the first few rounds this season. At this test the team will work on enhancing other areas of performance on the new Ninja ZX-10RR, which has already benefitted from a number of inbuilt improvements over 2020 model in any case.
The two scheduled days at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona will primarily be a pre-planned mid-season test but there is also the chance to look at specific race setups for when the championship arrives at the 4.627km long circuit or the ninth round of the championship in mid-September.
Jonathan leads what has been an exciting championship fight over the first six rounds by three points, with Lowes fourth overall.
Rea has stood on the podium 16 times in 18 attempts in 2021, with eight of those podiums proving to be race wins. Lowes has taken four podiums this year on the 2021 Ninja ZX-10RR, the most recent at Donington Park in the UK.
After the Barcelona test has been completed KRT will make a four hour journey west next week to take part in the seventh round of the championship, at another new WorldSBK venue - Circuito de Navarra. The first ever WorldSBK round at this venue will take place between 20-22 August.
Alex Lowes, stated: “The Barcelona test has come at a good time. We haven’t had the easiest run recently and we have a few areas where we are looking to improve our package. This test will provide a great opportunity for us to try some more stuff away from a race weekend. The weather looks like it’s going to be hot which is what I am hoping for. This will be an important mid-season test for us.”
Jonathan Rea, stated: “It is so nice to have a test during the race season in this summer period because we are going to have a lot of races coming in quick succession. During race weekends you always find challenges but you are quite reluctant to go outside the base area of the bike. So this test will give us an opportunity to look at set-up ideas. We also have some new test items from KHI to try and make a step forward with the bike. Even though we raced at Barcelona last year we have not done too many laps as it is quite a new track in WorldSBK. The race weekend in Barcelona is only a few weeks away so it will be nice to get a head start. That round is going to be an important one not just because it is the team’s home race but it will be the first of a triple header.”
Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, stated: “We planned this test few months ago to be a ‘half-year’ test plan, to work on bike set up away from the stress of a race weekend. Ducati and Yamaha, with Redding and Razgatlioglu, remain at very good level now, and we need to take the maximum performance possible from our ZX-10RR every time. The maximum engine rev balancing issue we faced before the start of the season has made Alex and Johnny's life more difficult. We are trying to find more ideas and solutions inside the rules to give them the best bike setup possible. Alex is struggling with his shoulder and cannot ride at 100% at this moment, and Johnny is giving his best to counteract the competition Razgatlioglu and Redding are showing. This is an exciting season, so we will keep working to make show as exciting as it can possibly be.”
2021 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2021: Races 18, Wins 8, Podiums 16, Superpoles 6
Career Race Wins: 107 (92 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 201 (159 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 33 (29 for Kawasaki)
2021: Races: 18, Wins 0, Podiums 4, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 28 (8 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 1 (0 for Kawasaki)
8 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Tom Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
6 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020)
5 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019)
Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 166 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 474 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 98 – second overall