After the culmination of the 2019 FIM Superbike World Championship under floodlights at the Losail circuit at the end of October, the 2020 season effectively begins on Wednesday 13 November. Despite this short turnaround Kawasaki’s new-look official rider-line up of Rea and Lowes is fully ready to make the most of this first testing opportunity together.
For Rea the goals of the test are to find even greater overall set-up improvements than it is possible to find in a normal race weekend, and in particular to improve the performance of his race set-up at the 5.077 km long Motorland Aragon circuit itself.
Rea will rejoin his technical crew, led by Pere Riba, for the Motorland sessions before the whole team heads to the South of Spain, and the Jerez circuit, for the final on-track test of the calendar year. That two-day outing will be held between 28 and 29 November.
Latest KRT signing Lowes is keen to get going on a championship-winning bike that will be all new for him, as well as working with his crew chief Marcel Duinker and other technical staff. A proven WorldSBK race winner, and most recently a nine-times podium scorer in the 2019 season, Lowes was third in the overall championship standings this year.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “It has only been a couple of weeks since the end of the season but I am more than ready to get back on the bike. I feel excited. We left Qatar with good sensations from the ZX-10RR and I hope to improve that in Motorland. We had some challenges there this year during race weekend, so we will confirm that by comparison with the base settings we ended the season with, and also simply try to enjoy the bike. I am looking forward to seeing all the guys again and getting back to business. I will be keeping an eye on the weather and I hope we can get in a solid two days of testing.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “I am really looking forward to the new challenge; starting the new project. Obviously my first objective in Aragon is to start working with Marcel and all my crew, to get those relationships started. Obviously, that is just as important as the feeling with the bike. Apart from the normal things like just going to work and getting used to everything, giving myself the chance to get up to speed, I am looking forward to enjoying it. It is a big change from what I have been used to over the last few years, riding the same bike. So, nice and steady away; I feel really fresh and motivated to get started.”
Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, stated: “There are two main targets at this test. One is for Jonathan continuing his work after an incredible season. He has arrived at a strong level and now we will see how we can adapt the set-ups we have used through the year. We will try to cover all the set-up ideas we had in mind but could not test during race weekends. We will work to clarify some ideas to improve, to let Johnny go faster at some circuits and be more comfortable doing it. This is one aspect of the test. Of course, the target now for Alex is different. It is a new bike and new team for him, and a new rider for the team. So we need to understand him, what he needs to go fast, how he starts to work with his crew chief Marcel. Their communication, feelings and understandings are important. We need to make this step-by-step together and work calmly, then take good notes of how to continue this relationship in Jerez at the next test.”
2019 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019
2019: Races 37, Wins 18, Podiums 34, Superpoles 7
Career Race Wins: 88 (73 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 168 (126 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 23 (19 for Kawasaki)
2019: Races: 37, Wins 0, Podiums 9, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 1 (0 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 20 (0 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 1 (0 for Kawasaki)
7 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Tom Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
5 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017, 2018 & 2019)
5 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019)
Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 146 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 433 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 88 – second overall