The official race report service of Kawasaki Racing Team.

23 maart 2023

Positive Motorland Test For KRT

Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes made the most of the fair weather at private WorldSBK tests held between 22-23 March at Motorland Aragon in northern Spain.

The 5.077km long circuit, located close to the historic town of Alcaniz, provided a useable track surface even in the morning for both days of track action. KRT riders and their tech staff made the most of this opportunity to test both parts and settings on the recently re-homologated Ninja ZX-10RR

Day one saw Rea fastest of all, with Lowes second quickest. More importantly, both riders completed race simulations on day one to find out real world information about chassis balance and tyre wear, after experiencing some issues during the first two rounds of the season at Phillip Island and Mandalika.

On day two Rea was again fastest over a single lap, thanks to his 1’49.482 pace. After Lowes went for a time attack in the morning session of the final day he was fourth fastest, with a 1’49.585 lap time.

There will be one more important two day test session for the KRT squad before WorldSBK championship restarts at Assen in the Netherlands between 21-23 April. The Circuit de Barcelona - Catalunya at Montmelo (located just a few hundred metres in front of KRT’s HQ and workshop facility) will host KRT and many of their WorldSBK rivals between 30-31 March.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “It has been nice to spin a lot of laps at a circuit that we know well. We were testing some new ideas from a chassis point of view. We also tested a swingarm specification. We have a lot of information for the engineers to put together and try to make a step forward. Yesterday I completed two race simulations with some positive results about the target of the test, which was to take some weight off the front tyre. We found some positives. From an electronics point of view we worked on some other items and different strategies, and put it all together. I have to thank all the mechanics and crew because they worked hard. There were a lot of chassis changes that took some time, but they did them all fast. That meant I could maximise track time. This has been probably the most valuable test we have had for the 2023 season, because in the winter the conditions are cold and sometimes damp, so you don’t get on track until lunchtime. Here, we were able to be on track from 9.30am to 6pm, so we maximised the good weather. Now we are looking forward to testing again at Barcelona next week, which is another track that can throw up some difficulties. But, I think the information we have gathered here will be very useful there, especially when it comes to making front stability and front grip much better - and more linear - throughout the longer runs.”

Alex Lowes, stated: “We have just finished two days of testing, which entailed a lot of laps and two race simulations on day one. We did a couple of 11-lap runs on the final day to try and improve the bike on used tyres, to really settle into that race rhythm. Obviously, that is what we have been struggling with in the first couple of rounds this season. I tried one time attack on the final morning and I did a 1’49.585, which was good enough, really. I am not too worried about that but we need to improve on used tyres. We had a few ideas today and tried a few new things on the front of the bike, including triple clamps. We also tried some settings to put me in a different position. That took a few laps to get used to and it is something I am going to explore a little bit more at Montmelo. In general we still need to focus on the next test, work hard, and see if we can improve before the next round at Assen.”

Pere Riba, Crew Chief for Jonathan Rea, stated: “After the first two races in Australia and Indonesia we mainly focused to understand some areas that have not been good in the first two rounds. We have some upgrades from last year to 2023 and we still have to understand which is the best package after those first two races. In the end it was OK at this test and we followed our programme of test items. We collected a lot of information, from a balance point of view, mainly, and also from the engine side. It seems to be very positive. In the end, we collected all the information we wanted and we will now go to analyse the data, put it all together and then go to Montmelo to confirm different things.”

Marcel Duinker, Crew Chief for Alex Lowes, stated: “Our bike changed a bit over the winter and in cool and grippy conditions it was working well. Once we entered the season we struggled a bit finding the correct balance of the bike, in both Phillip Island and Mandalika. The aim of this Motorland test was to explore our bike a bit more. It gave us time to work on the balance of our bike and we understood it better than before. This was very positive and now we will test again at Montmelo next week, where we will work on our race consistency.”

2023 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics

Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2023: Races 6, Wins 0, Podiums 1, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 118 (103 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 246 (204 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 40 (36 for Kawasaki)

Alex Lowes:
2023: Races: 6, Wins 0, Podiums 1, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 34 (14 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: 177 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 525 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 105 – second overall