Rea gives first reaction to 2021 Kawasaki after Jerez test

Jamie Klein
·3-min read

Six-time series champion Rea set his fastest time using a qualifying tyre towards the end of the the two-day test using the revised ZX-10RR, which notably features an updated engine and distinctive new front fairing to aid aerodynamics.

His time of 1m38.324s was within a tenth of his own pole record from the 2019 Jerez round, and left him over half a second clear of nearest challenger Toprak Razgatlioglu.

"I did a lot of laps with an old tyre and it seems like that's the biggest issue I faced in this test, I haven't been super fast with a fresh tyre," said Rea. "The more laps the faster I got, which is a good problem to have, but it's strange when that I put a new tyre on I don't go any faster.

"There were pluses and minuses and we have a lot of information to go back now and assess everything before we return to the track and go further at Motorland [Aragon] next week.

"We can see some differences, but I think we need to put all the package together. We still some expect some new items to test before the 2021 season starts. It's very young in the project, so we'll keep working like every off-season, but really satisfied with this test."

Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR 2021 SBK

Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR 2021 SBK<span class="copyright">Kawasaki Racing Team</span>
Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR 2021 SBKKawasaki Racing Team

Kawasaki Racing Team

Rea's crew chief Pere Riba added: "We have the new bike and we have been testing all the items, the old ones and the new ones, just to collect the information.

"The engine has a new character and this has an effect. The aerodynamics of the new fairing seems to be working very well and it helps in different areas. It also makes the bike work a little bit different in terms of balance and we need time to look for the best package."

Rea's teammate Alex Lowes was also using the new Kawasaki on the second day of the test and ended up third-fastest, fractionally behind Yamaha man Razgatlioglu.

GRT Yamaha rider Garrett Gerloff topped the first day of running ahead of Rea by almost four tenths, but was only fourth-fastest on Wednesday, and overall, following a Turn 12 crash.

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The American, who has been in the headlines recently for his impressive MotoGP practice cameo at Valencia, got to join Razgatlioglu in sampling the 2021 Yamaha R1 on Wednesday after spending the opening day of the test on the 2020 version.

Leon Haslam was fifth-fastest on both days of the test for Honda, ending up nearly half a second clear of teammate Alvaro Bautista, who was eighth overall.

In between the pair were two World Supersport graduates, factory Yamaha signing Andrea Locatelli and Lucas Mahias, who will race next year with the Puccetti Kawasaki squad.

Rounding out the order were three more rookies - newly-crowned All-Japan Superbike champion Kohta Nozane (GRT), ex-Moto2 rider Isaac Vinales (Orelac Kawasaki) and another rider making the step up from Supersport, Loris Cresson (Pedercini Kawasaki).

The factory Ducati and BMW teams were not present at Jerez, but Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Michael van der Mark previously made their first appearances with their respective new teams during a post-season test immediately after the season-closer at Estoril.

A further two-day test will take place next week at Aragon.

Jerez testing times:

1

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

 Jonathan Rea

Kawasaki

1m39.955s

1m38.324s

2

Turkey
Turkey

 Toprak Razgatlioglu

Yamaha

1m40.055s

1m38.839s

3

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

 Alex Lowes

Kawasaki

1m40.116s

1m38.886s

4

United States
United States

 Garrett Gerloff

Yamaha

1m39.571s

1m39.171s

5

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

 Leon Haslam

Honda

1m40.294s

1m39.851s

6

Italy
Italy

 Andrea Locatelli

Yamaha

1m40.579s

1m39.877s

7

France
France

 Lucas Mahias

Kawasaki

1m40.852s

1m40.194s

8

Spain
Spain

 Alvaro Bautista

Honda

1m40.342s

1m40.231s

9

Japan
Japan

 Kohta Nozane

Yamaha

1m41.946s

1m40.669s

10

Spain
Spain

 Isaac Vinales

Kawasaki

1m41.916s

1m40.892s

11

Belgium
Belgium

 Loris Cresson

Kawasaki

1m44.808s

1m43.186s