Newly crowned World Superbike Champion Jonathan Rea says he cannot wait to get back out on track following the launch of the much anticipated new Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja.

After six seasons with Honda, the Ulsterman joined Kawasaki at the start of the 2015 season and swept all before him on the way to a maiden world title, winning 14 of the 22 races thus far to wrap up the crown in Jerez in October.

Rea's title comes in the swansong year for the current generation ZX-10R, which has spearheaded a remarkable turnaround in World Superbikes for Kawasaki since it was launched on the racing scene in 2011.

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Since then, Kawasaki - formerly regarded as a minnow at World Superbike level - has notched up 53 race wins, as well as the 2013 and 2015 riders' titles with Tom Sykes and Rea respectively, while this season has seen it clinch its first-ever constructors' title too.

For 2016, however, Kawasaki will take the latest generation ZX-10R into combat, where it will come up against a new rival in the Yamaha R1, as well as the ever-evolving Ducati, Honda, Aprilia and BMW packages.

Despite the likely development curve, Rea is confident he will be in contention to defend his world title in 2016.

"It's been great. As soon as I rode the bike in November last year, I made some comments on areas which we should improve.

"Clearly, this new bike has addressed many of the problems we suggested. It's a huge step forward in technology and I think, having ridden the bike in Portimao last month, it seems that the development of the production bike is going to be super good for us as a race model.

"We need good winter testing - because the bike is quite different - to understand the balance of the bike and get myself comfortable on it. After that, hopefully we can make a step forward with performance and try and go even faster!"

The bike sports a new in-line four which delivers 147.1 kW (200 PS), meeting Euro 4 regulations. There is a revised cylinder head and completely new crankcases, while acceleration on corner exit is promised to be better than ever with increased low-mid RPM power, a larger air box and revised gear ratios.