Tom Sykes and the Kawasaki Racing Team are set to get its preparations underway for the 2016 World Superbike championship with an early winter testing schedule in Aragon this week.
The first winter test is expected to act as the bridge between the existing specification of the Kawasaki ZX-10R and the new 2016 model, with Sykes working exclusively with on KHI's latest technical developments.
New World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea will sit out the first test as he and his wife are expecting the birth of their second child.
Sykes will therefore take the role as sole Kawasaki test rider and is fully prepared as he is the lap record holder at Aragon in World Superbikes with a 1m 50.890s, which was set on his way to a rostrum result of third place during the first WSBK race held at the circuit in April.
After the initial test Sykes is anticipated to be joined by Rea and the official British Superbike squad GBmoto Racing and its rider James Ellison, after it signed a new three-year deal with Kawasaki
, as intense winter testing commences with the 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R.
Ducati will join Sykes and Kawasaki for the two-day test at Aragon before the Japanese manufacturer heads to Jerez on November 3-4 for a second test. In Jerez they will be joined by the new Crescent Yamaha factory squad as it makes its maiden outing of the World Superbike-specification YZF-R1M with riders Alex Lowes and Sylvain Guintoli.
Honda will make a start to its winter testing programme at Aragon on the 16-17 November where 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden will make his debut aboard the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP alongside team-mate Michael van der Mark, with Kawasaki, Ducati and Yamaha all joining them.
All the teams will then return to Jerez for the final test before the winter testing ban. Ducati, Honda and Yamaha will be on track between the 25th and 27th, with Kawasaki joining one day afterwards.