Jonathan Rea says he is intrigued to see what progress his Kawasaki Racing Team and team-mate Tom Sykes have made after the first winter test last week.
The new World Superbike champion missed the opening winter test at the Motorland Aragon circuit to attend the birth of his second child and is preparing to re-join his Kawasaki team for a two-day test at Jerez on the 3-4 November.
The Northern Irish rider says he is excited to work on the improvements made at the Aragon test, where Sykes confirmed steps forward with braking stability and engine performance,
and getting to grips with the new 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R having briefly worked on its development during the back end of the season.
“I am really excited to get back onto the bike again,” Rea said. “I started to test some new components on the bike in Jerez the day after the race in September and right there and then I had a good feeling with the direction things were going in.
“Speaking to some of the crew and KHI staff about the Motorland test last week they have moved the bike forward. The areas it has improved in should really help me a lot and I want to try the full potential.”
Rea has also confirmed that he and Sykes will work through a full test programme and extract as much mileage from the new Kawasaki as possible and says it is too early to focus on outright qualifying and race pace.
“I am excited because Pere Riba, my crew chief, has worked really hard with the KHI engineers to make the 2016 bike really competitive for me,” he added. “We will adopt our step-by-step philosophy again, get through the test programme and not get too excited because there is a lot of mileage and riding to be done before the first round in Phillip Island.”
Guim Roda, Kawasaki team manager, has explained the squad will compare data and performance collected at Aragon during the Jerez test to finalise its bike specifications and changes needed for the 2016 World Superbike championship.
“It is the right period of the year to test many of the ideas that the team and the crew chiefs had in mind, to try and find new levels of performance,” Roda said. “Testing on two different tracks means you can confirm the operation of the parts we have tried already and Jerez it is always good to work on to make these comparisons.
“We also need to fix and clarify some small points and details on order to decide the information to give to the team's suppliers, so that we can start the new season in February with the right amount of the correct material.”