Jonathan Rea has given a positive first evaluation of the new Kawasaki ZX-10R following two days of testing in Jerez.
The new World Superbike champion, who dominated the 2015 campaign in his first season as a Kawasaki rider, got to sample the full race specification of the 2016 model in Spain after skipping last week's outing whilst awaiting the birth of his second child.
A chance to put the 2015 and 2016 bikes side-by-side, Rea – who turned in a best lap of 1min 40.6secs - admits the new machine features a number of different characteristics compared with its ultra-successful predecessor, but was happy to be lapping up to speed almost straight away.
“Honestly, testing is not my favourite part of the job but it has been necessary to make a really constant effort because Kawasaki has brought many new components for the 2016 bike,” he said after completing 114 laps.
“It has quite a different character from last season so we had to evaluate many things. The main thing was the chassis balance of the bike and we have some positives from that.
“The engine character is quite different to the 2015 bike as well so we have been working with the electronics to maximise that and make it suit my style.
“We got through the vast majority of the test items and we are happy because we were able to lap a lot faster than we did during race weekend, with a similar temperature. So that is encouraging.”