Rea finished the 2022 WorldSBK season over 100 points down on Alvaro Bautista, a surprise not only to himself but also Kawasaki after both sides had designs of reclaiming the championship following the success of Toprak Razgatlioglu in 2021.

Rea won less than half the amount of races that both Bautista and Razgatlioglu managed, meaning upgrades are needed for the coming season.

Some of those parts which included an upgraded electronics package were already brought into focus during last month’s Jerez test, which has Rea and the team re-motivated ahead of his 15th WorldSBK season. 


Speaking ahead of the two-day test which kicks off on January 25, Rea added: "I am excited to get back on the bike again because in the December test, to be honest, my motivation wasn’t very high, coming straight after the last round of the previous season. 

"At that test there were some definitive parts that we had to make decisons on, so that we could be supplied with them this season. 

"The guys have now had time to think about it all and everybody is re-motivated. We have some new staff in the garage as well for 2023. 

"So I am looking forward to getting stuck in once we get to Jerez. Of course, in January it can be a bit hit-and-miss with the weather, but we are praying for some dry weather to keep working with the Ninja ZX-10RR."

Lowes ready to get ‘back up to speed’

After a tough 2022 season where positive signs were there particularly at the final round in Phillip Island, Alex Lowes is aiming to hit the ground running during pre-season testing.  

"The plans are to get back up to speed, and get plenty of laps in, with an eye on the first round at Phillip Island," added Lowes. "Then we will see what we have at the end of this test. 

"I am sure Marcel from the chassis side and Danilo from the electronics side will have a few things to try - ideas they have had at the end of last season and new stuff to try for this year. 

"So there will be a little bit of checking going on. This one is more than trying to fine tune the bike set-up; the target should be to try the new components and new parts back-to-back with the previous ones. 

"Then, whatever the weather conditions are, you can still get a good idea of how they work. From a riding point of view, I want to improve on last year and build up again for the first round in Australia."

First WorldSBK test beckons for Petrucci

One of the big names making his WorldSBK debut at the test will be new Barni Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci.

The Italian will have a new Panigale V4 R at his disposal after not riding on track since October when he replaced the injured Joan Mir for Suzuki in MotoGP. 

"I am very happy to start this season in Superbike, but above all I can't wait to jump on the bike again," said Petrucci. 

"I haven't been on the track since October, since the wild card in MotoGP, but I feel in good shape and I'm eager to test the Panigale V4 and start working with the team. I don't have any expectations, but for sure we're going to do our best."