Jonathan Rea restrained himself to just 19 laps at the rain-hit Jerez test but the defending World Superbike champion was still able to top the times after being “able to confirm one little item”.

The Kawasaki rider produced a timesheet-topping 1m 40.983s when the Jerez track conditions were at its best after the two-day test was hampered by rain and wind.

Rea says he limited his track time to concentrate his efforts on a Kawasaki development tweak to his ZX-10RR’s ride height to help him turn the bike better – something which riding in the wet wouldn’t have benefitted from.

With five years of experience with his Kawasaki to rely on, compared to new team-mate Alex Lowes who completed 44 laps at Jerez on the second day, Rea remains confident he’s found progress from his limited track time measuring it against the potential risk and reward from the wet running.

“The conditions weren’t perfect all day, not fully wet in the morning but windy, but then things looked to be drying up,” Rea said. “I had booked my flight to go home this afternoon but then the sun was coming out so we managed to spin some laps albeit under a very small racing line. You had to compromise the real line to get the lap time.

“Once we understood that we were able to confirm one little item we wanted to do with the ride height for the front of the bike. Just a real characteristic we are trying to fix to make the bike turn a little better.

“It seems like we achieved that but we need to confirm it at another track because these conditions weren’t perfect. It is what it is. We were very lucky to get some laps in on Tuesday after we finished filming for the Kawasaki commercial. We move on to Montmelo the Catalunya circuit on Monday which I am really excited about because the weather looks sunny and it is a track I’ve never been to.”

Rea and Kawasaki head to Circuit de Catalunya for a private test next week as its final European-based pre-season preparations before heading to Australia for the official World Superbike pre-season test at Phillip Island (February 24-25) and the 2020 opening round (February 28-March 1).

 

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