While the majority of the World Superbike paddock completed the two-day test at Portimao, reigning champions Kawasaki enjoyed a private test at Circuit de Catalunya to give both Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes their first experience of the Montmelo track.

With the Barcelona circuit joining the World Superbike race calendar for the first time this season, the one-day outing saw Rea and Lowes get early initial track time before the rest of the grid when the circuit hosts the Catalunya round on September 18-20.

Despite a wet start to the test, both Rea and Lowes worked on final technical tweaks with the ZX-10RR while also getting to grips with Circuit de Catalunya which also hosts both MotoGP and F1. Kawasaki didn’t release lap times or total lap counts.

“It has been so nice to get this extra day after Jerez, because we got really decent weather, the track was dry and we managed to put in a lot of laps,” Rea said. “We were able to back-to-back some items that we were not sure about with the weight balance of the bike in Jerez. In the end we tried something on the front suspension and did some practice starts.

“The big positive is that I really enjoyed the track and the bike works really well here. I think it sets us up in a good frame of mind now. I feel fast and consistent and this positive test has prepared us to go to Australia, where we will start the new season.

“Thanks to the team for pulling out all the stops to get us a proper test day here because I know it was not in the plan. Next is the team launch where we get to be all excited about our new colours and then move on.”

“I want to say a big thank to KRT for working really hard to get us this extra test,” Lowes added. “Obviously I have not had too many chances to have dry laps this winter so I really appreciate this extra day at Montmelo.

“The track is fantastic. It is always exciting coming to a track for the first time. I am getting old now so there are not many tracks I have not ridden! I have really enjoyed it today and I probably learned more about the bike than in the other tests, so that is really positive for me going into Phillip Island. I really enjoyed working with the team and I cannot wait to start racing now.”

KRT will next be in action at its 2020 team launch on February 6, before heading to Australia for the official pre-season test at Phillip Island on February 24-25 ahead of the opening round at the same circuit on February 28-March 1.