Rea quickest in Jerez WorldSBK test; finds ‘good information’ for 2022

2021 WorldSBK runner-up Jonathan Rea has completed the final test of the year quickest at Jerez.
Rea quickest in Jerez WorldSBK test; finds ‘good information’ for 2022

Six-time world champion Jonathan Rea ended the final WorldSBK test of the year fastest for Kawasaki at Jerez.

Rea, who lost his WorldSBK crown for the first time in seven years during 2021, was in action alongside team-mate Alex Lowes, both the full-factory and Bonovo BMW teams and HRC’s all-new line-up of Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge. 

While no official times were released from the test, Speedweek have reported that Rea was quickest on the opening day (Wednesday) with a 1:39.561s, before lowering that on Friday to a 1:38.831s. 

Rea had various new parts to test throughout each day which included the engine and clutch, along with a new suspension from Showa. 

"It has been a really fun two days riding. We structured the test to ride on day one, then have a day off to let the mechanics work on the bike," said Rea following Friday’s final day. 

"We got going again on day three. We found out a lot of good information and I am really happy with the team, Showa and KMC for their continued hard work in bringing new parts to test. 

"I had a lot of fun on the bike and we managed to get through everything we had on the list at this test. Now is the important time because we will act on our findings and try to improve and re-evaluate some items again in January. 

"The weather was great at Jerez, quite consistent, and we got a lot of valuable track time in. To be honest, this test was quite challenging mentally because I did a lot of work and I had been off the bike for quite some time. 

"I’m really looking forward to going home now and spending Christmas with my family and just having some downtime. 

"I want to recharge now before I get stuck into my winter training again and look forward to the next test in January."

Pere Riba, Rea’s crew chief since the Northern Irishman joined KRT in 2015, further detailed what the test plan looked like - included chassis work - while calling his rider’s lap times ‘very strong’ despite not setting a qualifying effort.

Riba added: "The test has been positive and for three days the weather has been good. We concentrated on the chassis side at first, comparing different items with a good result. 

"Johnny gave us very good and accurate information and comments and this helps us a lot to develop things and understand our direction. 

"On the first day we tried something from Showa, something new, and Johnny was also very happy with those items. On the second day we analysed everything and prepared for riding again on day three. 

"We have ten test days during the whole year so we have to save some days for the future tests. On the final day we focused more on the engine side because KMC has been working hard to send us some new material for 2022. 

"We focused with the engine and clutch and Johnny was very happy. The rhythm in terms of lap times was very strong, and we did not use a qualifying tyre. 

"I am honestly very pleased and happy to finish this test in this direction because Johnny was ‘talking’ very deep with the bike and enjoying riding it, and this is very important."

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