Despite Jonathan Rea completing just a half day at the 2022 Jerez WorldSBK test, the six-time world champion was just six tenths off the all-time lap record, set by himself in 2019.

Rea finished a staggering 1.4 seconds quicker than his team-mate Alex Lowes, while he also went faster than Lowes’ best time from day-one after just five laps on-track. 

While it remains to be seen how preparations for the upcoming season play out, particularly for world champions Yamaha and Ducati, there’s no doubt this was a strong start for Rea and Kawasaki who are looking to regain the WorldSBK title. 

With Toprak Razgatlioglu getting the better of Rea in 2021, and the R1 looking like a slightly more consistent/better package to be on, the same could also be said about Ducati’s Panigale V4 R, Kawasaki are more likely to need improvements to their ZX-10RR bike as opposed to Rea himself.

During Thusrday’s condensed running, Rea re-evaluated a chassis he tried in last month’s Jerez outing compared to a brand new one this week, while the recently named Irish Motorcyclist of the Year for a record-breaking ninth time also tested Kawasaki’s new electronics, Pirelli’s new-for-2022 SCQ tyre, before completing a race simulation that was very ‘positive’ according to crew chief Pere Riba. 

Speaking after the test, Riba added: "The test was short, because we only did half a day today and did not ride on day one. We did four hours in all. We focused mainly on the chassis side, because we are reconfirming things we did in December and comparing them with new items we built since the previous test. 

"Johnny [Rea] feels very positive, he is working very well, and the lap times were very strong. We did a long run and the result was positive. Johnny did a great, great job. 

"We tested a new tyre for Pirelli and took some first information about the new electronics strategy. 

"We are pleased with the result and now all the guys are looking forward to going to Portimao for the next test."