Jonathan Rea believes his 2022 Kawasaki ZX-10RR is better equipped to challenge Toprak Razgatlioglu for the WorldSBK championship.  

Rea, who topped the first WorldSBK pre-season test of the year in Jerez last week, albeit Kawasaki and Honda were the only manufacturers taking part, confirmed that the initial assessment of this year’s package is ‘more user-friendly’ than that of 2021. 

Rea told WorldSBK: "I really enjoyed 2021 because I learnt a lot, I was still fast, and I still battled… the battles in the races were incredible. For 2022, my target is to make less mistakes. 

"How do we do that? We need to improve the technical package of the bike. First impressions so far are that the bike’s a little bit more user-friendly when I’m riding on my limit."

Should Rea manage to get the better of current world champion Razgatlioglu in 2022, then making less mistakes is likely to be the biggest reason why. 

The six-time world champion suffered six crashes during the 2021 season, however, five of those came during race situations, while four happened directly whilst battling with Razgatlioglu and/or Scott Redding.

Both Razgatlioglu and Redding seemed to have a friendly bike underneath them throughout the year, which is why crashes in the biggest moments were at a premium, or in the case of Razgatlioglu not at all. The Yamaha rider’s only not finishes were either due to contact with another rider or mechanical failures. 

But despite Razgatlioglu not making any mistakes or succumbing to any pressure as the season went on, Rea is focused solely on his job at Kawasaki, instead wanting to forget ‘all about’ his competitors for the time being. 

"I need to try and forget about all my other competitors and the other manufacturers and focus on my job inside Kawasaki," Rea continued. "Sometimes last year, that was my biggest mistake: I was looking at the others. It was playing negative doubts in your head like, ‘oh, they are fast’ or ‘there bike is so fast’ but inside here, we have a great bike. 

"Even when we have some limitations or difficulties, I can still compete for wins. That’s what I need to focus on and bet on myself a bit more."