The test provided some changeable track conditions but the riders made the best of the better weather to get used to the their latest spec Ninja ZX-10RR machines, at the circuit that very recently hosted the final races of the 2023 season.
Due to the track conditions changing over the two day test, which was also attended by many of KRT’s rivals in 2024, the most useable track time was weighted towards the final afternoon, on Wednesday 1 November.
Lowes would go on to set a best laptime of 1’39.211, while new signing for 2024, Axel Bassani eased himself into his new role with a 1’41. 346 as he started to learn the finer points of his new machine.
Alex rode despite suffering a crash in the Superpole Race at the Jerez round a few days ago. He had to have stitches on his face at that time and was still feeling the affects of the abrasions and cuts from a rival’s rear tyre that ripped his helmet visor off as he fell.
Bassani’s first experience of the Ninja ZX-10RR was very positive, even if it is a very different configuration of machine compared to what he has been used to riding for his past few years in WorldSBK. Axel set 54 laps on the final day of this test.
This was also the first on-track opportunity for KRT to unveil its striking and distinctive winter test livery, a tradition which stretches back many seasons.
The next chance for the team to get on track will be between 12-13 November, at Motorland Aragon.
Alex Lowes, stated: “I was really happy to get the 70 laps that we put in today. It seems like we had to wait ages for the track to dry but we had some important things to try on the bike in order to to get our first feelings about 2024. With Axel just joining the team the only person who can compare the new items to the previous ones at this test is me. I didn’t feel in my best shape after the race weekend, because of my face and my eyes, but on the bike I enjoyed riding. I also enjoyed the new environment working with Pere as my crew chief. We have a really good idea of what to improve, both from me and the bike. This was a very positive first proper day together.”
Axel Bassani, stated: “The bike is completely different so we have to learn everything. Lap-by-lap I started to feel good with the bike and these are only the first two days. It is like one day because on the first day we didn’t run in the afternoon, and also this morning. But, step-by-step, we are trying to learn and to be even better. The bike is completely different and when something is new you have to take time to understand and when you are ready you can push. The only answer to what I need is time. There are a lot of people with a lot of experience in this team so it is nice to be part of it. It’s a special team for me.”
Pere Riba, Crew Chief for Alex Lowes, stated: “We finished the test with Alex and some new crew members. It has been quite smooth and positive. It is the first time I have worked with Alex in the pit box, and there is a lot to learn, but it has been very positive. Alex has a very, very good attitude and already we have been testing something for Showa and some things for the future, with a good result. Alex had very good speed during the race weekend he has shown good speed here. He was in good shape even after his big crash. For the first day, the experience together was positive. All the crew worked together very well. I am happy to leave from Jerez with a good feeling and Alex seems to have a nice smile on his face, and this is the most important thing.”
Marcel Duinker, Crew Chief for Axel Bassani, stated: “Over these two days we made around 60 flying laps in all. Axel has done a very good job and it is very pleasant to work with him. I am sure with his previous experience of WorldSBK he can help us to make a step forward. How he was riding the bike and how he explained the sensations from the bike - and the way he is putting his finger on the areas where we need to improve was impressive. Many people used soft compound tyres, but we did not. We were focusing on improving our base set-up with a harder race tyre. That is why many people made big jumps in their lap times today but that was not our target. Our target was to let Axel understand the bike. I am very optimistic and he is a really, really nice guy to work with. It was a very good start and everybody enjoyed it. ”