Being the venue of a recent double winning success for three-time champion Jonathan Rea the Jerez circuit will provide an ideal testing facility for the KRT team before the traditional winter break in track action.
After such a successful 2017 for the team and Kawasaki the hard work has already started behind the scenes in preparation for the first round of the new season, to be held at Phillip Island in Australia in late February.
The main aims of the Jerez tests are to evaluate the effect of the 2018 technical regulation on the real world performance of the official Ninja ZX-10RR and to provide feedback for the development process, which will continue unabated in the winter months.
At 4.423km long the Jerez circuit contains a varied collection of corners and curves. Despite being built on a largely flat site many decades ago there are several areas that feature changes of camber and elevation. It was recently resurfaced in time for the penultimate round of the 2018 WorldSBK season.
Tom Sykes, stated: “As always I'm really looking forward to getting back out on track on the Ninja. We have a list of items and ideas to work on and after some conversations with the boys I'm very excited and motivated to put some issues to bed. We need to work hard in these winter tests and improve the bike to my needs so we can again see my true speed and potential.”
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I'm super excited to ride again, although it feels like only yesterday since we were in Qatar at the final race. Jerez is a good test track and especially in November, when the conditions are balanced. I know how hard the team and the engineers in Japan have been working so I'm intrigued and excited to ride the new specification ZX-10RR. It's very important to gather good data and give clear feedback to my engineers to develop the bike and I feel confident that under the new WorldSBK regulations we can continue to be strong like in the previous years. It's a new era in WorldSBK and we are ready to embrace it and start working to prepare for 2018 in the best way.”
Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, stated: “The 2018 WorldSBK season starts now in terms of track test familiarization. Of course, we started months ago, but today is the first day. Any result we have scored in the past will not help us to repeat again the same kind of results in the future, so we must put the effort into first gear again. We will start calmly and develop best bike possible to give our riders the best package possible from the first race at Phillip Island. Now is the most important period, when all our KRT/Provec staff, KHI engineers and suppliers must work at 100% to start the season at 110%.
We combine such a challenging development period with our riders reducing their stress levels after a long and hard 2017 season, preparing to recharge batteries in the next two months. Sure, it is more complex than many fans can see but is a very important part of the year to allow us to go smoothly into next season. At this test we will share the track with many other WorldSBK riders, and MotoGP ones too, which will be a nice entertainment for many spectators. We invite all to continue following the show in WorldSBK.”
2017 KRT Rider Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016 & 2017
2017: Races 26, Wins 16, Podiums 24, Superpoles 6
Career Race Wins: 54 (39 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 112 (70 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 14 (10 for Kawasaki)
Tom Sykes: World Champion 2013
2017: Races: 24, Wins 2, Podiums 16, Superpoles 4
Career Race Wins: 33 (33 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 100 (99 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 42 (42 for Kawasaki)
5 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016 & 2017), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
3 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017)
3 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016 & 2017)
Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 109 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 348 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 73 – second overall