The official race report service of Kawasaki Racing Team.

29 November 2019

2019 Tests Complete For KRT In Spain

After experiencing two days of good weather at the Jerez de la Frontera tests KRT duo Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes have completed their final on track preparations before the winter break. Both riders experienced positive outcomes from their testing plans.

Five times World Champion Rea ended up fastest rider of all after setting the best lap of 1’38.397, using a qualifying tyre in the last few laps.
Even after the effects of a large oil spill, which left the entry to Turn One covered in cement dust for the last hour, Rea improved his own existing best time before the action finished at 18.00hrs
Rea also concluded the work he and the team had been carrying out on machine set-up to take into the next tests in Iberia in late January, and then into the 2020 WorldSBK season itself.
Lowes, a first time Kawasaki rider for the coming season, undertook only his second test sessions on the official Ninja ZX-10RR but placed fourth fastest overall.
Lowes, who had a fall right at the end of the available tack time, lost his chance to set a single better lap time but spent most of his test working on overall set-up and improvements in braking. He has now settled into his new working environment and is ready for more at the next series of track tests in late January.
Almost all of KRT’s rivals were also present at Jerez, providing a good measure of where the overall Kawasaki effort stands in the ambition to retain championship titles in 2020.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “Overall it was pretty good. I had good motivation for this test. Normally at the end of a busy season it is easy to get lost but we focused on quality rather than quantity. We did a lot of back-to-back testing of things we had ideas to try out during the year. Then we tested some new items and new ideas. The biggest thing was in my riding position on the bike and getting used to the rear brake lever on the handlebar, plus some different engine braking. Aside from that Pirelli brought some different tyres. At the end we could do a time attack with a qualifying tyre and that put us right there. It was hard at the end doing that, because a couple of hours before the session finished there was oil all over Turn One. The track was compromised a bit but I still feel that we did a really good job at this test, both with our outright pace and also consistency. We are where we should be and I am really happy to sign off on an incredible 2019.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “The test was really positive as my feeling with the bike was very good. After the Aragon test, Marcel and I wanted to work on the braking because how I rode my old bike was a little bit different. But already from the first laps here we made a big step, and today I felt really comfortable with the braking. This, I am really happy about. We did some longer runs today and I could keep it in a nice consistent pace, which was another really good thing. Obviously, at the end I fell while using a qualifying tyre but that was just a small detail. I have had instantly a good connection with all the mechanics and working with Marcel is really easy. It has been real good fun to be here with two good days and good weather; it has been enjoyable.”
Pere Riba, Crew Chief for Jonathan Rea, stated: “We did the best lap time with the Q tyre, after the oil spill. Jonathan did very well at this test so I am happy, as usual. I am always happy because he is always there. We collected almost all the information we wanted during these winter tests - just one small item is missing - but we can test that in January. We understood the balance of the bike that we have been using in the last couple of races, and we also worked with the suspension and electronics, quite deeply. In some small details we collected a lot of information, also with a different bike balance. We found positives here, positives there, so depending on track conditions and layouts we can use this one, or another one. This was the target of the winter tests. Jonathan was enjoying the bike and we go into the winter break at the top of the lists again. This makes for a little bit happier Christmas.”
Marcel Duinker, Crew Chief for Alex Lowes, stated: “I am a very happy crew chief. We set targets for the previous test at Aragon and also here in Jerez. Here, we even went a bit further than our target and we tried everything we needed to try. On fresh tyres, and over distance, we can match the fastest guy on track at this moment. What else can we wish for? I am already looking forward to January.”
As well as the official KRT squad’s efforts at Jerez Xavi Fores rode the  Kawasaki Puccetti Ninja ZX-10RR at these tests and finished 11th fastest. Pedercini Racing Team rider Lorenzo Savadori enjoyed his first ride on the Ninja ZX-10RR and finished up 15th fastest.
2019 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019
2019: Races 37, Wins 17, Podiums 34, Superpoles 7
Career Race Wins: 88 (73 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 168 (126 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 23 (19 for Kawasaki)
Alex Lowes:
2019: Races: 37, Wins 0, Podiums 9, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 1 (0 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 20 (0 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 1 (0 for Kawasaki)
7 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Tom Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
5 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017, 2018 & 2019)
5 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019)
Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 146 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 433 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 88 – second overall