Even after encountering wet and damp track conditions at times, and with four-time champion Rea suffering from flu, the Kawasaki Racing Team’s combined effort saw the riders and staff leave satisfied that they had made progress for both the immediate and longer term future.
Mid-season testing provides not only preparation for the next races but more opportunities to try different settings and ideas that the packed race weekends do not allow. This Misano test also featured most of KRT’s rivals, despite not being an official organisers’ event.
Rea made the most of this afternoon’s dry track. He set a fast lap on a qualifying tyre, as well as a very high pace for the track conditions on a race set-up. He was also able to explore a riding position which gave him even greater confidence and feedback to take into the rest of the season, especially after his recent Imola race wins.
Haslam ventured out to test even in the rain and was immediately quick and assured in his pace. In the dry he also made good progress with his overall set-up, as the 2018 BSB champion for Kawasaki continues to adapt to his official KRT machine.
The next round of the FIM Superbike World Championship will take place at Jerez in Spain, with race weekend being held between the 7th and 9th of June. The Misano race weekend will follow after a gap of one weekend.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “We got a lot done in the afternoon today. I was in my bed until lunchtime yesterday because I have had such a bad flu, but his morning I felt a little better. So the morning curveballs with the weather each day kind of helped me, in a way. We worked on a different balance of the bike and weight distribution, and also with some tyres from Pirelli. We had different front fork settings but the biggest thing we did was change my position on the bike. Late in the afternoon I had a very positive feeling from that. This test was the perfect opportunity to do that kind of thing because these big items we cannot really test during race weekends. It was a very positive test and I feel good about it.”
Leon Haslam, stated: “It was good to get two days on track just testing even if we were a little bit hampered with weather. On both mornings the track was wet. I was still quick in the rain and there were a few things we could still evaluate in wet conditions. Yesterday the track was a bit patchy but today it was quite good. We made a bit of a change just before the end today then went out and crashed straight away. At one point I did a 14 lap run but was still only 1-2 tenths of a second off compared to the best laps. I had not been to Misano for three years and I felt that the grip levels were down a bit and with that lack of grip I struggled to get the bike to stop. This afternoon it was dry and I did a 1’35 on a race run, so I am happy with that side of things.”
Pere Riba, Crew Chief for Jonathan Rea, stated: "The test was good even if everyone was not so lucky just because of the weather at times. It was raining in the mornings but we were able to test nearly all the items we wanted to try. We are really pleased because I think we made another step forward with the total bike and the balance. We made improvements in chassis geometry and suspension setting. This was good because we are looking for help from the chassis side. Jonathan has been the strongest and most consistent in lap times. We have to confirm these kind of things at another track, of course, partly because the track temperature and grip were low at this test. We used a Q tyre and Johnny did a 1’34.5 lap, but 1’35 with a race tyre. In all, we were very pleased with this test.”
Marcel Duinker, Crew Chief for Leon Haslam, stated: “It was good even if the test was interrupted by rain. We tested some new items on our bike and had some very positive results, so we had a happy rider. Leon was instantly fast in the rain. At the end of today Leon had a small crash so we ended just a little earlier than we expected but overall we had a positive test and a happy rider. We did not chase lap times because fine tuning the bike for the race in these cold conditions means that, in any case, you will have different conditions when we come back to race here in late June. We reached our target with the items we tested but of course we would not have been fastest because we have not focused on finding a perfect set-up in these conditions. We used only two sets of tyres today.”
2019 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018
2019: Races 13, Wins 2, Podiums 13, Superpoles 1
Career Race Wins: 73 (58 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 147 (105 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 17 (13 for Kawasaki)
2019: Races: 13, Wins 0, Podiums 2, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 5 (0 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 41 (3 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 3 (0 for Kawasaki)
6 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Tom Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
4 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017 & 2018)
4 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018)
Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 129 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 396 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 82 – second overall