Jerez Test The First Step Into 2022
The first on track preparations for the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship will take place for the official Kawasaki Racing Team at Jerez in Spain between 15-17 December, just under a month after the culmination of the 2021 season at Mandalika in Indonesia.
Six times World Champion Jonathan Rea will be joined on track by Alex Lowes once again, this time for a three day test at the 4.423km long Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto in the extreme south west of Spain.
Upgrades and test parts will be available for both Jonathan and Alex to evaluate on the official Ninja ZX-10RR WorldSBK race spec machine before the short winter break begins over the Christmas and New Year holiday period.
After a thrilling and incredibly hard-fought 2021 WorldSBK season that saw Rea get to within 13 points of yet another championship win the focus for 2022 is improving the overall race package at each and every round.
Rea scored more podium finishes than any other rider in 2021 and equalled new champion Toprak Razgatlioglu’s tally of 13 race wins, after taking both race victories at the final round in Indonesia.
Even after an injury affected season Alex Lowes scored five podiums in 2021. He continues along the path to a full physical recovery but will test at Jerez this week to ensure that he can evaluate all the new items and set-up options before the mid-winter break begins.
With a provisional calendar already published for the 2022 WorldSBK season the first competitive round is scheduled for Motorland Aragon, between eight and 10 April.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I am really happy to get back on the bike this side of Christmas because we can try to carry on the good feeling we finished with at the end of the season. Jerez is always a good test circuit to go to because we have a lot of data from there. It is also a circuit that has never been the strongest for us so we can work in some weaker areas. We expect to have some items to test, which is really good because KMC and KRT have been working very hard on some new chassis items and electronics. We hope to improve the feeling of our bike, work together in a good way and the target will be to give good solid info to all the engineers try to improve the overall package. There is no pressure for lap times or anything like that. I am looking forward to it and I hope that the weather is good, and consistent, so that we can get a lot of laps done.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “Obviously this test is important to select the direction we need to go with our package for 2022. Whilst I won’t be 100% fit yet, our performance isn’t our focus at this time. My crew chief Marcel, my electronics engineer Danilo and all the guys on the technical side have been working hard and have prepared lots of options for me to try. I am really excited to see what we can improve. If we get through all these items not only will it be a busy test but it will be job done – this is our only aim.”
Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, stated: “The plan for this test is to ride with the inertia of the 2021 season and then start to check some of the ideas we have to improve for next year. It is mainly a rechecking of some points KMC has been working on with the bike, and some set-up directions to improve what we have seen this season. We will use the three days at Jerez to try and improve our competitiveness. We cannot use all the track time available, due to the riders’ test day limitations, so we will manage things the best way possible to make good conclusions. Other than that, we will continue working in the best directions we have used this season. We came very close to achieving our goals this year so it is not a matter of big changes but polishing the areas we know were are a bit weak in.”
2021 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2021: Races 37, Wins 13, Podiums 30, Superpoles 8
Career Race Wins: 112 (97 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 215 (173 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 35 (31 for Kawasaki)
2021: Races: 30, Wins 0, Podiums 5, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 29 (9 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 1 (0 for Kawasaki)
8 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Tom Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
6 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020)
5 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019)
Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 171 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 489 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 100 – second overall