KRT Back In The WorldSBK Groove
The official Kawasaki Racing Team line-up of Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes have just completed their first day of track action since the global Covid-19 outbreak brought about an enforced halt to the 2020 season, with each rider setting a strong pace at the Misano circuit in Italy. The tests will continue tomorrow, 25th June.
Alex and Jonathan have already scored a race win apiece at the opening round of the championship in Australia on March 1st and got re-introduced to the power of their world-beating Ninja ZX-10RR machines today, in what proved to be warm temperatures and consistently dry track conditions. They also got used to a grippy new track surface that covers the entire 4.226km long layout.
‘New-normal’ working conditions were a fresh challenge at this test, given the restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Despite this unusual reality the team were able to make real progress with their planned workload while adhering to their strict safety guidelines.
Rea had a high-speed fall at turn 11 this morning but was unhurt. He returned to action soon after to finish his test in positive fashion, with both KRT riders finally setting lap times inside the 1’34 bracket.
With one more day of Misano testing scheduled for tomorrow a more comprehensive official press release will be issued at that time, to wrap-up the thoughts of riders and team about their welcome return to meaningful track action.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “Today was very productive and valuable because we were not in a rush to test so much and I was able to do a lot of laps and check a lot of settings. After the long break I was not so happy with the normal base bike setting this morning. They have re-asphalted the circuit at Misano and the grip level is so high – abnormally high – which means we have had to take some grip away from our bike to make it a little bit smoother. I had a crash this morning which I was able to rebound from, pretty fast. For day one I feel satisfied but we’ve still got work to do to be comfortable.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “We had a really good day and it was so nice to get back out on the bike. Obviously, it took me a few laps this morning just to get the feeling and get my brain back up to speed. There were a couple of things I wanted to try – back-to-back comparisons – that we learned at Phillip Island. We were able to get up to a good enough pace today to be able to try them and we have a good direction for tomorrow. I did my best lap during a long run, at the hottest point of the day, so I am really happy with that. I think we did 84 laps and I am ready for another good day tomorrow.”