Kawasaki’s official WorldSBK team will continue its on-track preparations for the new season with Alex Lowes and Jonathan Rea riding the new Ninja ZX-10RR in a two-day test alongside all their main 2021 competitors. The action will take place at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona, between March 31 and April 1, and just a few hundred metres from KRT’s HQ and workshop facilities.
Each KRT rider has tested the latest Ninja ZX-10RR individually during their most recent track outings. Rea continued his winter testing schedule at Portimao in early March while Lowes rode at Jerez much more recently, after recovery from a shoulder injury sustained during a winter training incident.
Lowes’ positive Jerez track test was proof that he had recuperated well ahead of what will be the first main competitive test at the start of his second season as an official Kawasaki rider. Already a race winner on the previous ZX-10RR, Lowes is going out to confirm his base settings for 2021 and explore the furthest reaches of his new machine’s performance.
Six-times WorldSBK champion Rea set excellent lap times at his Portimao test, making early use of the performance enhancements on the 2021 model. With a higher revving engine and improvements to both front and rear aerodynamic designs the 2021 Ninja ZX-10RR is expected to be an even more potent track tool than its class leading predecessor.
The officially titled Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona, also known as Montmelo, features a 4.627km long layout, comprising eight right and six left hand corners. It was a first-time WorldSBK circuit last season and will be on the calendar again this year, adding another spicy ingredient to the mix during what will be the first and only supported test of the 2021 season.
Due to the ongoing global pandemic the official KRT 2021 Team Launch event will be held online this year, with the new Ninja graphic design and colours unveiled at 19.00 CET on Tuesday 30 March, via the following link – https://kawasakiracingteamworldsbk.com. The Montmelo test will see Rea and Lowes in their full 2021 race livery for the first time, not the winter test graphics seen on track thus far.
Alex Lowes, stated: “This is going to be a good opportunity to go out and test again after blowing the cobwebs off at Jerez recently. We have two or three important things to try, especially on corner exit. We are looking to finalise our base setting for the year so that is the priority at this Montmelo test. Obviously we will also continue development of the new Ninja ZX-10RR, not only based on what we did in the recent test but also what we did in November last year. It is going to be great to get back out there with all our competitors. Montmelo is a track that I did not go well on last year so this is going to be a great opportunity to test and improve on that. It is also a track that I really enjoy, even though I do not have that much experience on it. Hopefully we will have good weather to get back to work. It is going to be great to be in our new colours. I really like the 2021 graphics for the KRT and Kawasaki racing project – I think they are great – so I am keen to see how it all looks on track and how it comes out in the pictures.”
Jonathan Rea, stated: “It is an exciting time because although the start of the season seems far away this is the first official test where all our competitors will be on track together. So it will really feel like the start of the season. We have been focused in the off-season on developing our new Ninja ZX-10RR and step-by-step getting a good feeling. Barcelona is also a track that I have not done so many laps of in the past, but we raced there last year. We will keep understanding the track, all the needs, and it is my team’s home venue. We will arrive with our new visuals and colours as the team launch will occur just before the tests start. It will be exciting and I can’t wait to get started. I feel really well-prepared and I’m looking forward to carrying on what we have been doing in the last few months.”
Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, stated: “This is an important test as it is the first opportunity we have to test alongside the other manufacturers, teams and riders. It will be a real chance to see where we are in terms of performance. We still have a month and a half before we start the championship so we have a lot of jobs to do, but this will be a very useful test to check where we are. I think it will be a chance to understand the situation for everybody. It is a ‘home’ test, very close to the workshop, so it is easy to attend this one and organise the logistics. We will also use this test to make the team launch. That will be an opportunity to show the new model, new colours, the new clothing and the whole team. We have prepared a very cool video which I think will be very interesting for people to watch.”