Kawasaki’s official FIM Superbike World Championship entry, KRT, will start its final two-day European winter test at Motorland Aragon on Wednesday 3rd February, one week before the official team launch of the all-new Ninja ZX-10R in full race colours. After that public unveiling 2015 champion Jonathan Rea and 2013 champion Tom Sykes will head to Phillip Island in Australia for the first of the 14 scheduled rounds in the 2016 season.
Thanks to the previous tests the KRT duo have completed in Europe on the latest model Ninja ZX-10R this winter, both before and after the official test ban, the team is already at a high level of preparedness as they learn the ways of the all-new Ninja ZX-10R.
The two forthcoming test days at Motorland Aragon in northern Spain will be used to make the final evaluations and confirmations before the first travel crates full of parts and equipment head off to Australia.
Motorland has already hosted testing for the KRT squad this winter, so this outing will be useful after strong results were gained at the previous tests in Jerez last week.
Rea is looking to concentrate some of his available track time on race simulations in Aragon while Sykes is aiming to reconfirm some existing settings for the most part and try to find even more improvements for the first round – which takes place in less than one month’s time.
There will be one official pre-season test session for all riders at PI, on Monday 22 February and Tuesday 23 February, before the race weekend begins for real.
The Motorland Aragon circuit itself is a long, undulating and ultra-modern design with a long back straight to let the powerful new Ninja ZX-10R sing to its full volume as the riders click through the gears. As such, it is a very contrasting circuit to Jerez; meaning strong results from the forthcoming sessions will prove that the improvements the team have found in the new machine should transfer to many other kinds of venues.
Tom Sykes stated, “Our test at Jerez went very well and I am happy. Jerez was really straightforward. We made both big and small set-up changes there, so it was really productive. We learned a lot about the new 2016 bike on the final day and now I am looking forward to Motorland to have more time on the bike and reconfirm some settings. There are always areas where I want to improve, with the combination of both me and the bike.”
Jonathan Rea stated: “We have an extra two days on track now at Motorland before we go to Australia. We did not do any race simulations so far in 2016 so it would be nice to be equipped with that information before we go to Australia. We will continue to work and understand the bike a little bit more and be in good shape for the races. I have had a pretty hectic start to the year so I forced myself to have a few quiet days before this test, to be fully prepared for it.”
Guim Roda, Team Manager KRT, stated: “This will be the last winter test before we move to Phillip Island in Australia. There are still some things to test and riding on the track helps to make riders fit again after the long winter test ban. Johnny and Tom are both keen to run at PI and both of them feel strong. They will be able to give their best at the first round of the year. After this test all the bikes will be transported to PI but before that, in Barcelona on the 11th of February, we will show the new bike design in public for the first time and present the new KRT Ninja ZX-10R that Tom and Johnny will use to fight for the title in 2016.”