Red-hot Jonathan Rea wraps up pre-season testing in style
Jonathan Rea gave the challengers to his World Superbike throne plenty to mull over ahead of the opening round of the series later this month after a blistering end to pre-season testing.
The reigning six-time champion was under the pole lap record at Motorland Aragon on his new Kawasaki ZX-10RR as he signed off in style ahead of the first round at the same circuit from May 21-23.
In near ideal conditions, Rea posted his scorching lap of 1m 48.528s on the second day of the private test heading the times from team-mate Alex Lowes, who lapped in 1m 49.182s.
The Ulsterman’s benchmark was also faster than KTM test rider Dani Pedrosa, whose MotoGP machine had a huge top-speed advantage over Rea’s Kawasaki on the main straight.
A delighted Rea said: “I am super-content with this test. We managed to tick everything off the list we had, which we prioritised with race simulations.
“I did one each day, at the time of day the races will be held – in fact we left them a little bit later – to the peak of the temperatures at 3pm. We expect the race weekend will be a little bit hotter than it is now. We have a lot of good information about those.
“I used both rear tyre options, so we have a lot of good information. Step-by-step we worked some more on my riding, some electronic items. But, more so myself, getting a rhythm and understanding how the tyre behaves over a lot of laps and setting up electronic strategies to utilise during the race,” he added.
“I want to thank the guys because they rebuilt the bike completely as we have been trying to understand where there has been some issues coming. So to rule everything out they have built me a completely new bike and they worked tirelessly.
“Kudos to all the team staff for this whole winter test programme. It has been very busy but I am looking forward to going to round one in a few weeks’ time and seeing where we stack up.”
Eugene Laverty was also in action at the test as he made his debut for the RC Squadra Corse satellite BMW team, slotting into sixth place on the time sheets.
The World Superbike Championship kicks off with back-to-back events, with round two at Estoril in Portugal following a week after Aragon from May 28-30.
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