Kawasaki Racing Team ace beaming with confidence ahead of Phillip Island.
Reigning WorldSBK champion Jonathan Rea is beaming with confidence after two days of testing at Portimao in Portugal, where the four-time title holder once again topped the timesheets.
The Kawasaki Racing Team ace believes the two-day official test ticked every box, confirming a number of components that were rolled out for last week’s Jerez test in Spain, along with sampling a new specification tyres from Pirelli.
Rea lodged a quicktime of 1m40.885s at the Portuguese venue, lapping the circuit almost one second clear of the second fasted rider Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team).
“It has been a super-positive test,” Rea stated. “We came from the Jerez test and I was still understanding the bike and the asphalt there. It made it difficult to understand the work we had done over the winter. But coming here we had quite a neutral platform to work with and a lot of data.
“Although the temperatures did not get into a perfect operating window it gave us a consistent effort over two days. We confirmed the chassis items we tested at Jerez, and electronically we worked a bit better. We started to work on our race performance. I was really happy with how I felt with a lot of laps on the tyre compared to last this time last year.
“I got to try a qualifier at the end of the day and that felt quite good and I was really fast with it. This test ticked every box, just a couple of little items we could have re-checked and gone over. But the priorities were done and we got to try some new Pirelli tyres as well.”
The Irishman will be out on track again at Phillip Island on 18-19 February, which takes place one week prior to the season-opener at the iconic Australian venue, where he’ll commence his bid for a fifth-consecutive WorldSBK crown.