On the first day of the Jerez tests Jonathan Rea (KRT) was as fast as we have come to expect and again he was out ahead of the rest with a 1’40.826 lap, only closely followed by his own team-mate Tom Sykes.
Despite a fall from his Ninja ZX-10R, Rea was happy with the performance of his new 2016 bike, both over a single lap and over a whole race simulation. “I think my crash was a combination of many things,” he said after the end of the opening day. “Sure, I arrived at a similar speed, but with a little bit more brake pressure. It was in turn seven and the wind was quite bad in some places on track. In some corners it was helping, on some it was really disturbing the bike and this was one of those corners.”
Rea was uninjured by his fall, but not completely unaffected, for a time at least. “It knocked our confidence a little after that but we then stopped using the SC2 tyre that we crashed on. I used the 104 tyre that they brought here for the race, the one they suggested that I would never use, to be honest. We found it was quite good and I was able to do my first race simulation of the winter tests. In the end of the day we moved the rider position a lot. We have not gone back yet but we have gone down. We have dropping the seat height, not the ride height. And the handlebar position a little bit.”
Rea was happy with his long race simulation, before the changes to weight distribution, but was even more impressed by the pace shown with his revised seating position, over a shorter run of laps.
“We found we were very competitive and we were very happy with the result,” said the 2015 World Champion. “Then we did a ten-lap run with a new riding position and I was super-competitive. I only did ten laps but until that point I was five seconds faster than my new race simulation.”
Like his team-mate Sykes, Rea will ride again on Tuesday, have a rest day on Wednesday and then get back into two days of final 2015 testing action on Thursday and Friday.