WSB: 'Tyre life and power' priority for Rea during winter tests

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World Superbike Champion Jonathan Rea has highlighted two key areas his Kawasaki Racing Team need to work on over the winter if he’s to fight to become the first rider in history to win three titles on the bounce.

The Northern Irishman has made no secret that his 2016 title success was much more of a challenge than his first championship victory in 2015 after Kawasaki’s revised ZX-10R saw the KRT duo lose some of their advantage over their rivals, particularly Chaz Davies and Ducati.

Just weeks after the end of the season, Rea’s team were back in action at Aragon for a two-day test. While there was no official timing, word at the Spanish track was that Rea was running lap times quicker than anyone.

The outfit then moved to Jerez, for a joint MotoGP and World Superbike test where Rea continued to show positive form, mixing it up with the MotoGP boys to place well above rival Davies in the rankings on Wednesday.

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“The new bike has a stronger engine, so we’re a little stronger in that area and chassis wise, Showa has brought a lot of new components including a completely new rear shock and updated front fork that we’ve been testing this year but been reluctant to run,” Rea told MCN.

“We’ve been putting the package together a bit, we’ve been trying to look for tyre life and engine power is our priority for the winter and we seem to have found the tyre life quite quickly. Our power is a little bit better, but we need to be looking for more.

“There are so many other areas to improve, we’ve been making small steps forward in electronics, I feel like we need to achieve a base setting with the bike as last year we were changing so much in between practice sessions and races that complicated things a little.”  

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing