WSB: Rea 'feels better' with 2018 spec bike

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Three-time World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea has said the ZX-10RR Kawasaki have produced for him to suit the 2018 regulations feels better than previous iterations of the bike. 

World Superbike bosses have introduced a series of regulation changes for 2018 in order to bridge the gap between Rea and Kawasaki at the front and the remainder of the pack, including a new rev limit. 

Rea tested what will become his 2018 Kawasaki, running to the ’18 rev limits, in Jerez last week, lapping the Andalusian circuit quicker than he had in qualifying earlier this year with his 2017-spec machine. 

“It’s rewarding to come here and be so fast,” Rea told MCN. “I’m very proud of Kawasaki. They value this championship, it’s why they put all their resources here. The new regulations have been introduced to balance the field a bit and make things more exciting and I get that, but Kawasaki’s target is to win every year. They’ve been clever enough to turn up with something different, we didn’t just turn down RPM we’ve also got a different spec bike and it’s a bike I really enjoy, I actually feel better on it. 


“Our fastest time was set on a qualifying tyre, it was nice to see our true potential over one lap, but I was also very pleased with my pace on race rubber. We managed to test a lot of chassis components, do work with Showa and also test a few new tyres for Pirelli. Even on Monday I wasn’t too far off the time I’d done last year on a qualifier, so it shows just how far we’ve come. The new track surface also helps.” 

For more from the Jerez test, pick up this week’s MCN. 

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

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