On-track action started on Saturday 20 August, with the second and final day on Sunday 21. Due to the limits placed on the number of approved testing days over a season, each rider chose when to take to the circuit and when to sit things out.
In generally hot conditions the 4.657km long circuit near the KRT squad’s own HQ gave both riders and their pit crews a chance to evaluate the kind of set-up options they cannot try out in race weekends, due to time constraints during practice and qualifying.
Sunday’s action was ended by a fall of rain in the final 30 minutes, by which time both KRT riders had reached their personal pre-test targets.
Rea started his own Barcelona test schedule on Saturday afternoon, setting the best lap of the first day in hot conditions. He was to set the best lap of the weekend in the slightly cooler conditions of Sunday morning, with a 1’40.913.
Lowes tested his Ninja ZX-10RR for a full day on Saturday, but only Saturday, evaluating set-up options designed for the hot track conditions. His place was taken on track on Sunday by Florian Marino.
Lowes set his best lap time of 1’42.358 on the busy opening day, having made just over 90 laps of the circuit.
The WorldSBK championship returns to race action at Magny Cours in France, between 9-11 September. The Circuit de Barcelona - Catalunya will host round eight of the WorldSBK championship, just two weeks after Magny Cours.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “It has been a really solid two days of testing. We started in the afternoon in the hot temperatures of day one, and straight away I got the rhythm for the track temperature, which got to the high forties and then 50°C. It was good to take the rhythm like that on day one. Step-by-step we worked through the test plan. We had some ideas during the season that we can only try at a test, without the stress of a race weekend. So it is good to check these things at a test. One of the things we had in mind was changing my position on the bike, to see what influence that would have. We drew some positive results from that. Also, the electronics side of the bike is an area where we never stop working. We understood how to take that forward. Aside from that, it was a great two days to test in hot conditions. I was able to be quite fast and consistent in these hotter conditions. We know it is an area we still need to improve on, but the first signs were positive. We focused on race starts on day two, in the afternoon, trying to understand the best set-up from an electronic and mechanical point of view. And also my style at the starts. I really enjoyed my bike these last two days and it has been nice to fill in the WorldSBK summer break again, after being at Suzuka on a different bike. So it is nice to come back here to understand the Pirelli tyres and the WorldSBK spec Ninja ZX-10RR.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “We just did one day of testing at Montmelo, a hot day, which was perfect for us. Our target was to improve our rear performance in hotter, more slippery track conditions. I think on Saturday afternoon we did a good job with that. We tried a lot of different set-up combinations on the rear of the bike to get me into a bit of a better position exiting corners, to get more grip. We found some positive results and it was fun. This was a good test and I enjoyed being back in WorldSBK mode with all my guys. I feel quite optimistic for when we go back racing at Magny Cours. I really enjoyed this test.”
Pere Riba, Crew Chief for Jonathan Rea, stated: “We did half a day on Saturday, and one complete day on Sunday. We mainly prepared a starting point for the Montmelo race in September, and of course, finding some areas we can improve in. These were mainly on the electronics side. We finally reached all the things we wanted to try. Johnny finished with a good feeling and we collected all the info we wanted from our plan. We are now ready to go to Magny Cours for the next round.”
Marcel Duinker, Crew Chief for Alex Lowes, stated: “We know that this track has been not very friendly with our set-up in the past couple of years, so we were happy to have this test here at this time of year. We knew it was going to be hot so we took this opportunity to improve our bike in these hot and slippery track conditions. We had a clear target for this test. We wanted to improve some very important parts of our chassis package, mainly through the set-up. We were fast and consistent so we ended this test happy because we reached our target.”
Oliver König (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) and new rider Oscar Gutierrez (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) were also testing at Montmelo, with Gutierrez signed up to ride at the next two WorldSBK events for TPR.
2022 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2022: Races 18, Wins 5, Podiums 15, Superpoles 3
Career Race Wins: 117 (102 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 230 (188 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 38 (34 for Kawasaki)
2022: Races: 17, Wins 0, Podiums 1, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 30 (10 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 1 (0 for Kawasaki)
8 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Tom Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
6 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020)
5 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019)
Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 176 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 505 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 103 – second overall