Jonathan Rea says he is looking forward to some well-earned downtime over Christmas after kick-starting his preparations for the 2022 World Superbike Championship with a test in Spain.
Rea, who finished as the runner-up in a compelling title battle this season as Turkey’s Toprak Razgatlioglu ended his six-year reign as champion, was joined at Jerez by his Kawasaki team-mate Alex Lowes.
Fellow countryman Eugene Laverty was also in action as he made his debut for new team Bonovo action BMW alongside Frenchman Loris Baz at the three-day test, which wrapped up on Friday.
Rea said: “We structured the test to ride on day one, then have a day off to let the mechanics work on the bike. We got going again on day three.
“We found out a lot of good information and I am really happy with the team, Showa and KMC for their continued hard work in bringing new parts to test.
“I had a lot of fun on the bike and we managed to get through everything we had on the list at this test. Now is the important time because we will act on our findings and try to improve and re-evaluate some items again in January.
“The weather was great at Jerez, quite consistent, and we got a lot of valuable track time in,” added Rea, who will return to Spain in late January to resume his testing programme ahead of round one of the 2022 series at Aragon from April 8-10.
“To be honest, this test was quite challenging mentally because I did a lot of work and I had been off the bike for quite some time.
“I’m really looking forward to going home now and spending Christmas with my family and just having some downtime. I want to recharge now before I get stuck into my winter training again and look forward to the next test in January.”
Former championship runner-up Laverty clocked up the miles as he completed 209 timed laps on the M1000RR he will ride next season.
“The first test days with the team have been very positive,” said Laverty.
“There is a really good atmosphere in the box, I get on very well with Loris [Baz]. He is a fast guy and that’s important, to have a fast team-mate to push you.
“It’s a great crew and I think we have a good year ahead of us.”