Six-time World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea got his first outing on the 2021 specification Kawasaki ZX-10RR yesterday at Jerez and topped the time sheets during the first two-day winter test of the off-season.
The bike featured a new front fairing styling aiming to increase front stability and aerodynamics and Rea set the fastest time of 1m 38.324secs on a qualifying tyre, 15 minutes from the end of the second day.
This was just a tenth of a second off the pole time from the August WSBK meeting at the same track.
Rea was half a second faster than the official Yamaha of Toprak Razgatlioglu with Rea's Kawasaki team mate Alex Lowes third fastest, 0.047sec behind the Turkish rider.
This opening test of the winter was an opportunity to test new set-up and parts with Rea also testing a new engine in both the 2020 and 2021 machines and completing 72 laps of the Spanish track.
Rea said: "Like always we were collecting data and tried many things over the two days. We were working with some items for 2021, part of the test plan Kawasaki Heavy Industries sent us.
"We tried a different front fairing, engine feeling, front forks, some brake items and a front tyre for Pirelli. I wasn't superfast with a fresh tyre, but the more laps I did the faster I got, a good problem to have.
"There were a lot of pluses and minuses and we gathered a lot of information to assess before we return to the track at Motorland Aragon next week."