Six-times Superbike World Champion Jonathan Rea has unveiled the updated Kawasaki ZX-10RR with which he will fight for the 2023 Superbike World Championship.
In a joint launch with Kawasaki’s world motocross MX1 squad, the recently turned 36-year-old Carole Nash ambassador pulled the covers off the machine he and team-mate Alex Lowes will campaign in the series, telling the assembled press: “I am really excited about this new season. We had a really solid off season. I am also excited to go to Phillip Island and start the year in what seems to us like a more normal way. I feel I have prepared really well away from the track, and during the winter tests we have improved, which is very motivating. It’s nice to have some new people around and that itself brings a different feel. I am eager to get going. We have made progress with the bike and are working hard to try to improve our feeling and results from last season. Hopefully we can challenge for race wins and fight for a world title.”
Despite riding as fast and as well as ever, JR had his most difficult season in almost a decade in 2022. After winning five of the opening nine races, the Northern Irishman had to wait until the final round in Australia to stand on the top step of the podium again – eventually finishing the season third in the standings behind champion Alvaro Bautista and runner-up Toprak Razgatliouglu.
To help Rea in his quest for the title, his Spanish based Provec racing team have strengthened their backroom team in the hope of improving the vital electronics package on the factory ZX-10RR. He’ll have a new but experienced electronics engineer in Dutchman Sander Donkers, who has previously worked with Aprilia in MotoGP among others, while the squad has poached Christophe Lambert from Yamaha to take on a new role of Electronics and Data Engineering Co-ordinator.
Speaking of the new appointments, KRT Team Manager Guim Roda said: “After analysing areas in KRT workflow that we could enhance we detected the need to introduce a new role to support the technical staff more and to extract the maximum from the electronics system. At the same time, we need to evaluate the quantity of data we generate on race weekend much faster. In the past, we have realised where we could have been better a few days after the race – which is inefficient. This new staff situation allows us to better analyse all the information we create to react fast in real time during the race weekend. We found in Christophe good experience and potential and we are quite sure we gonna make another step to improve our performance with him onboard. Additionally, Davide Gentile the (previous) Electronics Engineer for Jonathan has decided to look for new goals and we wish him well and thank him for his contribution to the project. For this important role we searched in many places and finally we decided on Sander as the best candidate to work with Pere and Johnny. Additionally, we have taken the opportunity to reorganise some roles and responsibilities within KRT, adjusting concept ideas to the reality of racing and we will reinforce the Test Team area with Florian Marino helping us to use best our track time. We are all highly motivated for 2023 season and for sure we’ll do our best to keep improving, keep innovating and never give up.”The 2023 Superbike World Championship starts with the Australian round, held at the iconic Phillip Island circuit near Melbourne, on the weekend of 24-26 February.