JONATHAN Rea began the long road to World title number seven when he climbed back into the saddle this week.
The Templepatrick race ace flew to Jerez to start a two-day test on his new ZX-10RR Kawasaki - but those plans hit the skids when the rain in Spain arrived!
The inclement weather, however, meant no track action for the WSBK riders in attendance.
Following a November test at Jerez, the Kawasaki engineers in Japan have had a chance to make the necessary changes from the feedback given, and Rea and his team-mate Alex Lowes had hoped to give the bike its first shakedown prior to the 2021 Championship.
“There hasn't been any track action at Jerez thanks to the wet weather and it means we have to wait until Thursday to get the first taste of the changes made,” said the six time World SUperbike champ.
“The biggest thing we need to understand in this and upcoming tests is engine character.
“We have new engine internals, new electronics and a new aerodynamic package.
"Jerez is a good test track because we have a lot of info here, so it is easy to compare.
“It’ll be great to get back on the bike and get that riding feeling again.”
Rea got the first opportunity to test against the factory Ducatis and Hondas, the Japanese team now under the management of newly-retired WSBK rider Leon Camier.
Asked if his new Kawasaki can win straight away, Rea said he was optimistic.
“I hope so. This new bike is more of a refinement, a step forward from last year.
“We won’t know about outright top speed here at Jerez as we only use five gears and it won’t be until Aragon until we can gauge our top mark.”