Kawasaki Racing Team riders Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea made the best use of two days of dry and sunny conditions to complete their final European pre-season preparations at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain.

With so many new technical regulations in the 2015 FIM Superbike World Championship, and previous winter tests at the Motorland circuit in Aragon having been affected by poor weather, the Jerez tests took on a special significance for Huddersfield racer Sykes and his new teammate Rae.

With a welcome 25°C track temperature in the afternoons at Jerez, both Rea and Sykes made real progress in the set-up of their Ninja ZX-10Rs.

And former world champion Sykes declared he was ready to head off to Australia for the final official tests in buoyant and confident mood.

“It has been a successful two days of testing and we have worked through a lot of variables,” said the 29-year-old.

“We were coming much closer to a base setting for the bike, and in general I am very happy.

“We found more of our potential with the race tyre and the qualifying tyre and just did one final lap on each to understand the work we had done.

“That confirmed that we are headed in the right direction.

 

“The two last laps I did were quite relaxed, not expecting too much, and I saw some riders using more than one qualifying tyre – maybe even three.

“We are going to Phillip Island quite happy that we are focused on where we need to be and hopefully we will be fine-tuning in the glorious sunshine.

“It was important to have these two days of consistent weather and we did a lot of laps – the weather gave us a good stable test.”

Lap times at Jerez were fully competitive for each rider, in both race and qualifying set-ups, with Sykes posting a best of 1.39.694 and Rea a 1.39.745, each on a qualifying tyre, which is below the existing track best despite more stringent technical rules that limit engine tuning in 2015.

Sykes set around 85 laps on day one and 86 on the final day, and Rea did more than 80 on day one and over 70 on the final day.

The KRT riders and team will have their next track engagement during the first official test sessions at Phillip Island, in Australia, on February 16 and 17, before the opening round of the 14-round series on Sunday, February 22.