The refreshed 2024 rider line up of Alex Lowes and new signing Axel Bassani had their first combined test session of the off-season only a few days after the completion of the final round, again at Jerez, in late October. For the new season Alex has Pere Riba as his crew chief, with Marcel Duinker performing the same role with Axel. Test rider Florian Marino will also be in attendance at Jerez this time around to help the overall development and set-up efforts.
This latest test in Andalusia will focus on several areas, including choices for the direction of further technical developments that will be undertaken during the lull in track action over the forthcoming holiday period.
With new WorldSBK technical rules and regulations in place for 2024, covering elements such as combined bike and rider weight, crankshaft mass, fuel load restrictions, RPM limits and more, important checks and comparisons will also be carried out to enhance performance in another new era of WorldSBK competition.
Weather forecasts predict dry, sunny conditions for the two days on track, with maximum ambient temperatures of around 20°C.
The 2024 WorldSBK season itself will get underway with official tests for all in mid-February at the first venue of the year, Phillip Island. Before then, the team will have two more European test sessions in January, at Jerez and Portimao, to make their final preparations before the bikes and equipment are flown out to Australia.
Alex Lowes, stated: “The plan for this Jerez test is to work on a few parts for next year. With some small changes in the rules and regulations we have some ideas we want to explore. We tried them a little bit after the last race here and Florian Marino, our test rider, has been trying some small parts for us too. So, the plan it to keep exploring some new stuff with the chassis set-up, engine and electronics. We will work together to get the bike feeling better in the areas I need it to improve in. I will keep working with the new guys, enjoy it all, and give the team a lot of information before we head off into our winter break.”
Axel Bassani, stated: “We are ready to test. These will be the last two days of the current season so they are important days. We need to understand which direction we need to take in the winter break to be able to work on the details for 2024. We have some things to try and I need to understand the bike really well. We have only done two days of testing so far but step-by-step, little steps always going forward we hope, we want to understand how to enter the winter break in the best way possible. I want to have fun on the bike and work, work work.”
Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, stated: “This is last test of the 2023 year. It is an emotional one because it is the end of small era for us. We have many items to test, not only for their introduction next season, but with a development purpose as well, collecting information for the future. Even although we use the actual showroom model as our base, part of our job is to maximise the Ninja ZX-10RR, to make nice show for all the Kawasaki fans - and explore how to enhance hundreds of small details to allow us make steps ahead. Alex and Axel are the ones we need to work for, to make the ZX-10RR a kind of extension of their bodies, so that they can show and maximise the expression of their pace. So let’s get to work at full gas.”