|Jonathan Rea was second quickest as the countdown to the 2024 FIM Superbike World Championship season continued with the Pata Prometeon Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team back on track for two days of testing at Circuito de Jerez, Angel Nieto.
Rea and team-mate Andrea Locatelli completed two days on track, with the Andalusian weather providing perfect conditions for the first test of the year.
Six-time world champion Rea completed an impressive 150 laps over the course of the two days as he continued to familiarise himself with the Yamaha R1. Working through various set-up changes and test items, Rea was able to make consistent progress culminating in both a strong race run and outright pace, with his quickest lap of 1’38.345 placing him second on the timesheets at the end of the two days.
Italian rider Andrea Locatelli was joined for the first time by new crew chief Tom O’Kane, who joins the team from Yamaha MotoGP. The test provided an opportunity for rider and crew chief to get to know each other, with ‘Loka’ completing 145 laps over the course of the two days. His quickest time of 1’38.943 saw him tenth overall.
The team will now travel across the border to Portugal, where a further two days of testing will commence between 29-30 January at the Autodromo de Algarve.
Jonathan Rea – 1’38.345
“It’s been a really busy test, so first and foremost I want to thank the entire crew as they worked tirelessly from the very first day. It’s normal to make lots of changes when in these early stages of learning a new bike, not just to make things better but to also understand my feedback as I adapt to these changes and so the crew can better understand what I like and don’t like. Day one was frustrating at some points as it didn’t feel like we were making progress fast enough, but it was all really good data and the guys put their heads together overnight and this morning we were able to put a package together which I felt more comfortable with. We were able to work through some performance items quite fast and after that we did a race simulation before ticking off the remaining test items. I felt we could finish with a strong rhythm, our out and out pace was satisfactory, our race simulation was good so we can be content with the work we’ve done.”
Andrea Locatelli – 1’38.943
“It was nice to get back on the bike for two days of testing in Jerez, we tried a lot of things and for sure, it’s always a bit tricky as during testing you do not know what everyone is doing! But when we found something good the feeling was positive. It was my first two days working with my new crew chief Tom, so it was good to work with him and it was also important for him too so he can start to understand the bike. In the end we were in a good place and we have another two days in Portimao. We have a strong base set-up already and can work more with the data we have, I have confidence so let’s see what we can do in Portimao.”