2023 starts now: all eyes on Jerez for the first winter test, Kawasaki and BMW joined by Sykes

Wednesday, 30 November 2022 09:24 GMT

The factory Kawasaki and BMW teams will head to the south of Spain and Jerez for two days of testing to kickstart their 2023 campaigns

The first winter test for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship takes place on December 1st and 2nd at the Circuit de Jerez – Angel Nieto, just 11 days after the 2022 season concluded, with three teams taking part in the test. Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK and the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team will be joined by Independent outfit Kawasaki Puccetti Racing, giving everyone a first glimpse of WorldSBK in 2023.

The two-day test marks an important moment in the calendar as eyes fully switch to the 2023 WorldSBK campaign, which starts in February at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit; the same venue that ended the 2023 campaign. There will be plenty of new items for all three teams at the test to try as preparations for next season begin in earnest in early December, as teams, riders and manufacturers all look to start in the best way possible.

After finishing second in the 2021 season and third in 2022, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) will be looking to return to the top of the standings next season and this first test will provide him a springboard heading into next year. He will be joined by teammate Alex Lowes who, after ending the season with two podiums in Australia, will hoping to start next season as he ended 2022. With Rea ending his win drought in Australia and Lowes fighting for victories, there Jerez test could be a springboard for the KRT duo to start next season on the front foot.

They will be joined by the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team at the two-day test and, with BMW bringing an vastly-updated M 1000 RR for 2023, could this be the first glimpse of their new challenger? The team had ‘super concessions’ status in 2022 and will be hoping to shake that off next season; Team Principal Shaun Muir said in FP2 at San Juan that “there are some new items on there which we are looking forward to bringing to the table”, so the Jerez test could be crucial to start 2023 in the right way, with Scott Redding the sole BMW rider on track at this test.

The Jerez test is also the first chance to see Tom Sykes back in action on WorldSBK machinery as he links up with the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing squad for next season. Bringing a huge amount of experience to the team, the 2013 Champion will be hoping to hit the ground running on the ZX-10RR as he returns to the Championship after a year competing in the British Superbike championship. It will be a return to Kawasaki machinery for the first time since 2018, having competed with BMW between 2019 and 2021 in WorldSBK, and Ducati in Britain last year.

Get set for the 2023 WorldSBK season by delving into the archives and watching classic races using the WorldSBK VideoPass!