It’s October 31, 2023, and if it seems like it’s just a couple of days since Racing Ducati rider Alvaro Bautista clinched his second World Superbike championship in a row in 2023, that’s because it is. After winning the first race of the season-closing round at Jerez de la Frontera in Spain, Bautista officially wrapped up the championship—and both he and his team couldn’t be happier. 

That was Saturday, though. Today is Tuesday, and thanks to the vagaries of racing calendars, the 2024 World Superbike season is already officially underway. Three days ago, when Bautista was sealing his second World Championship victory, six-time WSBK champ Jonathan Rea was still decked out in green and racing with Kawasaki. 

Now that it’s October 31, 2023, however, he’s officially testing with his new Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK team, and wearing either Team Yamaha blue or the black, white, and gray graphics of his new race suit. It’s not a Halloween costume, we promise—it's the real deal. 


Today was Rea’s first test day at Jerez on the R1, just days after the 2023 season wrapped. For the past nine seasons, Rea’s been racing with Kawasaki. While the bikes naturally changed over time in Team Green’s garage, it’s still a whole lot of newness all at once. How did it go? 

There was some rain, and there were also some red flags on track—but overall, the first day of testing looked promising. Getting used to any new bike will take some time, even if you’re a top-level professional racer. Nevertheless, Rea still managed to rack up the fourth fastest lap of the day, at 1’40.302 seconds.  

He crashed out at Turn 13 on his 13th lap, but there was nothing supernatural about what happened. Rea was fine after the incident and chalked it up to hitting an unexpected wet patch, not riding over the limit of the bike. In his assessment, there’s still room to explore the limits of the bike and get to know it better, which he looks forward to continuing tomorrow.  

Wednesday, November 1, 2023 is the second day of 2024 WSBK testing at Jerez—and Rea, his new team, and everyone else preparing for the new racing season will be ready.

Gallery: Jonathan Rea's first test with Pata Yamaha WSBK 2023

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