Jonathan Rea and Clément Desalle swap bikes

Rea and Desalle swap KRT Ninja ZX-10R and KRT KX450F at Motorland, Aragon
2016 KRT Rider X Over - Jonathan Rea and Clément Desalle
2016 KRT Rider X Over – Jonathan Rea and Clément Desalle

Ask any Superbike rider if they enjoy motocross and it will probably be a yes. Ask Jonathan Rea and it’s a resounding “Yes!”

2015 and 2016 SBK Champion Rea started his racing career as a Kawasaki schoolboy category motocross rider and his passion for off-road riding continues to this day.

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KRT motocross rider Clément Desalle likewise has an equal passion for tarmac circuits and especially the Superbike class of racing.

Already familiar with the tarmac circuit environment, the overall winner of this year’s Assen MXGP, Desalle made his desire to ride a ZX-10R on track widely known.

2016 KRT Rider X Over - Jonathan Rea and Clément Desalle
2016 KRT Rider X Over – Jonathan Rea and Clément Desalle

At Motorland Circuit in Aragon, Spain Jonathan Rea and Clément Desalle experienced the unique “KRT Rider X Over” with Rea given a chance to ride a genuine KRT factory KX450F and Desalle to pilot Rea’s actual SBK Championship winning machine.

2016 KRT Rider X Over - Clément Desalle
2016 KRT Rider X Over – Clément Desalle
Clément Desalle

“I’ve had a supersport machine before and I enjoyed some track days in the closed season. When the KRT team manager said there was this possibility to have a Rider X Over I was really excited. I know Jonathan is good at motocross but I had no idea if I could ride a Superbike.”

2016 KRT Rider X Over - Jonathan Rea and Clément Desalle
2016 KRT Rider X Over – Jonathan Rea and Clément Desalle

For Rea it was a slightly nervous start to the event as he briefed Clément on what to expect from the KRT Ninja ZX-10R.

2016 KRT Rider X Over - Jonathan Rea and Clément Desalle
2016 KRT Rider X Over – Jonathan Rea and Clément Desalle
Jonathan Rea

“He’s a racer at the end of the day so I respect his skill level and approach. In reality I had nothing to worry about, he was lapping at about the same speed as the journalists we invited to ride the bike in the morning and actually braking later into turn one than I normally do! We had a few laps together and his commitment is total and he achieved some impressive lean angles when he was cornering”.

2016 KRT Rider X Over - Jonathan Rea
2016 KRT Rider X Over – Jonathan Rea

As Clément’s time on the 5.3km track came to an end the pair of KRT riders made their way to the Motorland MX track which had been graded and freshly watered.

Rea made some small adjustments to the clutch lever plus rear brake pedal position of the KX450F and they were away riding like long time team mates.

2016 KRT Rider X Over - Jonathan Rea and Clément Desalle
2016 KRT Rider X Over – Jonathan Rea and Clément Desalle
Clément Desalle

“Jonathan is at a good level, I can see he has a real talent for motocross. The factory KX450F is quite a demanding ride and Jonathan made the transition really easily.”

For Rea the chance to ride with Clément was unmissable and held back some of the jet-lag he was experiencing following a lightening visit to the Kawasaki Motors Corporation 50th Anniversary a few days before.

2016 KRT Rider X Over - Jonathan Rea and Clément Desalle
2016 KRT Rider X Over – Jonathan Rea and Clément Desalle
Jonathan Rea

“To ride my Superbike and then a KRT factory motocross machine alongside Clément in the same day is just a dream. It could not have gone better and perhaps we will surprise a few people who watch the Rider X Over video on YouTube”.