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WATCH Marquez vs Rea in MotoGP-WorldSBK side-by-side Jerez comparison

Is it really possible for a WorldSBK-spec Kawasaki ZX-10RR to go up against a MotoGP machine at the same venue?

Earlier this year a story did the rounds that suggested Kawasaki had canvassed Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta about the prospect of entering Jonathan Rea on his WorldSBK-spec Kawasaki ZX-10RR into some MotoGP World Championship rounds.

It was a story nobody really expected and one that would have been quite easily dismissed had the words not been uttered by the biggest of cheeses in motorcycle racing.

The premise was that Rea could ride enter a ZX-10RR into MotoGP races, presumably after some calculation that showed both he and the bike would be competitive enough at some venues. However, Ezpeleta dismissed it, saying wildcards are reserved for full-time teams only.

The quotes were met with some bewilderment, not least from Rea himself who considered it to be a daft idea for several reasons, not least because he would need to ride on totally different tyres.

Indeed, while our broad calculations suggested Rea would not necessarily be last on the grid based on qualifying times at selected circuits, given his WorldSBK Superpole efforts were achieved on super-sticky qualifying rubber, he wouldn’t have that privilege in MotoGP. It seems unlikely he’d be quick in the races too.

Regardless, it has still piqued our curiosity as to how a MotoGP and WorldSBK machine fare back-to-back at the same venue. It’s a premise seemingly pondered too by Australian rider Lachlan Epis – who has completed a handful of seasons in WorldSSP – who helpfully posted a side-by-side comparison video of Marc Marquez's Honda and Rea's Kawasaki to YouTube.

Now, this doesn’t look like a fool-proof scientific experiment so let’s get some things out of the way first. Marquez is riding on a lap during the Spanish MotoGP weekend, but it’s not clear if he is riding in a practice session or qualifying, or if it’s a hard lap or in the middle of a race simulation.

Moreover, Rea’s is clearly taken during post-season testing when the temperatures were a lot cooler and he’s unlikely to have the stickiest rubber available to him. Despite this, they look pretty close – what’s a couple of seconds, really?

We’re prepared to take a little pinch of salt with the results of this video, but at the very least it’s interesting to see how both bikes behave, how both world championship-dominating riders move on the bike and where the margins around the circuit are made. Have a watch and tell us what you think…

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