News 15 Jan 2011

Kawasaki wraps up Sepang WSBK test in Malaysia

Kawasaki's Tom Sykes was quickest at Sepang in KRT testing this week.

Kawasaki's Tom Sykes was quickest at Sepang in KRT testing this week.

The culmination of four days of testing for Kawasaki Racing Team riders Tom Sykes and Joan Lascorz at Sepang has provided a positive start to the overall campaign in 2011.

Consistent progress was made in finding effective set-up options for the all-new Ninja ZX-10R racebike, with Sykes in particular discovering another fruitful direction on the final day.

“I felt really good at this test and overall I am quite pleased with how things went,” Sykes commented. “We did well in the first couple of days and reached a high level, but even on the final day we made a big step and picked up more momentum.

“The step came from the geometry and chassis side, and we have such a good balance on the bike now for my riding style. This good direction should take us through to the start of the season.

“We did not have the chance to try and get a real fast lap but our pace was good and it was a really positive test. I’m looking forward to the Portimao sessions now, and we will have completed a lot of testing by the time the season starts.”

Afternoon rainfall is a regular feature at the Sepang circuit at this time of year, but with four days on track the team had enough time to work through all their pre-arranged tasks.

Suspension and geometry settings, plus getting the best from the engine spec the team will take into the start of the race season, were the main areas of interest at Sepang.

The team also tried out final specification racing bodywork, before crating up their equipment and returning to Europe.

With regular Pirelli race tyres fitted, Sykes and Lascorz set best laps inside the 2:04 mark, with regular race pace proving to be in the 2:05 – more than respectable lap times at circuit not normally used for WSBK racing or testing.

“It was a very positive test for me. Even though I am not yet 100 percent recovered in terms of fitness on the racebike, I set good lap times, close to Tom’s best,” Lascorz said. “I just need to keep working hard to recover my full strength.

“I learned a lot more things about the Ninja ZX-10R over these days, all good things. I am also happy with the way we are working in the team.

“I look forward to Portimao now, and riding the bike at another circuit before we go to Australia for the final test and then the first race.”

Queenslander Chris Vermeulen returned to Australia due to his existing knee injury following just one day of the test.

A further two official IMS test sessions, at Portimao and then Phillip Island, will take place before the season itself starts at Phillip Island on 25-27 February.