2011 Ninja Superbike
Both Pedercini and Lorenzini by Leoni Superstock teams got to try out the production version of the 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R motorcycles at Magny-Cours, after four machines were flown in for testing from Japan.
A few exploratory laps were put in, despite the wet racetrack conditions, but on a dry second day the bikes could be used in anger and the new 2011 Ninja impressed all who rode it, with the motorcycle praised as a major step forward.
The superbikes were run almost completely stock, with only race mufflers and some new levers fitted for track use. A high level of race readiness and very strong engine power was evident from the start.
Both Kawasaki technicians and riders were enthusiastic about the capability of the stock suspension units, as well as the way the machine made power through the rev-range.
Sheridan Morais, who is a Kawasaki racing regular in his native South Africa, was instantly blown away by the capabilities of a machine.
Sheridan Morais says: “It’s really impressive, incredibly fast. Even as a stock bike, on standard suspension, with the road fairings still on it, it has still been really quick. Even after only a couple of session in the dry we are not far off the World Superstock times already.”
“It’s really quick: it blows my mind! I am really impressed and now we are fitting some telemetry to the road suspension, just to get some data. It is really comfortable to ride as well. I’m loving it!”
Tom Sykes and Katsuaki Fujiwara gave the full World Superbike version of the Ninja ZX-10R its first public outing on Wednesday, opting to miss the first wet day of testing to concentrate on the dry second day. Sykes was impressed by new the machine, now fitted with a race spec engine, saying:
Tom Sykes says: “I am happy with this test because our bike is really new and we are up against bikes with two and three years of development. Overall, on our race run this morning I did some 1’39 laps and low 1’40s, where in the race on the 2010 bike I only achieved one 1’39 and rest were in high 1’40s.”
“We are not worried about the outright lap time at the moment. We have a couple areas where we need to keep working on. Losing the first day was no help to us but we are already fast.”
Broc Parkes, signed for 2011 already, put in several quick laps on his Provec Motocard.com Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R Supersport machine, working through a lot of set-up options.
Broc Parkes says: “We are just touching on little things on this test but we have a couple of different front fork settings, just to try and get a bit of a better feel,” said Broc.
“We have already found something that is a little bit more comfortable. And we also worked on some electronics elements. We don’t get to do some of these things in a race weekend so this has been a proper ‘winter’ test.”