Motorcycle Racing News Kawasaki WSBK: Sepang Tests Conclude

Kawasaki WSBK: Sepang Tests Conclude

2011 World Superbike Prep

The Kawasaki Racing Team concluded four days of testing Friday at Sepang in preparation for the 2011 World Superbike season.

Kawasaki riders Tom Sykes and Joan Lascorz reported positive results while testing the all-new 2011 Ninja ZX-10R.

Also, the recovering Chris Vermeulen had his first outing on the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R superbike on Monday, but the Austrian went home after a day of testing to finish his therapy. Vermeulen, who had surgery on his knee, is hoping to be fully fit for the first race of the 2011 World Superbike season at Phillip Island Feb. 27.

Meanwhile, Sykes and Lascorz will explore additional development on the Kawasaki ZX-10R at the upcoming WSBK tests in Portimao at the end of January, and then the final pre-season tests at Phillip Island before the first race.

At the Sepang sessions, the usual January rain fell as the Kawasaki Superbike team tested the Ninja. But they still gathered enough data to tweak suspension and geometry settings, plus the Kawasaki’s engine performance.

The Kawasaki Superbike team also tried out final specification racing bodywork, before crating up their equipment and returning to Europe. KRT says with regular Pirelli race tires fitted, Sykes and Lascorz set best laps inside the 2:04 mark, with regular race pace proving to be in the 2:05s, more than respectable lap times at circuit not normally used for WSBK racing or testing.

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Superbike) says: "I felt really good at this test and overall I am quite pleased with how things went. 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 superbike 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."

Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Superbike) says: "It was a very positive test for me. Even though I am not yet 100% recovered in terms of fitness on the racebike, I set good lap times, close to Tom’s best. 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."

Paul Risbridger (Kawasaki Superbike Team Manager) says: "We had a good final day and ran from around 9am to 2pm. Tom did a good race run and we got the other things we wanted to try completed too. We made good progress with set-up today and both riders went into the 2’04s, with a consistent race pace in the 2.05s.

"We had no qualifying tires with us, only race tires. Joan is still not fully fit and we limited his runs, but he was lapping at a good pace. We did all the testing we wanted to do and we worked through all the important areas. Opting to do four days on track was the right thing, because at this time of year you always lose a little bit of time each day because of the rain."

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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