2012 World Superbike PrepKawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes outperformed all but one rider during private three-day World Superbike test at Phillip Island earlier this week.
Sykes, who at took a win last year on the ZX-10R at Nurburgring, a first for Kawasaki in World SBK since 2006, lead the first day of testing at the Australian circuit, and finished second behind Althea Ducati’s Carlos Checa on the second and third days of testing.As for Sykes’ teammate, Joan Lascorz, he finished in the top five when all the test times were combined.Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team ZX-10R Superbike) says: “Day three went pretty well. We tried out a lot of things again, in the hot conditions this time. We had good consistency and found a bit of a better bike balance for me.“Through all our tests we have explored a lot of areas, gathered a lot of information, but finally it looks like our base setting from winter testing is pretty good. This is the third or fourth race circuit, in a wide range of temperatures, that it has worked at. We did some fine-tuning and managed our lap times quite well.“It is difficult to see exactly where our competitors are at in terms of set-up but ultimately we have had a successful test and have set ourselves up nicely for the official tests next week. Hopefully we will have two days of decent weather and that will prepare us for the beginning of the season.”Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Racing Team ZX-10R Superbike) says: “I have not decided my final settings and I need to test more at the sessions next week. We have two days to make a decision in which direction to go.“I have two basic bike set-ups, both work well, but they are very different. One gives us a longer bike and one a shorter bike, so I need to make the decision which way to go. We only get to use the real race tyres at the official tests, not this test, to help me make the final decision. We have two more days on track next week and they will be very important.”Both factory Kawasaki riders will be back on the Phillip Island circuit Monday and Tuesday for the first official test of 2012 World Superbike. The upcoming World SBK test will give the riders a chance to evaluate the new race tires that Pirelli will use during the first round at the same track Feb. 26.
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This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at email@example.com and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!