Motorcycle Racing News Kawasaki's Sykes & Baz Wrap Up SBK Test

Kawasaki’s Sykes & Baz Wrap Up SBK Test

Kawasaki Racing Team Valencia World Superbike Test

Prepping for the 2013 World Superbike Championship, which features 15 races, the Kawasaki Racing Team wrapped up a two-day test Tuesday at Valencia in Spain.

Sykes, who finished a half a point behind Max Biaggi in the 2012 World SBK Championship, and Baz both completed over 130 laps each, though rain halted the second day.

The times were better this year compared to last year, which can be attributed to the smoother resurfaced surface at Valencia, which is no longer a World SBK circuit, though MotoGP uses it.

Sykes was able to post a best lap of 1:32.8 during the dry Monday session, and was able to post this time once again Tuesday on worn tires. Baz was able to post 1:33.4. Both riders report that if rains didn’t halt the final afternoon testing session on Tuesday, their laps could have been about a half of second quicker.

The next testing session for the Kawasaki Racing Team will be at Motorland Aragon in mid November, with three days of testing planned.

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team ZX-10R Superbike) says: “To be honest the lap times came quite comfortably and we had a decent pace on the first day. We only used one set of tires on the final morning and on lap 15 I equaled my best from day one but then the rains came and we had to stop early.

“We got some good information to keep moving forward with development of the Ninja ZX-10R. The grip from the new surface at Valencia was good and it was quite a bit smoother than last time but we were sharing the track with smaller bikes which were using different lines in some places, so there were some corners which did not offer the same grip as they used to offer.

“I am already familiar and comfortable with the 17-inch tires and they worked well with myself and the Kawasaki around Valencia. They were working fast and consistently. Overall I am happy with that we have been doing so far.”

Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team ZX-10R Superbike) says: “The test went well, very positive, so it was a pity that the rains came in the afternoon of the second day because we still had some things to try. I think I could have gone maybe even 0.5 seconds faster, I’m sure. I had a good pace straight away on the first day, so I am happy. The evolution of the bike went in a good way so everything is positive.”

Marcel Duikers (Sykes’ Crew Chief) says: “Our test was not quite as long as we expected but it went well. We had the first rollout of the 2013 bikes on day one and right away we had some positive results in terms of lap times. We had some rain on the final day so we decided to stop. We used this as a sort-of shakedown test for the next test at Aragon and the rest of the winter schedule.”

Pere Riba (Baz’s Crew Chief): “The test went well even though we did not get two completely dry days. We made progress with the new bikes and the information we gathered, so it was all positive. The new bikes have many small new details but we were just doing a normal development test. The 17-inch tires are working well and we have found positive points straight away, even with the settings we had from 2012. We are happy with that.”

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).

2021 Husqvarna FS 450 First Look (8 Fast Facts for Supermoto Racing)

The 2021 Husqvarna FS 450 will hit the supermoto tracks with a few significant updates over last year’s model, with the Austrian brand focusing...

2021 Indian Challenger Lineup First Look: Photos, Prices, and Colors

The performance-oriented Challenger bagger lineup from Indian returns for 2021, with three models to choose from. All three 2021 Indian Challenger models get the...

2021 GasGas Motocross Lineup First Look (Specs and Photos)

When under Spanish ownership, GasGas was never known as a motocross brand. However, under the guidance of Pierer Mobility AG and Bajaj Auto—the owners...

2021 Indian Chieftain Lineup First Look: 3 Big-Inch Baggers

There are three baggers in the 2021 Indian Chieftain lineup, with just a few changes to the motorcycles this year. There are new colors,...

2021 GasGas Trial Lineup First Look (8 Fast Facts: 3 TXT Racing Models)

The first GasGas motorcycles of the Pierer Mobility AG and Bajaj Auto era have arrived. Those who were expecting wholesale redesigns of the line...

Lieback’s Lounge: This Will All Pass [Thoughts on Simic and Motorcycles]

There is a menace in the air Of tragedies in the making. These lines are from "Late September," written by the American minimalist poet Charles Simic....