Kawasaki Winter SBK Practice VideoLast week, the factory Kawasaki Racing Team duo of Tom Sykes and newly-signed Jonathan Rea wrapped up a week-long winter World Superbike test at Jerez in Spain.
During the test, which was plagued by periods of heavy rains, the 2013 World SBK Champion Sykes and Rea got in some serious sessions aboard their perspective ZX-10R Ninjas that are tweaked for the new technical rules of 2015.When the test wrapped up, under dry conditions Rea posted a best time of 1:40.738, and Sykes a 1:40.852. But the duo also took advantage of the rain, and put in respectable lap times while testing their wet setups.This was the final winter test of 2014 for the KRT boys ahead of two additional tests at Aragon, Spain, in January and another at Phillip Island, Australia, ahead of the 2015 World Superbike season opener at Phillip Island.Speaking after the test, Sykes – who finished second overall in 2014 World Superbike behind champion Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team), said “We have worked on a long list of things we had to try. It has been a five-day test but unfortunately on day two I have come down with some virus, which hasn’t helped the job.“But we have done a lot of dry laps and understood what we needed to improve and where to go in the future. In the dry we did not get to show our full potential but in the wet I was happy. We have really struggled in the past in the wet and this was the first time I was able to what I wanted to do with the Ninja ZX-10R in those conditions.“For sure we are not on the perfect set-up yet but we are going in the right direction, because I went faster at this track than ever before in full wet conditions. We did a lot of practice starts as well, to evaluate some material for next year. In general it has been a very constructive test and one that has put us on the right path for continuing testing in 2015.”Attached above are video highlights of Kawasaki Racing Team during the Jerez SBK testing.
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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!