WSBK: Jerez Test - Kawasaki Racing Team Report

Tom Sykes race action shot

Kawasaki Racing Team Press Release:

The new look KRT team of Tom Sykes, Loris Baz and SBK Evo rider David Salom completed their European winter test schedule at Jerez on 6 February with good results despite changeable weather conditions.

Over two days of track action rain and occasional wind intervened at unlucky times but both SBK category riders Sykes and Baz still set more then decent lap times in the low 1’42 when the conditions improved, all despite a track surface that was never truly dry on the second day of action.

The opening day was fully wet to start and then dried very slowly as the day went on, which allowed the official Ninja ZX-10R riders to work on their wet set-up for a time. Day two started out fully wet but conditions slowly improved which allowed the riders to continue with their testing plans.

Sykes and Baz set their best lap times on used tires and were only stopped from improving their best pace even more when a heavy fall of rain arrived toward the end of day two.

On the official SBK Evo Kawasaki Salom got in some valuable full-wet testing as his technical team made important changes to his overall machine set-up to suit both wet and eventually almost dry conditions.

Tom Sykes paddock shot

Tom Sykes:

“Overall we got some good work done even though the weather was wet and inconsistent. We found some small but good things at this test. The set-up changes we have made in the winter have improved our performance in the kind of windy conditions we had today. The small changes we made in the balance of the bike this winter have helped with the front end feeling. Both the bike and I are ready to go racing and I am looking forward to being in Australia this time next week. We still have two good testing days ahead of us shortly before the race weekend and there we can really just put to bed our last remaining few items. We will be fully ready for race weekend. The atmosphere and environment in our team is very calm and we are looking forward to see how we can start the season.”

Loris Baz race action shot

Loris Baz:

“Now I am happy and looking towards the start of the season and the final test in Australia. Everything is feeling well and I am confident on the bike. I am sure we can continue to work well and make a good start to the season, but first we have to be clever and use the two test days in Australia in the best way possible. We made good lap times in the better conditions we had for a while today but the track was really slippery in general. I think our times were good given the weather conditions we had at Jerez.”

David Salom race action shot

David Salom:

“On day one we worked well in the wet and you do not normally have a possibility to test in fully wet conditions. It was useful for us on the Evo bike set-up, which is new for this year. We tried some parts for the PI race on the second day. Just before the finish on day two it started to rain so we could not make any improvement in lap time. I am ready to test again in Australia and the bike is working well, so I think we should be a good level in the Evo category. My crew chief and team are good and we have a good understanding and cooperation.”

Marcel Duinker, Tom Sykes’ Crew Chief:

“Both days were interrupted by rain. Yesterday the rain conditions were not very consistent and the amount of water changed every hour. We did some laps in the wet to improve our wet set-up and we used yesterday to improve that. Today it was soaking wet to start but around three in the afternoon we went onto the track because it had dried out enough and we made some laps. We wanted to test some new items again but it started to rain very heavily at five. The track was never quite fully dry today but Tom set a 1’42.1 anyway. In Australia we will use the two days of testing to make a final bike set-up but otherwise we are ready to race.”

Pere Riba, Loris Baz’s Crew Chief:

“Today we were unlucky with the weather but testing in wet conditions worked well. Loris’s feeling was OK and he was comfortable with the bike. Even in the wet we could test some things that were important to try before we get to Phillip Island. Compared to all the other riders Tom and Loris were the fastest so Loris seems to be happy in all track conditions. He seems to be very strong and ready to race. Every time Loris improves on the bike and it feels more comfortable for him. I think now our target for Australia is to make a good and ‘quiet’ two-day test because the important thing is the race.”

Toni Alfosea, David Salom’s Crew Chief:

“The test with David was good but the changing weather condition was a bit of a handicap. We tried some new things with the gearing and we will try some again in the Australian test. We also confirmed other aspects of set-up and suspension and some other small things. I can say it went in a good direction. We are ready for the Australian test and we are close to our final race set-up now.”

One more test remains for all three KRT riders, at Phillip Island in Australia on 17 and 18 February, before the first round of the 2014 championship takes place on 23 February at the same venue.

For more information:

Tom Sykes race action shot.

Tom Sykes paddock shot.

Loris Baz race action shot.

David Salom race action shot.