News & Features

April 10, 2017

Sykes And Rea Fastest In Post Race Testing

Kawasaki Racing Team riders Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea led the one-day post-race official WorldSBK test session at Motorland Aragon on their Ninja ZX-10RR machines, setting strong lap times on race tyres in almost perfect weather and track conditions.

After the windy and slightly cool conditions that characterised race weekend itself the track conditions for testing, over all eight available hours, were close to ideal. The KRT riders and crews were able to complete their planned work, despite both riders still suffering the effects of sickness and fatigue and the exertions of a full race weekend just gone.

Sykes set a near track best of 1’49.368 as part of a total of 70 laps while Saturday race winner Rea put in a 1’49.388, despite feeling in worse physical shape than yesterday.

The riders had their own areas of machine setting and development to work on, with Sykes finding a happy window to work in with his chassis and suspension settings. These allowed him to do fast laps on race tyres and still maintain a strong pace over long distance.

Rea did fewer laps than he may have done in a normal test, simply because of his cold symptoms, but still got through almost all his planned test items and comparisons in 42 laps.

Now the team will head to another test, at the returning WorldSBK circuit of Portimao in Portugal, on 17 and 18 April, before the championship heads to the fourth round at Assen between 28 and 30 April.

Tom Sykes, stated: “I did not use a qualifying tyre today and that is what makes me happy. The standard race tyres performed incredibly and the bike was working nicely. I am still feeling a bit second hand, although I had a slight improvement today on my stomach problems. It is amazing how even with such a small improvement I feel night and day better, physically, on the bike today. I did not intend to do that many laps but I was enjoying myself and overall it was a nice test. We made so many small changes to the bike, working hard with Showa, and I am happy with the progress. We are always learning, always improving. Today the track was in great condition and the Ninja ZX-10RR was working really consistently. It puts a bit of a smile on the end of a difficult weekend.”

Jonathan Rea, stated: “We did not try a Q tyre today but used the SC0 because it was hotter than it was over race weekend. I do not feel any better than yesterday, to be honest I feel horrible. I tried to make a really good effort with the laps we did do, so we tested what we needed to test. Front suspension settings, and it brought some positives and some negatives. A work in progress really. Then we worked on testing some new front tyres for Pirelli which we expect to be coming to the next races, for some feedback. I was not up for doing too many laps today but my pace was good. I don’t think I even did one lap in the 1’51s. Our package is pretty good because if I want to go out and push for a lap time I can make it happen and if I want to do a long run I can make it happen, and be consistent. We are in a good position right now.”

Marcel Duinker, Crew Chief for Tom Sykes, stated: “I am happy today. We had a difficult weekend and Tom for sure had some physical limitations. Today there was still some of that illness remaining but we improved our bike settings just by using our past experience. Sometimes in life you have to make a step back to go forward and that is what we did today. We focused on improving the chassis performance. Tom made some good laps, and was consistent over race distance. Very consistent. We did not use a qualifier, just a race tyre.”

Pere Riba, Crew Chief for Jonathan Rea, stated: “The plan at this test was to try some tyres from Pirelli and to test something on the suspension settings. We started with our base from the race and we compared to the new one. Overall we did the job, even with Jonathan not being in ideal physical condition. His times were all done on race tyres, a standard SC0 rear and an SC2 in the front. The track conditions themselves were much faster than compared to the weekend. No wind and 30°C on the track so we had the best conditions. Johnny made the effort without being in the best physical condition and the guys worked well, so everything was under control.”

2017 KRT Rider Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015 and 2016
2017: Races 6, Wins 5, Podiums 6, Superpoles 2
Career Race Wins: 43 (28 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 94 (52 For Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 10 (6 For Kawasaki)

Tom Sykes: World Champion 2013
2017: Races: 6, Wins 0, Podiums 4, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 31 (31 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 88 (87 For Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 38 (38 For Kawasaki)

Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
4 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Sykes 2013, Rea 2015 & 2016), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
2 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016)
2 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015 & 2016)

Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 96 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 317 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 65 – second overall

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