Strong Restart For KRT After Two Days On Track At Jerez

Strong Restart For KRT After Two Days On Track At Jerez

Kawasaki Racing Team riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes made a positive start to their 2017 championship preparations on the new Ninja ZX-10RR during a two-day test at Jerez de la Frontera in Spain, with Rea going fastest of all and Sykes placing third

Two-time champion Rea set a lap of 1’39.809 on the final afternoon, after also posting the fastest lap on the opening day. His eventual leading time was achieved with a standard race tyre fitted front and rear, as he wanted to concentrate on a race set-up only at this stage.

2013 world champion Sykes finished his two-day test with a 1’40.219 best lap for third best lap time of the entire test sessions. He also used a race tyre combination to set his quickest time.

“It is nice to set such a good lap time at this time of the year but it is testing and I have never been the best guy for one lap. We have been able to make many fast laps in these winter tests, however, and we have found a bike set-up that has been working well”, Rea said.

“I felt my own ‘bike fitness’ was not great as I have been off the race bike for so many weeks now. I am looking forward to the next test to try and do a lot of laps. I need some more mileage to feel like I did during the season last year.”

Both Rea and Sykes experienced crashes on day two but came back with determination to complete their programme of work and improve their individual performance.

“I am happy enough even though I suffered with my neck all day today after a crash, while I was riding the bike at least, said Sykes. “That took the edge off me a bit but we still did a lot of things with the bike and tried a lot of different set-ups. Jerez is not my strongest circuit anyway but thanks to Marcel [my crew chief], Danilo and all the boys we finished the day very happy. I feel all the information we have from today means we will be strong.

This test was used partly to underline which material and components they will use to take on the challenge of the first two rounds of the season in Australia and Thailand, and to evaluate some development parts, especially in terms of suspension.

The dry weather conditions that favoured both days of track action at Jerez allowed the KRT duo to make consistent progress in many areas, with one more Jerez test session in Europe to complete before the last pre-race outing – the official organisers’ tests at Phillip Island – between 20th and 21st February.