Jan 14, 2011
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Joan Lascorz (top) and Tom Sykes (66) testing at Sepang.
The culmination of four days of testing for Kawasaki Racing Team riders Tom Sykes and Joan Lascorz at Sepang has provided a positive start to the overall campaign in 2011.
Consistent progress was made in finding effective set-up options for the all-new Ninja ZX-10R racebike, with Sykes in particular discovering another fruitful direction on the final day. This welcome development will be explored more at the next tests at Portimao at the end of this month, and again at the final pre-season tests at Phillip Island in February.
Afternoon rainfall is a regular feature at the Sepang circuit at this time of year, but with four days on track the team had enough time to work through all their pre-arranged tasks.
Suspension and geometry settings, plus getting the best from the engine spec the team will take into the start of the race season, were the main areas of interest at Sepang, which was just the latest in a long line of test sessions undertaken by the official Kawasaki entry and the new Ninja. The team also tried out final specification racing bodywork, before crating up their equipment and returning to Europe.
With regular Pirelli race tyres fitted, Tom and Joan set best laps inside the 2'04 mark, with regular race pace proving to be in the 2'05s, more than respectable lap times at circuit not normally used for WSBK racing or testing.
Tom Sykes: "I felt really good at this test and overall I am quite pleased with how things went. We did well in the first couple of days and reached a high level, but even on the final day we made a big step and picked up more momentum. The step came from the geometry and chassis side, and we have such a good balance on the bike now for my riding style. This good direction should take us through to the start of the season. We did not have the chance to try and get a real fast lap but our pace was good and it was a really positive test. I'm looking forward to the Portimao sessions now, and we will have completed a lot of testing by the time the season starts."
Joan Lascorz: "It was a very positive test for me. Even though I am not yet 100% recovered in terms of fitness on the racebike, I set good lap times, close to Tom's best. I just need to keep working hard to recover my full strength. I learned a lot more things about the Ninja ZX-10R over these days, all good things. I am also happy with the way we are working in the team. I look forward to Portimao now, and riding the bike at another circuit before we go to Australia for the final test and then the first race."
Paul Risbridger, Team Manager: "We had a good final day and ran from around 9am to 2pm. Tom did a good race run and we got the other things we wanted to try completed too. We made good progress with set-up today and both riders went into the 2'04s, with a consistent race pace in the 2.05s. We had no qualifying tyres with us, only race tyres. Joan is still not fully fit and we limited his runs, but he was lapping at a good pace. We did all the testing we wanted to do and we worked through all the important areas. Opting to do four days on track was the right thing, because at this time of year you always lose a little bit of time each day because of the rain."
A further two official IMS test sessions, at Portimao and then Phillip Island, will take place before the season itself starts at Phillip Island on Sunday February 27.
More, from a press release issued by Team Pedercini:
THE PEDERCINI TEAM CONCLUDES FOUR-DAY SEPANG TEST
The Pedercini Kawasaki team has spent the last four days on track at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, participating in Kawasaki World Superbike Pre-season test session. In the four days of test all the Superbike and Superstock Pedercini team riders, made strong progress on board their all-new Ninja ZX-10R race bikes.
Roberto Rolfo have found the four-day test of benefit and look forward to the next test in Phillip Island and to the opening round of the 2011 Superbike championship. The Italian rider started the racetrack development work on the new Ninja Superbike in good form making significant gains in terms of the machine's overall performance. Despite some heavy rain that occasionally wet the track, he was able to run for more than 1.000 Km, building up confidence with his new ZX-10R. Rolfo leaves Malaysia in a positive frame of mind.
Pedercini team is finalizing the lineup for the next Superbike season and they decided to give to Gabor Talmacsi the opportunity to test the new Kawasaki ZX-10R.
Former 125GP champion sampled a Superbike for the first time in Sepang, with a view to a possible switch to the world championship with Pedercini team. Talmacsi was impressed by the team's skill and the Kawasaki new Superbike's performances and potential. After the last day of test he informed Pedercini family that he'll be able to take a decision concerning his participation to the 2011 Superbike championship in the next few days.
Pedercini took in Malaysia also all three of their Superstock riders, Marco Bussolotti, Leandro Mercado and the 2010 Australian Superbike champion, Bryan Staring. All three riders used the time to develop both their relationships with their new team and also to make a start on the development of the all-new 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R Stock version. In a validation of the team's belief in the potential of the new bike all the Superstock riders put in good lap times.
Roberto Rolfo : "The whole test has been great for me. It was very important to work with my new team and I'm very happy because I find immediately a good feeling with all of them. I now feel fully part of the team. I was happy to test in Sepang because I like this circuit and not only because here in Malaysia I won the Moto2 race last year. The new Kawasaki bike is at the beginning of its development, but we worked really hard on the bike here in Sepang and it's just going to get better and better. There is still lots to be done but the outcome is already very good. Considering it's at a very early stage of development, I think it's a fantastic package. I'm really looking forward to next test in Phillip Island to be able to start the 2011 Superbike championship in the best possible way".
Donato Pedercini :"As a first test, I think it went very well. We didn't have any notable problems and all our riders did a very good job. The test gave us a very good feeling and now we know how we can improve it even more. There is still a gap to where we can get to, so we are just very happy and for a first test session we are more than satisfied. I'm really satisfied also for what concern our collaboration with the official Kawasaki team. There have been a continuous exchange of information between our technicians and this will help both of us to develop the new bike. Rolfo has been working well with his new team and there have been no particular problems. We're confident that we'll be ready for the start of the new season. Our Stock riders are really enthusiastic to be part of our team and I'm sure we'll reach some good results in the next Superstock 1000 FIM Cup. Concerning Gabor he showed a good potential and he quickly found a good feeling with the new Kawasaki bike. I know it could be an important step for his career and so we'll wait some more days to know about his decision".