Jan 20, 2012
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Tom Sykes (66) in action at Almeria.
Kawasaki Racing Team Gets 2012 Season Underway With Test At Almeria
Newsflash, 20 January 2012
Joan Lascorz and Tom Sykes joined forces in the new-look Kawasaki Racing Team FIM Superbike World Championship squad for a first 2012 test at Almeria in Spain, on 19 and 20 January.
The new initiative of a long winter test ban (brought in by the series organisers this season) has only recently ended and therefore the Almeria sessions gave the whole KRT effort an opportunity to get back together and enjoy some some valuable track time with the Ninja ZX-10R.
Sykes left with the best lap time, a 1 minute 34.6 seconds, while Lascorz took a 1'35.1s. Overnight temperatures fell to near freezing point but track conditions once the sun had come up each day were such that the riders and technical staff had a great chance to work through the many set-up options on the latest race version of the Ninja ZX-10R.
The team will now take their optimum material and set-up data to the awesome Phillip Island circuit in Australia for two separate test sessions before the opening race weekend of the season. The first of 14 rounds will take place there between 24 and 26 February.
Tom Sykes: "It went very well because we arrived at another kind of circuit compared to the ones we have tested at before and the bike worked well straight away. After a big winter lay off it only took me ten laps to go faster than I have ever been at Almeria. I was happy with that. After that it was a case of testing some small items we had requested from KHI. It was consistently around 15 degrees in terms of track temperature and the sun was shining, so we could not ask for any more in January. The track was in good condition as well, just a bit dusty off line."
Joan Lascorz: "We tested everything! It was cold in the mornings at Almeria but the track conditions were good and it was sunny each day, but there was some snow in the mountains around the track. This is the last test before we go to Australia so we decided the final direction of the machine set-up to take there and, in general, for the rest of the season. Tom and I have very a different machine set-up now but it is just to suit our different riding styles. The most important thing is that the difference between the fastest riders and the others in the races is that they get the tyres to last for the whole race distance. This is the most important thing."