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Jan 23, 2003

McCoy Back In Action With Kawasaki At Phillip Island

From a press release issued by Kawasaki:<BR><BR>GARRY MCCOY BACK IN ACTION<BR><BR>Kawasaki Racing Team's star Garry McCoy was back in action on the third and final day of testing in Phillip Island. The "King of Slide", who had suffered a heavy crash on the first day on his home circuit, tried different pivot positions for the rear swing arm of his Fuchs Kawasaki Ninja ZX-RR. When a small crack was discovered on his chassis later on, McCoy spent the remainder of the day with cross-checks on the motorcycles of his team-mate Andrew Pitt and test rider Akira Yanagawa.<BR><BR>Pitt tried a different swing arm and a different chassis set-up in the morning, but wasn't able to improve his lap time, and went back to previous settings in the afternoon. Yanagawa spent most of the day on improving the fuel injection system, whereas Alex Hofmann went through another marathon of tyre tests, until his first-generation, carburetted prototype machine surrendered with a broken sixth gear.<BR><BR>Garry McCoy: 33 laps – best time 1:34.83<BR>"Yesterday, I was still a bit giddy after my crash on Tuesday. I was not feeling too well and I had headaches. But this morning, when I got up, I didn't feel too bad. I still had a slight headache, and once I got out on the bike, I just took it easy for a few laps. I was still, how can I say, lost in my own mind about what was going on, because the team had been here for two days, and I had to start all over again. It was more or less like day one for me, and I had to get used to everything again. We had a different chassis, the one that had been held in customs, and we tried a few things. We didn't get very far though. The bike started to feel strange, and my mechanics found a small crack close to the lower engine mount.<BR><BR>"This gave me the chance to do some cross-checks with the machines of Andrew and Akira. Harald likes these cross-checks, and they are certainly not a bad idea, but of course there are too many differences between the bikes to really go fast. Andrew has a set-up, Akira has another one, and I am somewhere in between with what I like. Probably a bit closer to what Akira's got. Anyway, it's good thing to compare, and to find pluses and minuses for yourself.<BR><BR>"Now, there are a few weeks before the next tests end of February in Jerez, and my main aim is to enjoy myself a little bit and have fun with my new Kawasaki Jet Ski, to train lots and to arrive at the next session in the best possible shape!"<BR><BR>Andrew Pitt: 88 laps – best time 1:34.01<BR>"We didn't have the best of all days. We tried a new chassis and swingarm set-up, and I really wasn't getting the feeling I had yesterday. After lunch, we got everything back into the position were it was yesterday, and the bike started to work again. We tested some tyres then in the afternoon, and tried to put some distance on them. Later on, I just had enough, because I did 85 laps yesterday and even more today, and I just was at a stage where it didn't make much sense to keep going.<BR><BR>"All in all, we are in pretty good shape, and even though I would have liked to go quicker here, we made good progress. The bike is much easier to ride now, I also feel that I am riding it pretty well!"<BR><BR>Akira Yanagawa: 72 laps – best time 1:34.18<BR>"We tried different mappings for the injection system, but different mappings create different problems, and therefore, we still haven't found the ideal solution. Still, in comparison to our last session in Sepang, the fuel injection has improved a lot, and all we need now is more time to get the set-up perfect.<BR><BR>"The other thing is that we were able to confirm the qualities of my new and stronger chassis that gives me more confidence without causing chatter problems. Now it looks as if we found a base, a starting point from which we can build up. I'm sure that we can climb the next step at the IRTA test session in Jerez end of February!"<BR><BR>Alex Hofmann: 66 laps – best time 1:34.61<BR>"We went through a big stack of tyres again, and we wanted to conclude the day with an endurance test. We had anything from 20 to 25 laps planned, but after 15 laps, sixth gear broke, and I had to pull in. But we were happy with those 15 laps, because I was riding in the low 1.35s consistently, my 15th lap was even a 1.35.00, and I probably could have done some 1:34s also. For a race distance, the performance with this older version of the Ninja ZX-RR wouldn't have been all that bad. I'm happy also because my colleagues on the new bike were only eight tenths of a second faster than me!"<BR><BR>Harald Eckl: Team Manager<BR>"All in all, it was a very good test for us, despite Garry's bad luck on the first day. More than anything, we were able to confirm some trouble spots on the bike, some areas that we have to work on over the next weeks, with the crack on Garry's chassis and the overall strength of our frame in the main focus of our attention. We also confirmed that our in-line four-cylinder engine remains our strong point, in terms of performance as much as in terms of durability. The speed is there, and now we have to get the chassis strength and geometry right to match the level of the engine!"<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>