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Nov 28, 2013

Sykes Worked On Finding "Ultimate" Setup For Kawasaki Superbike During Testing At Jerez

KRT Wraps Up Successful Test Schedule

Kawasaki Racing Team riders Tom Sykes and Loris Baz completed a three day test at Jerez in Spain with highly positive results to take into the mandatory winter test ban period, which starts soon.

In the last test of 2013 world champion Sykes spent his track time refining his set-up in preparation for a new season, which begins in Australia in late February. Sykes set many laps of the impressive Jerez circuit to work out the details of race set-up, particularly over the first two days.

For Baz the Jerez tests allowed him and his crew to find the ultimate combination of new components and set-up strategies to take forward into the next year of competition, as Baz once again showed good pace at these tests.

Both official KRT riders finished with fast lap times to their credit, with Sykes setting a best of 1’39.6 and Baz 1’39.9, as they enjoyed good weather conditions in the south of Spain.

Until now Tom had been unsure if he would run his favourite race number 66 or the champion's number 1 plate on his Ninja ZX-10R for the 2014 season but he has elected to adopt the number 1 plate, with some personalised touches. At times during this test he was running a 'prototype' of his new number 1 plate, which features many small ‘66' graphics inside it.

The next tests for KRT will take place right after the end of the testing ban, in mid-January, at Almeria in Spain.

Tom Sykes: “We did a bit of everything at this test and it has been very good for us. I did a lot of laps again so my crew chief Marcel is working me well! We tested many different components, which you do not always get the chance to do in the middle of the season. Our testing schedule during the season was quite minimal compared to what we used to do, so this test has been a good experience overall. We retried certain things to understand if they are definitely better, especially over race distance, and I am happy with how it has gone. The Ninja ZX-10R is working well even though Jerez is not one of my strong points. That shows we have improved our package, which is the main thing.”

Loris Baz: “We have just tried the last things we wanted to try before the test ban. We have some new things that we want for next season and I think we are going to have them all ready for the next tests in January, simply because we now have some more good information now. We have been putting all we have together in one package. I did over 70 laps on each of the first two days. The weather was good but track conditions, for me, changed a little on day two but we still improved our lap time and at the end we got close to Tom at this test. I used both race and qualifying tyres to compare them. I am happy to go into the winter break after this test.”

Marcel Duinker, Tom Sykes’ Crew Chief: “The test we had at Jerez in late October, before we came back here for this one, was when we put all the things together and introduced several new materials. They worked almost straight away and that let us finalise maybe 98% of them in that test. We knew things were better and had improved our speed. In this test we started to work on the details. We missed the recent Aragon test with Tom but we are sure what we have been doing is correct. Now we have fine-tuned things and Tom did a lot of laps here. We wanted to understand our material over longer distances than we did in previous tests and we have improved our bike. It is a nice feeling to take into the winter break.”

Pere Riba, Loris Baz’ Crew Chief: “We tried to confirm some new items for the 2014 season in these three days. We have been testing them in the previous Jerez test, in Motorland Aragon and have already confirmed some of them even before we got here. We have confirmed the rest in these three days at Jerez. We also tried to set-up the bike for this track to make a lap time and on the final day that was our target. We tried to put that all together to make a long run over race distance and also understand where we are with lap times. Once again it was a very positive test.”