Digital Edition Subscribers: Read Roadracing World Magazine Now >
Roadracing - An Online Service of Roadracing World Magazine
Jun 20, 2012

Updated: BMW, Kawasaki, Suzuki World Superbike Teams Close Two-Day Test At Motorland Aragon

Tom Sykes (66).
Aragon Tests Complete For KRT Riders

Newsflash, 20 June 2012

Kawasaki Racing Team riders Tom Sykes and Loris Baz joined a few of their rivals for a two day test at the Motorland Aragon circuit, on 19 and 20 June, in readiness for the forthcoming SBK round.

After suffering through a first day which was almost entirely written-off by rain, Sykes and Baz were able to start testing on day two in the same kind of warm and sunny conditions they expect to find when they arrive for the race weekend itself at Motorland, between June 29 and July 1. Ambient conditions approached 30°C with track temperatures much higher than that.

Both riders had considerable workloads on the second day because of the inclement weather conditions on day one, with Sykes just managing to finish his allotted tasks of set-up evaluation after 81 intense laps of this long and multi-faceted circuit.

Baz, still a relative newcomer to the official Kawasaki Racing Team set-up, was also eager to get into his stride in a pure test session, without the considerations of qualifying required during any normal race weekend. The 19-year-old French rider had a small fall on day two but recovered quickly and continued his work to the end of what was a long but fruitful day for all involved.

Tom Sykes: "We have done some amount of testing today! My crew chief has worked me hard, the equivalent of over four races. I am very happy with today's progress, generally speaking. We have found some tyre life and looking at a comparison with last year's lap times, I am happy. We also tried a couple of things in the wet on day one to improve our settings in those conditions and it seemed to pay off. There were a few of our rivals and some other bikes here for this test and I am glad there were some other bikes out there because the track was not in great condition yesterday. In the wet, on an already greasy track, it was not the best. Today all the bikes going round got rid of the car tyre rubber and the track is cleaning up nicely. It has been a productive day. We tried a long list of things on the bike and we got through everything just as the circuit closed. That was down to good organisation from my guys and we managed to make it count. We did a lot of testing but that's what we are here for."

Loris Baz: "I had a little crash at the end of the morning today but in general we went quite fast, tried a lot of things, improved a lot of things, which gave me a better feeling on the bike. In the afternoon we did not improve the time a lot right away because we were trying a lot of new steps, which we had to spend time working on. We did only a few laps in the wet on day one but that also went OK."

More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad Motorsport:

Testing Motorland Aragón.
19th to 20th June 2012.

Alcañiz, 20th June 2012. Stepping into the second half of the 2012 season, Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport conducted another two day test at Motorland Aragón. The race track, close to the Spanish town of Alcañiz, will host the next round of the FIM Superbike World Championship from 29th June to 1st July. During the two days, factory riders, Marco Melandri (ITA) and Leon Haslam (GBR), were joined by the team's test rider, Steve Martin (AUS). The three of them completed a total of 287 laps or 1,534 kilometres of testing.

During the test, the team focused mainly on preparing Marco's and Leon's BMW S 1000 RRs for the upcoming race weekend at Motorland Aragón. On the chassis side, new parts and settings were evaluated in order to optimise the handling of the bike when turning into a corner and to reduce the chattering. As Aragón is quite a demanding track for the brakes, the team tested several solutions for the braking system. In addition, it worked on the electronic package setting. Unfortunately on the first day, the testing was hindered by continuous rain. On the second day, the weather conditions were good with Spanish sunshine and air temperatures around 30 degrees Celsius.

Marco Melandri:
"Today was a good day. We have been working very hard and we almost completed our programme. Actually we missed some runs due to yesterday's rain, but we could more or less do all what we had planned. I am happy with the race rhythm. I think we found some good solutions. I don't know how the weather will be next week, but overall I am confident for the race here in Aragón. We did a good job preparing for next week."

Leon Haslam:
"Today we did some good work. Obviously yesterday we had bad luck with the weather, but today we managed to test nearly all the items we had on our list and get information for the race weekend. I had a small crash mid-morning, which was not so good. I went off the track to miss a 600-cc-rider and coming back I had a highside but after that we worked a lot with the other bike, tested a lot of parts and I am pretty happy. I think we are now well prepared for the race weekend. It's good that we have had this test. We could try things for the weekend and for the future so for me it is very positive."

Andrea Dosoli (Head of Race Operations):
"Overall, the test went positively. For sure, it was a pity that we could not fully use the first day due to the weather conditions but both crews and riders have been working very hard and we got through almost all the test items we had planned. We got important information and prepared the RRs for the next round. Overall we are happy with what we have learned and we collected important data that will certainly be helpful for the race weekend. For next week, we expect similar conditions to today with track temperatures up to 50 degrees Celsius so we are happy with the test, as we could tick several boxes on our list and start to set up the bike for this track and these weather conditions."

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service:

FIXI Crescent Suzuki has completed a successful and positive two-day test at Aragon in Spain that will stand it in good stead when the World Superbike Championship visits the circuit for the eighth round of the season later this month.

Leon Camier and John Hopkins put in a lot of hard work in Wednesday's hot conditions, after the sun had burnt off the clouds that covered the 5,344m track and by mid-morning the Motorland Aragon circuit was surrounded by blue skies. The pair got down to some intensive testing as the team made up for the amount of time lost on day-one, due to some very inclement weather, that hampered any serious attempts to make any in-roads into the test schedule the team had prepared for the two-days.

Camier, Hopkins and the whole FIXI Crescent Suzuki squad left the Spanish track in a positive frame of mind after recording many laps and concentrating on getting a good base setting for Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R in readiness for the next round of the championship. Hopkins also made valuable use of the time available to learn the difficult Aragon circuit, on what was his first visit to the track and is now looking forward to the next race with a renewed confidence.

FIXI Crescent Suzuki will now return to its race headquarters and asses the data from the test before it returns to the Motorland Aragon next week to begin preparations for the race that is scheduled for Sunday 1st July.

Leon Camier:

"We lost a lot of time on Tuesday because of the weather, which is a shame really as there were a lot of things we wanted to try away from the pressure of a race weekend. On day two we tried different settings on the FIXI Crescent Suzuki's engine and electronics and so didn't really go for any fast lap-times, but we did manage to collect a lot of useful data. Now we'll go away, analyse it all and come back with some new ideas. Obviously, with more track time we would've made more progress, but at least we got loads of info today and that'll help us next time out - back here in Aragon in a few days time."

John Hopkins:

"It was a pity we lost a lot of time on the first day, but I feel we more than made up for it when conditions improved on day two. I managed a good number of laps and we improved the base setting of the FIXI Crescent Suzuki at the same time. This track is not easy and there are a lot of blind approaches and changes of elevation, so you need to learn it first. I like it a lot and it's really fun to ride - once you know where you are going! I'm feeling loads better and I'm really starting to enjoy myself on the bike again - and my confidence is coming back as well. Although there are few places here where more horsepower would be useful, I think this circuit is going to suit our GSX-R and we'll be able to use the fast, flowing corners to our advantage. I'm really looking forward to the races here and feeling very positive about the results."

Jack Valentine - Team Manager:

"It's always a bit of a problem when you lose so much time because of the weather, but nonetheless we managed to do a lot of good work and that will stand us in good stead for the race. We tried out a few things to do with the engine and the electronics and got some positive info to work on next week. It's really good to see John growing in confidence and looking like his old self again. Both he and Leon are pretty happy with their race set-ups and if they can qualify well, there's no reason why we cannot get positive results in Aragon."
Top 5 This Week