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Nov 15, 2012

World Superbike Riders Complete Two-Day Test At Motorland Aragon (Updated)

Tom Sykes (66).
Winter testing Motorland Aragón.
14th to 15th November 2012.

Alcañiz, 15th November 2012. After the rain-hit test last week at the Spanish Jerez circuit, BMW Motorrad scheduled two more days of testing this week at "Motorland Aragón" near Alcañiz (ESP). There the factory riders Marco Melandri (ITA) and Chaz Davies (GBR) continued the preparation for the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship yesterday and today. Again the team was not too lucky with the weather conditions. Yesterday, Wednesday, and last night it rained again. This morning the track was still damp, but then it dried up. Therefore, at least this afternoon, the team found good conditions to continue its comprehensive testing programme. The highest air and track temperatures reached 17 degrees Celsius.

BMW Motorrad had taken numerous newly developed components for several areas of the BMW S 1000 RR to Alcañiz, which were evaluated by Marco and the team. His new team mate, Chaz, used the time to further familiarise himself with his RR. In total, Marco and Chaz completed 114 laps or 607 kilometres of testing on their RRs.

Marco Melandri:
Bike: BMW S 1000 RR
"Actually it has been the first time we were able to ride for some hours in dry conditions. We tested some new components, but we still have a lot of work to do in order to make our bike work with the new 17 inch tyres as we struggled to ride fast lap times. So we hope for our next test at Jerez the weather will be good because we need three days of dry conditions in order to continue our work and improve our feeling with the bike."

Chaz Davies:
Bike: BMW S 1000 RR
"It has been challenging again due to yesterday's weather. A few days ago the forecast said it would be bright sunshine and I was quite excited. But then we came to the track and it was completely wet. Anyway I did 25 laps yesterday and improved my feeling in the wet, so that was positive even if these weren't the conditions we were looking for. This morning it was wet again and we eventually had to wait for half the day until the track dried.

"I was very happy to finally ride the bike in fully dry conditions and my good first impressions of the RR were confirmed. I think it went very well and I have learned a lot. We focused on me getting comfortable, were working with the electronics a lot and also started to work on the suspension, but obviously we only had three or four hours of riding in reasonable conditions. That is not enough to know everything about the bike. So we are still missing track time but I am very positive at the moment."

Serafino Foti:
"Unfortunately on the first day we could not do much due to the track conditions, as it was wet. Today the weather was a little bit better and we were able to run half of the day in dry conditions. The whole team worked very hard. Marco focused on testing some new components, using all the available time. He did 68 laps but, as we only had half a day to check everything, it was not possible to complete our programme. Chaz focused on developing a feeling with the bike and on getting acquainted with his new crew. He did 46 laps. Our next test will take place from 28th to 30th November and we really hope the weather will be good. It is very important for us to do a lot of mileage."

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Weather Window Opens For KRT Tests At Motorland

Newsflash, 15 November 2012

After a wet first day of testing on 14th November, Thursday 15th provided some dry conditions for the Kawasaki Racing Team to continue development work on the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R in Aragon.

Both official Kawasaki riders Tom Sykes and Loris Baz were able to test properly in dry conditions in the final afternoon, with Sykes also doing over 30 laps in the wet on day one, to find greater improvements in full wet conditions.

The team had one main area to focus on in the dry and the feedback from each rider was that the direction of development was a positive one. Despite the weather playing its part to provide some changeable conditions the team feels that they know Aragon so well that, to a degree at least, they can even compare results with previous tests and races held in slightly different conditions.

The next test for the team will be at new SBK venue for 2013, Jerez, on 26 and 27 November, before the winter test ban kicks in for all Superbike World Championship teams.

Tom Sykes: "I am very happy with the test even if we had reduced track time. We still managed to evaluate a number of things. We have learned quite a bit today and we have definitely improved the feel of the bike in some areas. We have been able to do reasonable lap times and we can do them consistently with good feed back and I hope we can build on this at the next test. There were a few other riders out there today, on different bikes, so that was good because the track surface needed a little bit of use. Even in mixed conditions at Aragon we know exactly where we stand and can still work well and make progress. Also the track surface itself is usually quite consistent at Motorland so it is a good place for testing."

Loris Baz: "The test was good on the final day but we could not ride yesterday because of the weather. This morning was not so good either but we had some nice sunshine finally in the afternoon and we did something like 60 or 65 laps. We improved the feeling with the bike a lot, and I was more comfortable on it again. I think this was a really good step."

Crew Chief Sykes, Marcel Duikers: "Yesterday it was wet all day, more or less, so we made around 35 laps to improve our bike set-up in those conditions and we found the right direction in the wet to improve our performance, our speed. It started wet in the morning today but in the early afternoon we were able to make proper lap times, because the track was drying well. We worked on our main priority and stuck with this the rest of the afternoon. Even in a reduced amount of time on track we were able to test properly and we found the direction we wanted."

Crew Chief Baz, Pere Riba: "It was raining the first day and with Loris we just stayed in the box because the conditions were complicated. After the wet and damp morning today we just worked to keep finding the best balance with the new bike and to understand how Loris feels with it. We tested different things and finally it was good, very positive. He could do his best lap times more consistently so that is good."
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