WorldSBK: Teams Complete Two-Day Test At Jerez

WorldSBK: Teams Complete Two-Day Test At Jerez

© 2023, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By Kawasaki:

Positive Final 2023 Test For KRT

The last KRT WorldSBK test session of the 2023 calendar year took place at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto between 22-23 November, with the 2024 rider line up of Alex Lowes and Axel Bassani lapping in sunny and dry weather conditions each day. Lowes was the fastest WorldSBK rider on show and Bassani fourth quickest.

This final test session before the winter break allowed the riders and team technical staff to work on possible 2024 season items and set-up ideas, in order to finalise the direction of technical development for the official Ninja ZX-10RR during the off-season.

These two days on track were also important because there will be new technical rules and regulations in 2024, covering several areas of potential machine and set-up enhancement.

Alex, who will enter his fifth year as a KRT rider in 2024, completed a total of 150 laps across four days, trying new material and settings while also making performance tests and a long run.  

For Axel, about to take part in his fourth WorldSBK season, 2024 will be his first campaign as an official rider. He has adapted well to his new environment as he continues to concentrate on transitioning from one configuration of machine to another.

Alex’s best lap time of the test was a 1’38.762, which he set on the final day. Axel’s fastest was a 1’39.811, set on a full race set-up on day one, without using a soft ‘Q’ tyre.

Track action for the combined KRT squad will now cease until 2024, when a return to Jerez will take place between 24-25 January. A second Iberian test, at Portimao in Portugal, will be held between 29-30 January. The first race weekend of 2024 will be hosted at Phillip Island in Australia, between 23-25 February.

 

Alex Lowes action at Jerez. Photo courtesy Kawasaki.
Alex Lowes in action at Jerez. Photo courtesy Kawasaki.

 

Alex Lowes, stated: “I am really happy with today. Honestly, I have had so much fun riding the bike. After a tough end to the year, with injuries and not being able to finish the year like I wanted, it has been so positive to have a good test here. Obviously the conditions in the winter in Jerez are good but I did my best ever lap around Jerez on race tyres, and quite a lot of fast laps. This was positive. We also tried a lot of new parts, which was thanks to all the guys and Kawasaki for bringing new stuff to try. The target for January is to put all the pieces together to find the best package for next year. This was a really, really positive test.”

 

Axel Bassani testing at Jerez. Photo courtesy Kawasaki.
Axel Bassani testing at Jerez. Photo courtesy Kawasaki.

 

Axel Bassani, stated: “We have just finished two days of testing and we tried a lot of things. We didn’t use an SCQ tyre, so we focused on the set-up of the bike and different things. I am happy and we finished in a good way. We understood a good direction to go during the winter break. Test-by-test I started to feel really good with the bike. It is not easy because it is completely different compared to my previous one, but now I am starting to feel good. I am also happy with the team and the work we did. Now we have some time to rest and then start to think about next year.”

Pere Riba, Crew Chief for Alex Lowes, stated: “We had two very interesting days. We have all enjoyed working together; Alex, the guys in the team and myself. We have been able to try many things with the bike for next year. I have also studied the way Alex is riding the bike; his needs and preferences. We still need time and this is something we have to build step-by-step, but we confirmed different items. I am very happy with the feedback from Alex. In terms of different test items he was very positive. He has given us very accurate information, which is good. We have had two days on track with very good speed. His times have been his fastest ever in Jerez, not only in lap time but also in consistency. I think Alex is enjoying it and he made 75 laps each day. And even a long run. We were using soft tyres and standard tyres at this test. I think Alex is starting to know us. It seems like we are building and creating a good package and it is an enjoyable moment for us all together.”

Marcel Duinker, Crew Chief for Axel Bassani, stated: “At this moment we are still building. We know what Axel has done in recent years and at this test he felt more and more comfortable on the bike. On the first day we wanted to make the bike a bit more suitable for him and of course he wanted to get a bit more ‘close’ to the bike. On the second day we went into testing mode and the full day was committed to test items. Axel set his best lap time in full race trim and he did not use any ‘Q’ tyres. For sure it will take a bit more time find the correct set-up between the bike and rider. But in January and February we will have more test days to get ourselves ready for the first round at Phillip Island. We ticked all the items off that we planned to use at this test, and it was very positive overall. Axel is very professional and he is really committed to improving the bike and himself to get ready for Phillip Island. We are all impressed by the way he is working. Axel and everybody is entering the winter break with a big smile on our faces.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Team HRC:

Team HRC begins its winter testing with two very positive days on Spanish soil

Team HRC and factory riders Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge have officially kickstarted their winter test programme with a two-day session at the Circuito de Jerez in Spain.

On track on Wednesday and Thursday, the squad set about preparing for the 2024 Superbike World Championship season and supporting the two riders as they adapt to the 2024 version of the CBR1000RR-R. The team was able to exploit the largely dry conditions, maximising its track time to give Vierge and Lecuona the chance to build confidence with their machines. Both the riders and technicians began working with both the old and new bikes, drawing comparisons and making adjustments accordingly, before fully focusing on the 2024 machine.

At the end of two highly productive test days, both riders feel optimistic about the 2024 version of the FIREBLADE, which includes a series of engine, chassis, and suspension updates that aim to bring benefits particularly in terms of acceleration and grip. With the support of additional engineers from Japan and HRC test rider Tatsuta Nagashima, the team was able to complete much of its scheduled work over the course of the two-day session and is generally satisfied with the results.

Next up for Lecuona and Vierge is a trip to Indonesia, for an event with MOTUL and the factory HRC MXGP riders on 29 November, while the next WorldSBK test will see Team HRC on track at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal on Monday 4 December.

 

Iker Lecuona (7). Photo courtesy Team HRC.
Iker Lecuona (7). Photo courtesy Team HRC.

 
Iker Lecuona  7

“I’m really happy with the test and surprised with the step they’ve made with the new bike in Japan. Generally, in terms of the electronics, engine and chassis, the feeling with the bike is very different, by which I mean better. There are still areas where we’re struggling a little of course, and others where we need more understanding, but all in all I’m very happy for now. I realized that I also need to alter my riding style a little to adapt to the different feeling but, even with that, it was amazing to see that we could set some very good lap times and that tyre wear was less of a problem compared to the past. There is a lot we need to discover and understand, also because the conditions changed significantly over the last two days, with yesterday so much windier than today, which meant that we had to adjust the balance of the bike between the two sessions. I also felt a bit tired today, after a lot of travel and two very busy race weekends. So, we have a lot to reassess during the next test. Here our “new package” also included my new crew chief and we’ve made a good start there too, finding that we have in a lot in common both personally and professionally. We both like to be fully focused when it’s time to work and then share a joke after we wrap up for the day. So far, so good, and now let’s see if we can confirm these positive sensations during the December test at Portimão, a track that is very different to Jerez.”
 

 

Xavi Verge (97). Photo courtesy Team HRC.
Xavi Verge (97). Photo courtesy Team HRC.

Xavi Vierge  97

“We’re pleased as we’ve enjoyed two really constructive days of testing and been able to complete many laps in dry weather. Initially we worked to adapt to the new bike and tried not to make too many changes, starting with the base set-up that the technicians and Tetsuta had prepared for us in Japan. And my first impressions are very good. We carried out some comparisons between the 2023 and 2024 bikes and I immediately felt that the new bike has its strengths. It took a little time to adapt of course, after two years on the previous bike, but we’re already a little faster with the new bike. It looks similar to the previous version but, like I said, there are actually many changes and positive points. With the last year’s bike we felt we had arrived to the limit, while with this one we have a lot of room for improvement. It has more traction and drive, we’re just not yet able to fully exploit those strong points. But this was just an initial test in which to build confidence. Now the team will analyse the data so that we’re ready for the next test day at Portimão in December. I want to thank everyone on the team, HRC and Tetsuta (Nagashima) for all their hard work.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team:

Constructive first winter test for Mackenzie and Norrodin at Jerez

On track with rookie World Superbike riders Tarran Mackenzie and Adam Norrodin on both Wednesday and Thursday, the team had a lot of work to get through as it starts preparing for the 2024 Superbike World Championship. Conditions fortunately remained dry, although Wednesday in particular was very windy. Tarran and Adam represented the team in the Supersport category in 2023, and so considering that this was their first official test aboard the CBR1000RR-R Superbike, the riders initially worked with their technicians to define the best riding position before turning their attention to general set-up.

On Thursday, Mackenzie and Norrodin continued to build confidence with their machines. Having been unable to compete in the final races of the 2023 season after injuring his right shoulder in a crash during warm-up at Magny-Cours, Adam continues to recover his strength and mobility, but was nevertheless keen to participate in these tests and begin the important work ahead of the new season. Both he and Tarran were able to collate valuable data and provide precious feedback to their respective teams over the course of the two days.

Generally satisfied with the progress made in Spain this week, the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team will confirm the dates of its next winter test in due course.

 

Tarran Mackenzie. Photo courtesy PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team.
Tarran Mackenzie. Photo courtesy PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team.

 

Tarran Mackenzie

“Compared to my last test, the general feeling has been quite similar, though conditions have been a little colder and windier this week. We’ve made changes throughout the sessions, and I feel we’ve made quite good progress from start to finish. The goal was to complete as many laps as possible, collect data, and better understand the bike, and we’ve done that. We were riding the 2023 bike this week but will hopefully have an updated version for the next test in January, so that will be interesting and should change some things. But in the meantime, it’s been useful to ride the Superbike, also with traction control which I’d only used at the Suzuka 8 Hours. So, I still have a lot to learn but am happy with what we’ve done here. On 27 November I’ll get some screws removed from my femur as I’ve been a little uncomfortable. It’s only a small procedure, so I’ll be able get back to training already after one week. In the meantime, I want to say a big thank you to the team for deciding to do this test, as it’s been particularly valuable for me as a rookie.”

 

Adam Norrodin. Photo courtesy PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team.
Adam Norrodin. Photo courtesy PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team.

 

Adam Norrodin

“Unfortunately, I am still not 100% fit and so I wasn’t totally comfortable with my shoulder while riding. The target for the test was to build feeling with the bike, which we did, but my physical condition limited how many laps we could complete as I have little power in my arm and get fatigued after only a short run. I’m continuing with physio and rehab, but it’s going to be a long process, so now I want to visit my doctors back in Malaysia to see what else we can do to speed up the recovery process. A big thank you to the team anyway, as they’ve worked really hard this week. My focus over the next weeks is my physical recovery – I want to do all I can to better prepared for our next test in January.”

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