“It's been a productive two days”
The Kawasaki Racing Team today concluded a successful two-day test at the Brno circuit, with Randy de Puniet and Anthony West both completing an extensive assessment programme despite rain bringing a premature end to testing yesterday.
focus of the two-day test was on evaluating the latest evolution of the Ninja ZX-RR engine, designed to improve the top speed of Kawasaki's ever more competitive MotoGP machine without losing any of the driveability that is so important to fast lap times in the new 800cc era.
The feedback from the two riders was that Kawasaki's engineers in Japan had achieved their aim, and both de Puniet and West have opted to run the latest specification motor in the next race at Misano.
The two Kawasaki pilots also evaluated a number or chassis component combinations on their Ninja ZX-RR machines, as they worked to improve the overall balance of the bike. The data collected during the two-day test will be utilised by the race department in Japan, where the next generation chassis is already in development.
Bridgestone will also benefit from the test at Brno, with the Japanese tyre manufacturer securing important development data from an extensive tyre testing programme completed by de Puniet and West over the course of the two days.
The Kawasaki Racing Team will return to action in just 10 days time at the revised Misano circuit in San Marino, which is a new track for all the MotoGP teams.
Randy de Puniet
"It's been hard work both days, because we've had a lot of different things to test, but it's been worthwhile. The latest engine specification is definitely an improvement, as is the revised clutch that we also tested. From the tyre test we managed to find a combination of front and rear race tyres that allowed me to improve upon my best race lap time from Sunday, so that is also a positive point.
Some of the improvements we've made today won't give us such a big advantage for the next race, because Misano is quite a tight track from what I've seen of it, but I think we'll definitely see an improvement in performance when we get to the fast circuits like Motegi and Sepang. So, overall it's been a positive two days."
"There's just something about this track that I can't seem to get on with, so it's been good to get so much time on the circuit, but it's also made it more difficult to evaluate things like the tyres and the changes to the chassis that we were testing. I think I did more than 800 km on the bike over the two days, which was hard work, but I definitely have a better understanding now about how changes to the chassis and different tyres affect the bike and my lap time. I also got to try out quite a few qualifying tyres without having the pressure of a normal qualifying session, which was good. The grip they have is unbelievable; if you opened the throttle that early on a race tyre you'd be over the bars before you knew it. But, while I definitely have a better idea of how hard I can push on the qualifiers now, I also know there's still quite a lot of room for improvement, but that this will only come with more experience."
"Overall it's been a very productive two days, with both riders completing a lot of laps to ensure we completed our planned test schedule. Our main aim over the two days was to evaluate the latest version of the Ninja ZX-RR engine, and also different combinations of chassis components. Our two riders were very positive about the revised engine, and both were able to improve upon their lap times from Sunday's race. From evaluating different combinations of chassis, swinging arm and suspension settings, we've identified a clear direction for future development in order to improve the overall balance of the bike. Finally, we've also completed quite a heavy test schedule for Bridgestone, with positive results. The data that will be fed back to Bridgestone's development programme will benefit all their MotoGP teams, not just Kawasaki, but that's what a technical partnership is all about."