In Estoril test
Following a superb fifth place finish for John Hopkins yesterday at Estoril, the Kawasaki Racing Team concluded today's post-race test with more positive results.
Both Hopkins and Anthony West improved on their race lap times, whilst making further
set-up enhancements to their Ninja ZX-RR machines.
Having achieved his best result so far for Kawasaki yesterday, Hopkins worked closely with Bridgestone to evaluate a series of rear tyre options. The 24-year-old improved his race pace around the 4.182km circuit using a new specification rear tyre, which he felt made a big difference to the handling of his machine.
Hopkins also refined the set-up of the chassis that was introduced to the racetrack for the first time in Friday's practice session, and concluded his test with a few practice starts. The Anglo-American is confident of a good result at the next round in China, where he achieved his first MotoGP podium last year.
West returned to the track today determined to improve his pace after his disappointment with yesterday's race result. The Australian rider and his crew made some alterations to his machine's base setting and this was successful in helping the 26-year-old to regain his feeling for the bike.
West also tested a new rear tyre option that somewhat improved the manoeuvrability of his Kawasaki, as it provided a much smoother corner entry and more rear traction, which boosted the Australian's confidence in both himself and his Ninja ZX-RR after such a difficult weekend.
After completing 96 laps of the Estoril circuit today West now heads to America to continue his training ahead of round four of the MotoGP championship, which takes place at the Shanghai circuit in just over two weeks time.
"Today has been useful as we've made another step forward with our race set-up. We worked closely with Bridgestone to test a lot of rear tyre options, one of which worked particularly well for us. I hope that they will be able to provide us with this specification for Shanghai as I really feel it will make a big difference to our race pace. We've also made some alterations to the chassis, which has improved the rear traction of the machine. Every time I get on board the Kawasaki it seems to get better and better, so I hope we can achieve another great result at the next round."
"Following yesterday's result, I was keen to get out on the bike today to try and improve our lap times. We altered some of the machine's base settings and this enabled me to lap more consistently than during the race weekend. Although the times weren't a vast improvement, I felt that I could be much smoother through the turns and I had more confidence to push harder, even after 17 or so laps. Bridgestone gave us two tyre options to test, one of which felt particularly good and I hope we'll be able to use this in Shanghai. The next round should be much more suited to the Kawasaki, and I really want to improve my results there."
"In today's test we ran through a lot of tyre options supplied by Bridgestone. This proved positive, with both riders finding improvements with a race tyre specification. With John's machine we tested various chassis, clutch and electronic components. All of these items have shown good results, but some of the components need developing further before being used in a race situation. With Anthony we concentrated on his base set-up, as he never really felt comfortable on the bike during the race weekend. Our aim was to give him more confidence on the bike and we certainly made a step forward with this, with Anthony's lap times improving today. We leave this event with some new parts for Shanghai and many plus points from the test, so I am happy overall."