2 days of dry and sunny conditions was made full use by Kawasaki Racing Team (KRT) riders Johnathan Rea and Tom Sykes to complete their final European pre-season preps at Jerez. 25°C track temperature recorded in the afternoon allowed both Rea and Sykes to make real progress in the set-up of their Ninja ZX-10Rs. Both confidently declared that they are ready to head off to Australia for the final official test.
Sykes set around 85 laps on day one and 86 on final day while Rea did more than 80 on day one and over 70 on the final day. The lap times were very competitive for both rider with their race and qualifying setup. Skyes post a best of 1’39.694 while Rea 1’39.745 both on qualifying tire. Despite more stringent technical rules that limits the engine tuning in 2015, both of them recorded a time below existing track best.
Tom Sykes: “It has been a successful two days of testing and we have worked through a lot of variables, coming much closer to a base setting for the bike. In general I am very happy. We found more of our potential with the race tyre and the qualifying tyre and just did one final lap on each to understand the work we had done. That confirmed that we are headed in the right direction. The two last laps I did were quite relaxed, not expecting too much, and I saw some riders using more than one qualifying tyre – maybe even three. We are going to Phillip Island quite happy that we are focused on where we need to be and hopefully we will be fine-tuning in the glorious sunshine. It was important to have these two days of consistent weather and we did a lot of laps. The weather gave us a good stable test.”
Jonathan Rea: “It was a good test and more so because we got dry track time. We were able to evaluate lots of things. I tried quite a lot of geometries and changing the balance of the bike quite a lot. We never found a big difference in lap time, even when we were radically changing the bike. That proves to us that the bike is working in quite a big window. We found a big step forward with the engine management and electronics on the afternoon of the second day and I was able to improve my lap time quite a bit. That filled me full of joy and confidence. I was able to do a race simulation at this test and I understood how the bike behaves when the tyre drops. I think we have the right tools in the garage to keep working and be in good shape when the lights go out at Phillip Island. At the end of the day we tried a qualifying tyre and it works well on this bike. It has been a busy and positive test.”
Image source : WSBK