Kawasaki WorldSBK Aragon Test
Kawasaki Racing Team pairing Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes made the most of the available track time at Motorland Aragon over a two-day test with the 2016 Ninja ZX-10R this week.
With some new parts to try, and confirmations being made of some components that have been tested already, both Sykes and Rea collected valuable data for their team crew and KHI to evaluate before the next track sessions, to be held in Jerez de la Frontera next week.
Rea, who rode in the short window of opportunity that appeared late on during day one, after heavy fog and low cloud had prevented any meaningful early action, finally set a best lap of 1’50.3 on day two. It was the fastest lap of the tests.
Sykes and his crew had elected not to do any laps on the first day, given the low track temperatures. He was out as soon as the sun had warmed up the track enough on day two. Tom set his best lap time of 1’51.1 and also tried some new parts, in addition reconfirming some existing components and settings.
Jonathan Rea stated: “We tested engine settings with a little bit different inertia and worked with some weight distribution ideas.
“We also tried a different rear spring and we confirmed everything was fine. I did some back-to-back comparisons with a new rear tyre that Pirelli had brought. It was like an SC1 family with stronger sidewalls, which gave more stability. For me it was a big step my riding style. We also used the new swing arm we first used in Jerez and we reconfirmed that too.”
Tom Sykes stated: “I am very happy considering the track conditions and the limited amount of testing we had. We have only worked with the hard tyres all day and I am really pleased with the lap times and the consistency.
“Overall the base seems very good and like always we tried some interesting items today. They were positive in some areas and, although there is still work to be done in other areas, generally we did not touch the bike in terms of set-up. We were just checking the updated 2016 parts. I am really pleased with the performance of them.”
Pere Riba, Jonathan Rea’s Crew Chief, stated: “Like the 2016 Ninja ZX-10R road machine, we have new engine inertia characteristics this year and with that it makes everything work differently, so also the engine management must be different. We have just tried different inertia settings to understand the changes. We are still at the stage of collecting information and now is not the time to set-up the bike to be too sharp. We also tried the new swingarm, rear shock and the big things we have to test. Now we can start to eliminate points and start to build the bike. The lap times were very good and Johnny is very confident. It was a positive test and I am very happy.”
Marcel Duinker, Tom Sykes’ Crew Chief, stated: “Today the morning fog was gone quite fast, the sun came out early and we could start testing this afternoon. The three or four priorities we wanted to test here, which we tried in Jerez last week, we worked with again. We have now confirmed on two tracks that this material has improved our general performance. Not only after one lap but also over race distance. We made a couple of steps on the engine and on the chassis and I am very satisfied with this result.”