15 November 2015
For Sykes the latest WorldSBK Kawasaki has already provided a positive direction of development for his particular riding style. On his return to Motorland for this test, only a few short weeks since he first rode on the 2015 and 2016 machines and tested parts, he is out to consolidate some items and try some new ones as part of Kawasaki’s comprehensive racing development programme for the new machine.
Rea missed the first Motorland test to be at the birth of his second son but after a very positive first test at Jerez recently he is more than keen to try out his machine at a very different track. Like Sykes he set good lap times at Jerez, and they each found a high degree of consistency with their times on used tyres.
Whereas Jerez is mostly tighter corners with short straights, Motorland is long, undulating in places and has some relatively long and fast corners. In 2015 the final hairpin and chicane complex was dropped for WorldSBK use, making the last turn a long left handed curve onto the short finish straight, which just adds to the overall feel of Motorland being an ‘open’ and swift circuit.
After this two day test KRT will make one more session with the 2016 machine and race parts at Jerez before the start of the official winter test ban, which runs through all of December and half of January.
Jonathan Rea stated: “I had a great initial impression in Jerez with the new bike. We worked through items on the test list but we have more to test at Motorland. I hope the weather will be good for two days here because we need to define some of the new material soon, evaluate it and make sure we have clear conclusions so we can order parts for the January tests. It will be another case of working through options and understanding how the bike is working on a different track. At this time year it is a lot cooler than at most races so we get good weather because the window for riding is relatively small so we need to be productive.”
Tom Sykes stated, “I had a really nice week of holiday with the whole family down in a forest in the south west of England. It was a nice break so I am really looking forward to the next test. Every time I get on the new bike I get a bigger smile on my face. We have lost a little bit of time during some of the earlier tests but I am feeling very happy with the team and the bike. I am really enjoying myself again. Even considering where we are now, with some tests left to do, I feel we are competitive. We still have some more things to try in the most interesting development direction. I have to say that the direction we went in between 2012 to 2104 is the same direction this new bike has been developed for. It is all positive, it all adds up and it all makes sense.”
Guim Roda, Team Manager KRT, stated: “The next Motorland test will be the second time we have been there in three weeks. After the most recent test in Jerez it will be especially important to continue testing all the ideas - on set-up and new part combinations - that the crew and KHI have created to improve the package we had in 2015, with the basis of the 2016 model. Is incredible to see the riders’ motivation and the hunger they each have to win next year. I’m sure this will improve the competitive level of each and I'm sure other teams will have to work a lot. Both riders are finishing 2015 on a very good level. Is amazing the easy way in which they push to the limit and give feedback of so many small details to help improve the bike. To see them both do that is really impressive. I expect both of them can explore the limits even better in 2016 than they did in 2015."