The official race report service of Kawasaki Racing Team.

25 July 2019

Positive Finish To Suzuka 8 Hours Testing Programme

WorldSBK regulars Jonathan Rea, Leon Haslam and Toprak Razgatlioglu have now finished their pre-race test programme as the Kawasaki Racing Team Suzuka 8 Hours official entry now looks forward to Qualifying Practice on Friday 26 July. The team placed fifth-fastest on the final day timesheets.

In the final test session today the number 10 Ninja ZX-10RR was ranked fifth overall, with concentration on race preparations taking precedent over any desire to set super-fast lap times. The best KRT lap across the two days of the test was a 2.07.614, set in the second session of day one.
All three riders, more used to the Pirelli control tyres used in WorldSBK than the Bridgestone tyres they are using this weekend, gave their feedback on machine set-up after gaining a greater understanding of both bike and tyres at these tests.
Now the important job of qualifying will take place tomorrow, on Friday 26 July, with each rider having two opportunities to ensure that team remains inside the top few places on the first official day of action.
After the Friday qualifying sessions the top ten teams can utilise special qualifying tyres in the ‘Top Ten Trial’ on Saturday, which will be the final significant action before the race takes place on Sunday 28 July, at 11.30am local time in Japan.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “We have had a positive two days of testing in preparation for race weekend. We feel quite good with the bike and yesterday we confirmed the base setting. Then we changed something today that slightly changed that feeling. This is probably the best I have felt with the bike but you can always improve. All three riders are working together to give us a good bike for the race, making step-by-step changes. I am excited about the race because there is a lot of support here for the team and riders. We have a day of official practice tomorrow and we intend to take a good result from it.”
Leon Haslam, stated: “We have finished our second day of testing and it stayed dry again, which was quite positive. We have been working on our rhythm and we also got to do some simulations with the fuelling procedure. Overall it has been a good test. There are a lot of other riders on track to overtake, which you have to get used to for raceday. It was all pretty consistent and our team is looking strong. There are some little areas we want to improve in but so far, so good. Let’s see what the weather does for tomorrow.”
Toprak Razgatlioglu, stated: “I felt good about this test because at the previous Suzuka test in June I experienced some chattering, but not this time. The Bridgestone tyres feel different, a bit harder, than the Pirelli tyres we use in WorldSBK and now I have a better feeling with them. The lap times are coming good and we always ride with worn tyres because the last few laps of each session are very important. We are fast and now I feel some stress because I cannot wait for the race! It has been my dream to ride in the Suzuka 8 Hours and I feel like I am in a dream team with Johnny and Leon. It has been an incredible few days here and I am more than ready for the race weekend.”